Farash foundation hires new staff

Growing Farash charity hires two executives
Steve Orr
October 13, 2010
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

In anticipation of accepting an endowment that could top $200 million in value, the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation has named two executive leaders.

Hollis S. Budd, currently associate dean of the Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester, will become the foundation’s executive director. Isobel Goldman, now community relations director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, will become director of grants.

Both have served on the foundation board but will resign those posts.

Max Farash, who owned 23 apartment complexes with 5,000 units in the Rochester area and Florida, left nearly all his wealth to the foundation. The longtime Brighton resident died Feb. 28 at age 95. His wife, Marian, died in 2007.

Foundation chairman Nathan Robfogel said he expects the foundation’s assets to be “in excess of $200 million.” It likely will be among the largest private foundations in upstate New York, and one of the few locally with a paid professional staff.

The bulk of Farash’s assets are now held in a trust. Lawyer James Gocker, who was the Farashes’ court-appointed property guardian and now is sole trustee, said in a recent court filing that he would begin transferring the apartment complexes to the foundation in January.

Robfogel said most of the real-estate holdings would not be immediately liquidated as once envisioned. “Our opinion is that current market conditions are such that we should proceed carefully and slowly before selling off the income-producing properties,” he said.

The foundation will use rental income to make grants, which by law must equal at least 5 percent of assets annually. Farash stipulated that half the grant money go to Jewish groups or interests and half to parties in Monroe and Ontario counties.

The two executive appointees begin work Jan. 1. The foundation, which has an office in Pittsford, has one employee now, office and grants manager Susan Rosenbloom.