$17-million reasons to celebrate

by | Apr 5, 2019 | Uncategorized

Community gathers to celebrate second year of the LIFE & LEGACY™ program

Tidewater Jewish Foundation (TJF) honored its community partners and donors at the 2nd annual LIFE & LEGACY event on Monday, March 18. The evening celebrated the success of the philanthropic program that has so far, secured 450 new commitments and raised more than $17-million in future gifts for the local Jewish community.

More than 130 community leaders, volunteers, and donors gathered at the Simon Family JCC to celebrate. Guests enjoyed cocktails, a photo booth, and music by local band, Fretomology, and program leaders shared their LIFE & LEGACY stories.

Representatives from nine partner organizations gathered to share in each other’s successes, strengthen community connections, and reflect on the first two years of the program. Thanks to the strong leadership and volunteer efforts by these organizations, the LIFE & LEGACY program has transformed the philanthropic landscape in the Tidewater community.

Britt Simon says a Legacy gift means carrying on a long tradition of philanthropy and honors his late father, Marvin Simon. “By signing up to be a donor in life or have a promised endowment gift as your legacy, you will be creating a stronger future by investing in this community for a brighter tomorrow, just as my Dad did.”

A four-year partnership between TJF and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, LIFE & LEGACY provides the structure and support for Jewish communities to expand their planned giving and endowment programs.

TJF is the lead local partner selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to participate in the program. Tidewater is one of 58 communities across North America participating in the initiative. Since its inception just six years ago, these communities have secured more than 23,000 Legacy commitments, worth nearly $1 billion to strengthen Jewish futures.

Scott Kaplan, TJF president and CEO, worked with Harold Grinspoon more than 15 years ago. “Harold taught me that, ‘a rising tide raises all ships,’ and this is how our Jewish community, here in Tidewater, is working together to raise the collective tide of our agencies and synagogues,” Kaplan says.

One of the reasons this program is so successful is because it opens up the endowment process to anyone—regardless of wealth or age—to make a lasting impact and give a gift that will benefit their children, grandchildren, and future generations. The keynote speakers for the evening, Alyssa and Jonathan Muhlendorf said, “Endowment gifts allow our Jewish organizations to plan for the future because there is a guaranteed income of funds… it costs us just a few thousand dollars a year to guarantee the delivery of a ton of money in the future.”

“If you or a loved one wants to make a meaningful difference in the future of this community, the LIFE & LEGACY program can make that dream a reality,” says Kaplan.

As Britt Simon said, “It takes a village—spread the word to others to let them know how easy and rewarding it is to create your Jewish legacy today and strengthen our future tomorrow.”

For more information about participating in LIFE & LEGACY, contact Kaitlyn Oelsner at KOelsner@ujft.org or 757-965-6103.

Kaitlyn Oelsner