Independent Grant Making Family Foundation

The Senser Foundation

Independent Grant Making Family Foundation.

Based on the Jewish ideal of “B’tzelem Elohim” (in the image of God), the Senser Foundation’s vision is of a world where all people are recognized to have merit and deserve equal respect. We believe that diverse, liberal and democratic values must flourish in order to realize our vision.

We’re looking to partner with impactful organizations in the U.S. and Israel, which use research-based and innovative models, in order to: 

  • Women’s rights, security, and empowerment
  • Liberal and democratic values
  • Social and religious diversity in Israel
  • Strengthening marginalized communities
  • Next-generation engagement with Jewish peoplehood

The Senser Family

Naomi Ragins Senser, MD

Naomi retired from a busy pediatric practice many years ago to raise her children and to devote herself to women’s issues, Jewish, and pro-Israel causes. Since that time, she has served on many non-profit boards. She is currently a trustee and chair of the Health and Wellness committee of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago and is on the executive board of SHALVA, a Jewish domestic violence counseling and education organization. Her volunteer work at SHALVA has included speaking about domestic abuse at a variety of synagogues and to community groups and medical professionals.

Naomi completed the Master of Jewish Professional Studies program at Spertus College and the executive education program offered through Northwestern University-Kellogg and the Board Member Institute for Jewish Nonprofits. She earned a BS in Zoology from the University of Michigan and an MD from Northwestern University Medical School.

Jerry Senser

The bulk of Jerry’s professional career was spent at Institutional Capital LLC, an investment advisory firm in Chicago. From 2007 to 2015, Jerry served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer and had ultimate responsibility for ICAP’s investment team, strategies, and overall management of the firm. As CEO and CIO, Jerry managed domestic, international and global equity portfolios for institutional investors with a staff of about 60 people. After a 30-year career at ICAP, Jerry retired from the firm in September 2016. Prior to ICAP, Jerry was an economist for 7 years at Stein, Roe & Farnham, an investment advisory firm in Chicago. 

Jerry graduated with a BA in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA in finance and business economics from the University of Chicago.

Naomi and Jerry reside in Highland Park, Illinois and have three adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. 

The Foundation team

Attorney Linda Maiman Feinstein serves as legal counsel for the Senser Foundation.  She also is a member of Dentons, where she specializes in trusts, estates and wealth preservation.  

Linda has extensive experience establishing charitable foundations and other non-profit organizations that enact the values of her clients.  She also counsels multiple generations of families and helps them create tax-sensitive estate plans that effectuate personal and philanthropic goals while preserving wealth for future generations.  

Linda graduated cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law.  Before entering law school, she majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She also was a newspaper reporter at the Milwaukee Journal and received the Milwaukee Press Club Award and the Wisconsin Education Association Council Award for public education reporting and analysis.   

Linda is deeply committed to the values and mission of the Senser Foundation.  She has also been active in numerous pro-Israel and Jewish community organizations.   

Linda Maiman Feinstein

Foundation legal consultant

Amit Marom

Strategic consultant for the foundation. Founder, Marom Group

Amit is a social entrepreneur, passionate about making a difference in the world and promoting excellence & cross-sectoral collaboration among stakeholders in the social-financial arena.

After serving for 14 years (1993 – 2007) in a variety of command positions in the Israeli paratroopers’ brigade and as the Assistant to the Defense Attaché at the Israeli Embassy (2001-2003) in Washington DC, Amit decided to make a career change. Following his heart and values, he turned to the growing and changing social-financial arena and joined Elem, a leading organization providing services to at-risk youth. During his two years as Elem’s Director of International Development, Amit formed meaningful relationships with international organizations working in the philanthropic sector and began finding ways to influence the sector, optimize social return and enhance social models through the utilization of effective business models.

In 2009, Amit founded Marom Group, a leading strategy consulting firm that offers tailored and full-service philanthropic solutions. The Group works with clients to define a clear vision and mission, design strategic plans, create customized operational models and lead implementation and monitoring, and evaluation processes to ensure long-lasting social impact.

As part of his philanthropic activities, in 2011 Amit founded Marom Foundation in order to support social entrepreneurship around the world. Amit also serves as a board member for a variety of non-profits.

Shelly is a digital, marketing, and innovation expert, with an experimental mindset and a constant ambition to help organizations grow. Over the past decade, Shelly has led several leading digital companies in the fields of marketing and digital consultancy. She holds immense knowledge and expertise across industries, including in marketing, the tech arena, startups, politics, health, retail, finance and institutions of higher education.

Shelly acted as CEO for Websem (2016-2019) – a leading digital agency with over 35 digital experts. After nearly 12 years in managerial positions in the business sector, in 2020 Shelly decided to bring her broad skillset to the social world, and founded Philtech. Philtech helps social organizations grow through the use of technology and digital tools. Philtech works closely with organizations, founders and institutions to make an impact, expand their reach and increase their effectiveness.  

Shelly holds an EMA in digital culture and philosophy from Tel Aviv University.

Shelly Tene Barkai

Digital transformation consultant for the foundation. PhilTech CEO


Women’s rights, security and empowerment


Social and religious diversity in israel


Strengthening marginalized communities


Next - generation engagement with Jewish peoplehood


Liberal and democratic values

why we chose digital transformation

The world is in the midst of a technological revolution that is changing the way people interact with one another in every aspect of their life. Work is moving out of the office. Goods, services, and information increasingly are being provided through a distributed digital interface. However, so far, this revolution has been embraced by only a small percentage of nonprofit organizations. To help propel the social sector toward this change, the Senser Foundation has focused its energy on developing and implementing a Digital Transformation Model for nonprofit organizations. 

The Lean Digital Transformation Model provides a specific path for nonprofits to incorporate digital solutions into their operations. It builds technology capacity and infrastructure, and is closely integrated with the organization’s strategy. Why is it different? First, it recognizes and adjusts to the specific constraints faced by nonprofit organizations. Budgets are limited and finding internal technology expertise is difficult. The LDTM is built with these challenges in mind – by taking a lean approach, costs are minimized and ease of use is enhanced. Second, the LDTM does not just provide a plan, it is implemented within the organization. By the end of the program, people will be trained and actually will be using the new tools and methods. Finally, it is quick. The LDTM is designed to take no more than ten months from the initial assessment, to planning and implementation. 

In addition to assisting with the implementation processes in selected organizations, the Foundation is constantly working to research the effectiveness and further development of this subject.

Over the past two years, this process has been rolled out with resounding success. This Model was custom-made and developed by Philtech and Marom Group, who specialize in digital transformation and strategic consulting for the social sector. 

If your organization is interested in embarking on this transition, please refer to the RFP to check your suitability for the program.

The Lean Digital Transformation Process includes four stages

Starting Point - Assessment

Analysis & strategic recommendations

Work plan



  • Establishing or enhancing CRM usage
  • Building a resource development plan – online and offline (database)
  • Creating an annual marketing plan 
  • Conducting an online fundraising campaign (crowdfunding)
  • Digital literacy training
  • Social media training
  • Integrating the organization’s systems (e.g. organizational website, personal user profiles and CRM)
  • Establishing a task management system
  • Recording organizational knowledge and processes 
  • Creating a clear digital strategy vision for the organization

Join us!

The Senser Foundation is accepting applications for the 2024 HealthTech Hackathon

Senser Foundation Grantees

Contact us

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Independent Grant Making Family Foundation