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The New Haven Jewish Community – Create a Jewish Legacy --Making its Mark | 06-Nov-2014

On Sunday, November 2, over 120 community members representing 20 synagogues and Jewish agencies gathered at the Omni Hotel to celebrate Create a Jewish Legacy New Haven’s success.  One year into the program, Create a Jewish Legacy New Haven exceeded its goal, and finished its first year with 176 Legacy commitments representing over 4 million dollars to our Jewish Community.

The purpose of the Create a Jewish Legacy initiative, funded equally by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, is to assist local synagogues and agencies to launch successful endowment and bequest campaigns.  The program provides funding, professional resources, training and mentoring to the participating organizations.  In addition, over the two year program, the 12 participating agencies will receive incentive grants totaling over $200,000. By building the current and future endowments for our community organizations, this program will help sustain vital programs, services and institutions that advance Jewish life in New Haven.

 Arlene Schiff, National Director of Life & Legacy at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation,  commented, “New Haven is one of the first four communities  nationally to exceed its Year one community legacy commitment goal and it was an honor to be able to attend the celebratory event to mark this achievement. The Harold Grinspoon Foundation looks forward to our continuing partnership and to fully integrating legacy giving into the philanthropic culture of the New Haven Jewish Community.“

Arlene Schiff explained, “Maintaining the vibrancy and strength of Jewish communities across the country continues to be a concern for those of us involved, whether professionally or as lay leaders.  We are addressing this issue and transforming Jewish communities, by ensuring that the variety of Jewish organizations that make up the fabric of our communities are financially stable and able to meet current and emerging needs, by securing current and after-lifetime commitments that will grow endowments. Additionally, the program provides an opportunity for our Jewish organizations to work cooperatively on behalf of the entire Jewish community and for their most loyal and committed donors to support these valued institutions at a level many never thought possible.”

The evening at the Omni featured Keynote speaker, Rabbi Steven Leder, senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Los Angeles, who spoke on the importance of imparting an ethical will to our children and grandchildren. Rabbi Leder addressed how we, as individuals and communities, can pass our values about giving and helping others to the next generation. He urged those in attendance to live now as the ancestors for which they wish to be remembered.  

For more information on the Create a Jewish Legacy program see www.jewishlegacynewhaven.org or contact Lisa Stanger, Esq., Director, Jewish Foundation of GNH, 203-387-2424, ext.  382, lstanger@jewishnewhaven.org

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