Rochester-Based Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation Gives Over $3 Million in Covid-19 Relief

Farash Foundation News Release
February 4, 2021

The Rochester-based Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation gave over $3 million in Covid-19 relief across 47 grants to local organizations doing critical work in the community in 2020. The grants were distributed across three categories including unrestricted general support for Covid relief, PPE support for Jewish social service organizations, and general unrestricted emergency support.

Awards were structured to provide immediate and flexible assistance to those most impacted by the pandemic. Over the next year, the Farash Foundation will continue to distribute grants and streamline application processes and reporting for even greater accessibility overall.

“Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to our community and shown that we need to be ready for anything. We quickly made internal changes to get funding to community groups faster, and we will continue to pivot our plans as needed this year,” said Holli Budd, Executive Director of the Farash Foundation. “In 2020, over $3 million of our budget went directly to Covid relief, as we recognized the toll it was taking locally. We plan to continue these relief efforts well into 2021 and support Rochester in any way that we can.”

The Foundation created the Farash Community Covid Fund in July to provide unrestricted support to organizations that serve the Foundation’s key mission areas, giving 15 grants to organizations dedicated to education, arts and culture, entrepreneurship, and workforce development, totaling $969,500. Grants allowed organizations like the Mary Cariola Center, which operates a pre-school, school, and six residential homes in Rochester, to quickly build up internal capacity and resources needed to meet the crisis. 

“The Farash Foundation has the gratitude of the over 500 families Mary Cariola Center serves in school and in our residences. This grant provided much-needed resources, including IT support, additional staff and PPE, to keep our vulnerable population safe throughout the pandemic,” said Karen Zandi, President and CEO of Mary Cariola Center. “The Foundation’s support was immediate and flexible allowing us to make a significant difference in the lives of those we serve.”

The Farash Jewish Life Covid Fund, another Covid-related grant, was created to help Jewish organizations provide essential services and conduct safe in-person operations by providing PPE and cleaning supplies. A total of 24 grants were awarded from this fund, totaling over $940,000.

“It has been an incredibly challenging time for not only the healthcare community but senior services as well,” said Michael King, President and CEO at Jewish Senior Life. “Our residents are at high-risk to Covid-19, and the Farash Jewish Life Covid Fund allowed us to continue providing these compassionate health care services safely throughout the pandemic. We are thankful for the support as we carry out our essential work.”

To expedite its services, the Farash Foundation changed its grant process internally, moving all grant agreements and payments online, as well as streamlining reporting requirements, allowing for a faster turnaround time and direct payments. Through these partnerships, rapid response and pooled funding, the Farash Foundation has supported issues such as the UW Crisis Fund and MiFi support, providing a $240,000 grant to the Rochester City School District to ensure students could effectively continue their studies remotely.

Moving into 2021, the Foundation will continue to repurpose grants to best fit the immediate needs of the community, including earmarking funding specifically for Covid-19 relief and continue to work with community partners on ways to best serve Rochester.


About The Farash Foundation

The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation is a private charitable foundation established in 1988 by Max and Marian Farash. The Foundation is dedicated to the civic and religious communities of its founders who believed in the importance of education and knew the power of entrepreneurial creativity. It strives to make long-term and meaningful contributions in Monroe and Ontario Counties with half of its grants supporting Jewish Life, and the other half supporting secular activities with a large emphasis on urban education. Since its transition to a professionally staffed organization in 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $70 million in grants and program support, and its assets total more than $255 million.