Your Story Can Secure Our Jewish Future

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
Every legacy donor has an inspiring story to tell. When donors tell their stories and invite others to make legacy gifts, they amplify their impact and take a big step toward ensuring the future of Jewish life. 

Sharing stories is one of the secrets of the success of the LIFE & LEGACY® initiative, through which the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle partnered with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and worked with a cohort of 13 participating organizations to help them build legacy giving programs and a culture of philanthropy in the process.

LIFE & LEGACY’s new Each One Reach One campaign is an opportunity for all legacy donors to share their stories, and in so doing, further ensure the financial security of the Jewish organizations they cherish. There are many amazing stories waiting to be told, given how well the LIFE & LEGACY cohort has taken the importance of legacy giving to heart—an estimated $13.8 million in future gifts from 515 legacy gift commitments.

It is truly inspiring how lay leaders and communal professionals integrated legacy giving into their philanthropic cultures, turning aspirations into achievements that future generations can count on. 

One such story is Temple Beth Or’s LIFE & LEGACY journey. Beth Or is one of our region’s smaller congregations, but from day one, TBO understood the value of LIFE & LEGACY and dedicated time and energy to building a legacy giving program. TBO established a Legacy Committee, attended LIFE & LEGACY trainings held by Federation and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, shared learnings with cohort peers throughout Jewish Puget Sound, and educated congregation members about the importance of legacy giving for the shul’s future.

To ensure continuity, the committee wrote an all-encompassing plan that infuses legacy giving into everything the congregation does to sustain itself now and for years to come.

Temple Beth Or has taken the milestone step of making an initial deposit into an endowment fund with the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Seattle. An endowment is the gift that keeps on giving, as it generates income in perpetuity. As their fund grows, it will serve to ensure TBO’s future in the regional spectrum of Jewish life.

As Harold Dash, chair of TBO’s Legacy Committee puts it, “We are proud that we have 58 members as participants in LIFE & LEGACY. LIFE & LEGACY has been instrumental in creating a spirit of legacy giving at Temple Beth Or.”

Each of the donors who has embraced the spirit of legacy giving has a wonderful story to tell and an opportunity to make an even greater impact. The future of Jewish life is ours to make. We will be sharing more about Each One Reach One in the months ahead, so stay tuned!