Jonathan Morgan originally joined the Jewish Federation Real Estate (JFRE) group more than a decade ago because the founding members were “rock stars in the Philly real estate community.”
Beyond JFRE’s initial allure and the ability to form a local network, Morgan quickly recognized the full-scope and beauty of the group’s mission to fund capital projects that support critical infrastructure needs in Greater Philadelphia and in Israel.
“We are a community that supports its community,” said Morgan, a Greater Philadelphia native.
Today, Morgan is the president and founder of Morgan Properties JV, an affiliate of Morgan Properties, and the new JFRE chair. Committed to continuing the legacy of connection, innovation and giving back, Morgan looks forward to bringing in the next generation of JFRE members.
Morgan, who is also a member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Board of Trustees, is gearing up for his first program as the JFRE chair — Legends and Leaders. While the highly-attended and annual event was canceled last year due to the pandemic, this year, it will take place on Oct. 15 at the Kimmel Center, with a virtual option for those who cannot attend in person.
We spoke with Morgan to learn more about him, his new role and JFRE’s upcoming Legends and Leaders signature event.
How does it feel to be the new chair of JFRE?
I am extremely excited to be the new chair of JFRE. JFRE is an amazing affinity group of the Jewish Federation, and I am very proud to continue its rich traditions and build off our momentum from this past year. We have much to look forward to in the year ahead as a Jewish community.
What do you hope to accomplish during your term as JFRE chair?
I hope to increase member engagement, particularly as it pertains to Young JFRE, which represents our members younger than 30 years old. We believe that Young JFRE is our lifeblood, so we definitely want to provide these younger Jewish real estate professionals with networking and community building opportunities to further their engagement in our community. We want to give them an opportunity to learn from our Executive Committee and attend some of these incredible events to meet the best and brightest in real estate.
What advice has the immediate past JFRE chair, Matt Pestronk, given you?
Matt has been amazing, and he is very passionate about JFRE. Under Matt’s leadership, we had to pivot to a virtual setting for most of our meetings and events during COVID. It was a time of uncertainty and very challenging to say the least. Matt has always been fully supportive of our key initiatives for this year. He suggested we focus on quality over quantity and strategize ways to make a significant impact and not dilute our brand. JFRE is very passionate in everything we do, and that is part of the reason we are successful.
Legends and Leaders is around the corner. What are you most excited for and why should people attend?
David Adelman is our keynote speaker this year, who I am excited to be speaking with in conversation. David is the CEO of Campus Apartments, founder of Darco Capital and co-founder of FS Investments. He is also the current board co-chair of the Jewish Federation and one of the original founders of JFRE. As I said, the JFRE founders are our city’s real estate rock stars and a major reason as to why I became a member.
I am also thrilled to say that our signature event will be at the Kimmel Center, one of the best venues in Philadelphia. Legends and Leaders is hands down the top real estate networking event in our city. We expect a great turnout.
Why should real estate professionals and related industry professionals become JFRE members?
Real estate professionals and others in related industries should attend our programs to network with our industry leaders, engage with your community and learn about some of the exciting opportunities that we are offering this year with JFRE. I would encourage everyone to sign up for Legends and Leaders, get involved in JFRE and become a member.
We are just getting started and have much to look forward to in what will be an incredible year.
Why do you give to the Jewish Federation?
I give to the Jewish Federation because it is important to give back and ensure that we as a Jewish community stick together. If this past year taught us anything, it is that we need to come together. There is still a lot of antisemitism out there in the world. I have four young children and want to teach them the importance of being Jewish and being part of our community. It defines us and so that is why I give to the Jewish Federation.
What is something people may not know about you?
My family is what drives me. My wife and I have four young kids between the ages of one and six. We are teaching them the importance of being Jewish and giving back to the community.
Want to become a JFRE member? Visit jewishphilly.org/jfre. To register for JFRE’s signature Legends and Leaders event on Oct. 15 at the Kimmel Center, with a virtual option, visit jewishphilly.org/legends.