Manny Friedman has been committed to philanthropy for many years. He established Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies to coordinate his charitable giving under the leadership of his niece, Simone Friedman Rones. EJF Philanthropies aims to support effective organizations that are active in his core areas of interest: ensuring the continuity of the Jewish community in the Washington, D.C. region; saving the endangered cheetah; improving access to asthma treatment for children in underserved parts of Washington, D.C.; and supporting education for public school students in the District of Columbia.
Simone Friedman Rones serves as the Executive Director of the Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies. She holds a Master’s of Urban and Environmental Planning degree with a concentration in Policy Analysis from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from the George Washington University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1995. She is an alumna of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland.
Prior to her involvement with EJF Philanthropies, Simone founded and later sold Metrics Group, a company that analyzed innovation using proprietary software to identify trends in patenting. Clients included Fortune 500 companies, large research universities, government agencies, law firms, and major consulting firms.
Simone is currently a principal of an investment holding company. Her personal philanthropy is primarily administered through Odie’s Fund, a donor-advised fund she and her husband set up at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. Odie’s Fund focuses on saving the lives of blind dogs in the U.S. and preventing cruelty to dogs in other countries.
Simone serves on the Boards of Directors for Moishe House and GW Hillel and on the Advisory Boards for Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C. and the George Mason University Film and Visual Studies program in Fairfax, Virginia. She is also an Evaluator and member of the Audit Committee for the Slingshot Guide, which is a directory of the most innovative Jewish organizations in North America.