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Create a Jewish Legacy New Haven Launched | 01-Dec-2012

Jewish Foundation Chosen for New Initiative

Create a Jewish Legacy New Haven Launched

On November 27th, the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven hosted an event to announce its selection for a Harold Grinspoon Foundation grant. The grant will enable formation of Create a Jewish Legacy New Haven, an important new initiative that will benefit the local Jewish community. In attendance at the announcement and information session were over 50 professional and lay leaders, representing 27 different Synagogues, Jewish agencies and organizations

Create a Jewish Legacy of Greater New Haven has a twofold mission. First, it will distribute over $300,000 in incentive grants to participating Jewish organizations and synagogues. Its second purpose is helping them secure their individual financial futures by launching their own endowment and bequest drives. The Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven was one of only five Jewish Foundations in the nation chosen for the grant.

The legacy program will be a joint effort funded and staffed by both the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven and the Grinspoon Foundation. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation was founded in 1993 in Springfield, Massachusetts. The organization is deeply committed to charitable giving, primarily in the Jewish world. Presenters at the launch event included Sue Kline of the Grinspoon Foundation, Gail Littman, Director of the San Diego Jewish Foundation and Lisa Stanger, Director of the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven.

Over the next 2 years, Gail, Sue and Lisa will also be working with Gary Geller, the Jewish Federation’s Chief Development Officer. Their goal is to make the effort as successful here as it has been in other regions, facilitating the creation of endowment and bequest campaigns by local organizations. Steve Glick, Jewish Foundation Chair, commented on the development. “We learned how successful this initiative has been nationally, realizing millions in new endowment and bequest commitments for synagogues and Jewish organizations.  We are very excited to have that opportunity here in New Haven.”

Sue Kline of Grinspoon reported that in San Diego, which launched the same initiative 9 years ago, 20 organizations have participated. The results have been spectacular. 900 donor families are involved, an estimated $211 million in bequest commitments made for San Diego Jewish organizations, and Israel, and $35 million in endowments have been realized. In Western Massachusetts, home of the Grinspoon Foundation, results have also been impressive. Since 2008, 17 participating organizations have received 693 legacy gifts for an estimated total of $17 million dollars.

A recent study by the Center on Philanthropy demonstrated the importance and timeliness of this undertaking. It found individuals aged 40 to 60 are more likely than older Americans to name a charity in their wills.  Furthermore, people who have named charities in their wills gave more than twice as much annually as those who had not made a bequest.  The study proves generational transfer does not automatically nourish organizations with resources.  Without a concerted effort to generate planned gifts, 90% of donor mortality results in lost giving.   

“We are grateful to the Grinspoon Foundation for choosing the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven for this grant and initiative.  We were established as an endowment partner and resource for our synagogues and Jewish organizations and this provides us with the opportunity to take the assistance we provide to a whole new level,” stated Lisa Stanger.

For more information, contact: Lisa Stanger, Esq., Director, Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, 203-387-2424, ext. 382,
lstanger@jewishnewhaven.org, or Gary Geller, CDO, Jewish Federation of GNH, ggeller@jewishnewhaven.org; 203-387-2424.

The following organizations were represented at the 11/27 kick-off: Tower One/Tower East, Temple Emanuel, Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel, Westville Synagogue, Congregation Bikur Cholim Shevath Achim, Temple Beth David, Congregation Kol Ami, Congregation B’nai Jacob, Congregation Sinai, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Congregation Mishkan Israel, Temple Beth Tikvah, Temple Beth Sholom, Congregation Sinai, Camp Laurelwood, JCC, Jewish Family Service, Ezra Academy, Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy, Jewish High School of Connecticut, Jewish Historical Society, Orchard Street Shul, UCONN Hillel, Jewish Cemetery Association of GNH, Jewish Community Relations Council, Congregation Lubavitch, Yeshivah Gedolah

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