Who We Are

“I was always an idea queen, but implementing ideas is what it's all about.”
Francine A. LeFrak
Jill Abrahams, our Executive Director, with some graduates and Patrice, the instructor of the Francine A. LeFrak Computer Training Program at the Women in Need homeless shelter in East Harlem.
who we are

Our Vision

The Francine A. LeFrak Foundation’s vision is to promote the empowerment of the impoverished by investing in domestic and global initiatives and entrepreneurial programs that will lead to people finding success as they strive to achieve their goals.

The Foundation’s ultimate goal is to ensure that all individuals have access to the basic necessities and are equipped to achieve general economic stability to ensure their personal independence. The Francine A. LeFrak Foundation prides itself in investing in people, on the ground organizations and physical spaces that will aid in the fulfillment of its objective and will positively influence the enhancement of individuals’ talents.

foundation pillars

Our Focus

Eradicating Poverty

The Foundation uses a hands-on approach to fighting poverty as we work directly with those who need a second chance, who are willing to fight for a new beginning.

There is a crisis in America today with 39 million people living in poverty.  Homelessness, being in the justice system, lack of access to education, domestic violence, and human trafficking create a pathway into poverty.

Through targeted partnerships and active engagement, the Foundation provides funding to organizations that benefit recipients as they strive to achieve success. By providing access to workforce training and job readiness education, the Foundation helps people become self-sufficient and achieve their personal goals. We also provide microgrants to ensure that there are no barriers for attendance that negatively impact participants.

We don’t believe in providing funds and walking away; we are physically present every step of the way as we work alongside recipients, track progress, and change lives.

Education & Training

Access to education and specific business training programs provides individuals with the tools they need to follow their dreams.  

Our goal is to work with partners who offer the supports and knowledge that will have a positive impact on people’s lives.

This pillar supports the LeFrak-Friedberg Scholars program which works directly with talented and highly ambitious students from East Africa that are attending a university in the United States. The Scholars Program is focused on mentoring, leadership opportunities and the resources that the students need for experiential learning experiences and research projects in anticipation of returning to their home countries and improving their communities.  

The training component of this pillar takes the job readiness and workforce development programs to a new level. We specifically work with organizations to provide business and entrepreneurial skill development classes for women in the justice system or women who have a dream to start a business.  We also provide microgrants to ensure that there are no barriers for attendance that negatively impact participants.

Much like our other grants and programs, we do not believe in simply providing funds and walking away. We remain fully engaged with each program and their participants.  We are physically present every step of the way as we work alongside recipients, track progress, and change lives.

Preserving Culture, History & the Performing Arts

The Foundation’s goal is to ensure that individuals are exposed to the Performing Arts to enhance their ability to think creatively and differently while having the chance to appreciate their culture and history in an effort to understand the lessons learned.

Providing support so that communities and cultures are not negatively impacted by environmental changes, but instead can learn how to live with and address these changes while still respecting the environment in which they are operating and living.

It also provides an avenue to preserve artistic culture and important physical landmarks that tell the historical story of a location and its people.

The Performing Arts helps to develop one’s mind and expand their thinking in ways not always capitalized on with traditional education. The investment in the Performing Arts will recognize and celebrate various people or organizations that will provide opportunity for all to experience the arts in some fashion.

Coming from a family that is artistic and musical, our founder, Francine A. LeFrak, feels strongly that preserving culture, history and the performing arts enhances people’s lives around the world.

Francine a. lefrak

Meet Our Founder

A successful social entrepreneur, women’s rights advocate and philanthropist, Francine LeFrak founded a trade initiative, Same Sky, to help women who were invisible become visible through the dignity of work.

Learn More About Our Founder