Energy Firm Partner Gives Back


Jewish Federation Real Estate member Lonnie Barish has developed an innovative way to leverage business partnerships to support the Jewish community.

Jewish Federation Real Estate (JFRE) member Lonnie Barish thinks big. When he joined New America Power five years ago, he set his sights on becoming partner, which he made happen this year. So it’s not surprising that when he began thinking about his philanthropic goals, instead of simply making a gift to JFRE, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s real estate affinity, he developed an innovative way to leverage business partnerships to support the Jewish community.
New America Power assists clients in learning and making decisions about energy procurement, management and curtailment. Thanks to years of work and relationship-building, Barish now donates a portion of the proceeds of all business generated through JFRE contacts or any business affiliated with the Jewish Federation to the Jewish Federation throughout the term of the contract.
Depending on the clients’ wishes, donations are directed to either the JFRE Fund, which addresses the real estate needs of Jewish community members in Greater Philadelphia and Israel, or Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Fund. He has committed $20,000 to JFRE and the Jewish Federation over the next two years, and believes he can grow his model to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations annually.
“We are really getting the momentum going now,” said Barish, “and the more support we get from the Jewish community, the more we can give back. It feels amazing to be having this impact on our Jewish community. I’m not just conducting business, I’m affecting lives.”
The idea for this philanthropy model began percolating at Barish’s first JFRE experience, the Legends and Leaders event in 2012. “I was in shock when I walked into that first Legends and Leaders event,” recalled Barish.
“There, together in one room, were the people whose careers I had been following for years. It was like a dream come true, and I knew I had to get involved in this group.” 
Just this month, Barish expanded his Jewish community support by establishing a similar agreement to give back to Jewish Federation partner Tribe 12, which focuses on Jewish engagement for 20- and 30-somethings. Through New America Power’s partnership with Lindy Communities, it is committed to donating $6,500 per year for the next four years to support Tribe 12’s mission.
Jewish communal involvement began early for Barish, husband to Marcia, and father to 5-year-old son, Mason, and 2-year-old daughter, Sydney. “My parents got divorced when I was very young,” said Barish, who was raised by his mother and grandparents.
“I literally grew up at the Klein JCC because my mother was always there. Additionally, my grandfather, who was my biggest role model, became involved at Klein. Now he’s 90 and still involved as the president of their traveling club. When I tell him what I’m doing with the Jewish community, it makes him happy, and seeing that makes me happy.”
Investing in the Jewish community extends beyond financial support for Barish, who has attended nearly every JFRE event to date, serves on JFRE’s Programming Committee and will serve as an ambassador at JFRE’s Legends and Leaders Event on May 1. Barish is also a member of the Jewish Federation Renaissance Group’s Ben-Gurion Society, which recognizes donors ages 45 and under making individual gifts of $1,000 or more.
“Once you get involved at Jewish Federation, there is so much you can do,” said Barish. “Now, my main goals are to give back to the community and to be a good role model for my children.”
For more information on JFRE or supporting the Jewish community through the Jewish Federation, contact Rachel Sigman, senior development officer, at: 215-832-0513 or email:


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