Renewing our Life & Legacy Program
When Moshe asked me to write up an article about our community’s Life & Legacy program, I was more than happy to oblige. As a refresher for those familiar, and a quick introduction for those who are not, the Life & Legacy program is a partnership of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), the Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley, Sinai Synagogue, Temple Beth-El and South Bend Hebrew Day School that began in 2016. The program promotes after-lifetime giving to benefit all of Jewish Michiana. Through training, support and past monetary incentives, Life & Legacy’s job is to motivate Jewish organizations to integrate legacy giving into their philanthropic culture to assure Jewish tomorrows.
Nationally, philanthropic advisors back in 2016, observed that for Jewish organizations like the Federation and Synagogues, if at least 20% of your operating budget is not coming from your endowment by 2025, then your organization will be in fiscal crisis. With the more recent Pew Research Center study on Jewish Americans in 2020, we have learned that those estimates from 2016 were very conservative to say the least. The importance of initiatives, like Life & Legacy, has only increased.
So, what are the goals of Life & Legacy? In simplest terms those goals are to cultivate a culture of legacy giving, to foster camaraderie and respect among our Jewish organizations, and to give generous and forward-thinking members of our community an opportunity to express their passion, purpose, and commitment to the future of the community’s most valued Jewish organizations.
If you are reading this, one way or another your life is rooted in Jewish experiences connecting you to our Jewish community. Chances are you already support the Federation and/or your synagogue, in addition to your support of other Jewish and secular charitable organizations like the Michiana Jewish Historical Society or our local Jewish cemeteries. But have you included all these organizations in your will or estate plan? By leaving a legacy, you can be assured that the traditions and institutions that mean so much to you today will exist for future generations.
By making a legacy commitment you can convey your commitment to being Jewish, express values instilled in you by your parents and grandparents, perpetuate the Jewish traditions you cherish and preserve the programs and organizations that support Jewish life.
In previous generations, making legacy gifts was thought of as something done if you were older and extremely wealthy, but the truth is all of us, regardless of age, wealth, or affiliation, can leave a legacy. Your legacy gift of any size can be customized and structured to fit your dreams, lifestyle, family, and financial needs. You can provide support for a particular organization or area of interest. Leaving a legacy is simple and there are many options that can fit anyone. Please contact Moshe Kruger for more information.
“Wealth may last a lifetime. A legacy of good deeds lasts forever.”