Paying It Forward to Secure Our Jewish Future

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Our Puget Sound Jewish community is going through a growth spurt like we haven’t seen in a long time. People moving here from other parts of the country can find plenty of ways to connect and add their energy and passions to community life. Whatever avenues of Jewish experiences that people are looking for, there is a busy array of opportunities available.

Our vibrant Jewish life is a testament to the labors of people over the past century and more who dedicated a great deal of time and resources to creating connections, building institutions, and investing in services that our Jewish community has come to depend upon. The “infrastructure” of Jewish life that enriches our community today is the fruit of planning, foresight, generosity, and more than a little sweat equity that took place in the past.

We are so grateful to our forebears for what they did for our benefit. Now it’s our turn, to make those investments that will keep Jewish life vibrant and thriving for the generations who will follow us, l’dor v’dor. The necessity of this work is why the Federation is so excited about the LIFE & LEGACY™ program, now in its second year of helping a cohort of 13 Jewish organizations (including Federation) build endowments, which serve as a strong financial foundation for the Jewish programs and services that the community values. LIFE & LEGACY is a significant investment in community building the Federation is carrying out in partnership with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

The word “endowment” might bring to mind large-scale financial commitments that are beyond the resources of many. Not true! Anyone, whatever your means and capabilities, can be a part of building endowments that will secure our Jewish future. LIFE & LEGACY is providing the cohort organizations with tools and training to secure after-lifetime gifts from people who care deeply about the work and want to ensure their favorite Jewish organizations are serving community in perpetuity. Cohort members share information and learn from each other, a prime illustration that LIFE & LEGACY is a community building effort in which we work together for the benefit of all.

To date, LIFE & LEGACY has secured over $7.6 million in legacy gift commitments from 266 community members who have signed letters of intent. Many legacy donors have made commitments to two or more local Jewish organizations – another illustration of LIFE & LEGACY’s community building focus. If you are one of those donors, thank you! And if you’ve already made legacy gifts to organizations but haven’t told them, please let them know.

The future gifts left by generous donors are the seeds of a legacy that will benefit future generations in Jewish Puget Sound, just like the legacy left by those who came before us. As we approach the close of LIFE & LEGACY’s second year on June 30, we invite you to help ensure our Jewish future by making a legacy gift commitment to the organization of your choice. And, if you return your signed letter of intent by May 31, we’ll invite you to our Year 2 Legacy Celebration! Please join us in ensuring a strong, vibrant Jewish Puget Sound for years to come!