Rafi Rone serves as a Program Director for The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. In his role, he is responsible for grantmaking for programs that serve older adults in Israel and the community-at-large in the United States.
Rafi directs the General Community Support program area in Baltimore and domestically. This includes supporting major Jewish and greater community development efforts as well as philanthropic investments that support low-income and vulnerable families. This area largely includes major leadership and multi-service organizations which do not fit into other specific areas of focus for the foundations because their missions, while focused on low-income populations, are broad and diverse. Some major partners in Baltimore include, for example The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, Catholic Charities, Associated Black Charities, and the Baltimore Community Foundation. Major partners nationally and beyond include The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Amigour, and The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. In Israel, Rafi directs the older adult grant portfolio. In this work, the Foundation seeks to fund organizations that help the frailest, poorest adults to live dignified, meaningful, and engaged lives in the community and maintain independence as long as possible.
Rafi joined the Foundation in January after serving as the Vice President of Jewish & Israel Initiatives for the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds for many years. He has more than twenty years of community relations and community development experience working on behalf of the Jewish community, covering four continents and dozens of Jewish communities. Rafi was stationed in the Former Soviet Union, Israel, and Eastern Europe for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and he previously worked at the Baltimore Jewish Council as Deputy Director, at the Jewish Federations of North America as Director of Education, and at Birthright Israel where he was charged with creating what ultimately became Birthright Next.
Rafi has taught and consulted widely on topics including everything Israel, Jewish Peoplehood & identity, leadership development, philanthropy, cross-cultural training, and generational divide. He even had a brief stint as a tour guide in Israel.
Rafi’s Master’s of Public Administration is from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs, where he was awarded the Picker Prize for Public Service. His B.A. is in History and Politics from Brandeis University. He was also a Wexner Graduate Fellow, was the Ralph Goldman International Fellow at the JDC, and has studied at both the Pardes and Hartman Institutes in Jerusalem, Israel. Rafi lives in Baltimore with his wife, Rabbi Dana Rone Saroken, and their three children.