We all want to make a difference.
All of us who care about Jewish life care about it for many reasons. We care because we have a deep and abiding connection to our Jewish community – at home, in Israel, and everywhere Jews gather. We care because the Jewish values of tzedakah and tikkun olam are moral imperatives to help the less fortunate, to be a voice for the voiceless, and to pursue justice. We treasure education and making learning opportunities available for all. We want to pass on our values, faith, traditions, and heritage to our children and grandchildren.
Ensuring that Jewish life thrives when today’s toddlers are tomorrow’s community elders is the foundation of the LIFE & LEGACY™ Program, which the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle operates in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Through LIFE & LEGACY, a cohort of 13 Puget Sound Jewish organizations is receiving tools, training, incentives, and motivation to build endowments through after-lifetime giving.
Collaborative by design, a key feature of the program is that the cohort organizations trade information and learn from each other, sharing knowledge, skills, and experience. Working together leverages the power of community to benefit the community in a critical way - one request for a legacy gift can result in legacy gift commitments to multiple organizations. We are all in this together.
How is LIFE & LEGACY working so far in the Puget Sound region? In the 10 months since the program launched, 150 new commitments to make after-lifetime gifts have been secured, with an estimated value of $3.5 million towards the endowments of organizations participating in LIFE & LEGACY. Many of us have already provided for one or many of our local Jewish organizations in our estate planning - be sure to let them know. Endowed giving provides Jewish organizations with assured resources critical during their planning and budgeting processes. These resources help to create perpetual revenue streams that take some of the pressure off annual fundraising needs.
The Federation is proud to run this important initiative. Our cohort participants and many other Jewish organizations are becoming stronger because of its success. LIFE & LEGACY is one of the many important ways the Jewish Federation is investing in sustaining our vibrant and thriving Jewish community today and for our children and their children…and their children. The difference that we all want to make is reflected in how we live our lives. This difference lives on, in part, through the legacy gifts that we make.