Who We Are

Residents of Rochester for virtually all of their lives, Max and Marian Farash cared deeply about their religious and civic communities and greatly valued the importance of education and entrepreneurship. In 1988, they established the Foundation, which, in accordance with their wishes, makes grants to community organizations in Monroe and Ontario counties, half of them for Jewish projects and programs.

In 2007, a community-based Board of Trustees was recruited to set the stage for the formal grant-making process to be used in the long term. Reflecting the founders’ interest in supporting both education and entrepreneurship, the University of Rochester’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania are invited to have representatives on the board. Others on the board represent a spectrum of Jewish and community interests.
The Foundation is fulfilling the Farashes’ vision by establishing several general categories that define the scope of Foundation grants; within each of those categories, specific focus areas are identified for each grant cycle. In addition, the Foundation maintains ongoing “Founders' Giving” programs for certain causes that were close to the Farashes’ hearts during their lifetimes; and the Max Farash Building Repair Emergency Fund to help nonprofit institutions with emergency needs.
The Foundation is also proud to offer a number of special initiatives, including the Farash Prize for Social Entrepreneurship, as well as First in Family Scholarships allowing first-generation college students to graduate virtually debt-free.