We are excited to announce that JF&CS has been selected to partner with 10 other local Jewish organizations in the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Life & Legacy™ program. Together with these other agencies, JF&CS will be working with the Life & Legacy™ program to establish a culture of legacy giving in Central Massachusetts.

Philanthropist Harold Grinspoon established Life & Legacy™, a national effort, six years ago. It launched in Western Massachusetts four years ago. The program assists Jewish communities in promoting after-lifetime giving to benefit local Jewish organizations. Life & Legacy™ asks the question, “Can Jewish communities be motivated to become proactive in encouraging widespread legacy giving?” It then provides the tools necessary for organizations to encourage and secure these gifts.

The program also provides the structure, training, mentoring, workshops, and even financial incentives to ensure success in building legacy giving into the philanthropic culture of Jewish organizations. Emphasizing collaboration, it works to create a united and strong Jewish community for the future.

Wayne Ushman, a member of the JF&CS Board of Directors and the JF&CS Finance Committee, facilitated the connection between Life & Legacy™ and JF&CS. A former JCC Worcester president, Ushman is well known in the Central Massachusetts Jewish community. He met with JF&CS CEO Rimma Zelfand as well as JF&CS Board president David Schechter, who immediately jumped at the chance to be a part of the program. Ushman explains:

I believe that the legacy program is a key support for the continued long-term viability of JF&CS. As a Board member of JF&CS, a nonprofit organization serving those in need, I am keenly aware of the necessity to raise funds for these services. The legacy program offers those who have supported JF&CS during their lifetime the opportunity to maintain their support of JF&CS long after they have passed on. A legacy gift also allows individuals and couples who have never donated before and/or are unsure of their future financial needs the opportunity to help provide for JF&CS at the end of their lifetimes by allocating a specific percentage of their final estate or any of its assets rather than a fixed dollar amount. Over time, as the legacy program matures, it is my hope and belief that these gifts will become an important source of long-term funding that will become a key component for providing for JF&CS’s next 150 years.

As of December 31, 2016, with 391 organizations participating in 36 communities throughout the US, Life & Legacy™ has helped its partners secure more than 12,550 legacy commitments with an estimated value of nearly half a billion dollars in future gifts to the Jewish community. With the addition of the Central Massachusetts cohort, along with six other new communities, the number of geographic communities partnering with the Life & Legacy™ program has risen to 43.

“The Harold Grinspoon Foundation is very excited to be working with JF&CS as part of our partnership with the Jewish Federation of Central MA to integrate legacy giving into the organization’s philanthropic culture,” says Arlene D. Schiff, National Director of Life & Legacy™. “The time is right. Implementing a legacy program now will make the most of the generational transfer of wealth, change the language and landscape of giving, and provide generous and forward thinking donors of JF&CS with the opportunity to further express their passion, purpose, and commitment to this wonderful organization that improves people’s lives.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with other Jewish organizations in this region as a collective group,” adds Deb Shrier, JF&CS Director of Community & Program Development. “Participating in Life & Legacy™ allows JF&CS the opportunity to join with others to ensure a vibrant Jewish future in Central Massachusetts.”

Agencies included in the Harold Grinspoon Foundation Life & Legacy™ program include JF&CS, Jewish Federation of Central Mass (Worcester), Beth Tikvah Synagogue (Westborough), Clark University Hillel (Worcester), Congregation Beth Israel (Worcester), Congregation B’nai Shalom (Westborough), Congregation Shaarai Torah West (Worcester), Jewish Healthcare Center (Worcester), Temple Emanuel Sinai (Worcester), Temple Israel (Athol), and the Worcester JCC (Worcester).

Originally posted on the JF&CS blog.

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