MILWAUKEE – During its first three years, the Create a Jewish Legacy program of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation raised about $17.9 million in future gifts.
“This created a strong basis for a broad-based, community wide local culture of legacy giving,” said Caren Goldberg, chief development officer for the Federation and executive director of the Foundation.
The Create a Jewish Legacy program operated locally for three years in partnership with the Massachusetts-based Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which provided incentives for goals met. Though the partnership with Grinspoon ended this year, the Create a Jewish Legacy program will continue.
A major goal of the Grinspoon partnership was to encourage a local cultural shift to legacy giving. The Jewish Community Foundation worked closely with 15 local partners including synagogues, day schools and agencies and will continue to do so moving forward, according to the Foundation.
The program obtains bequests from community members for the future of local Jewish organizations. Over the past three years, incentives and training helped local Jewish organizations connect with donors to arrange after-lifetime giving through wills, insurance and other methods.
“Since 1973, the Jewish Community Foundation has worked with donors to help create their Jewish legacies through planned gifts and endowments that make a long-term impact on the financial stability of our community,” Goldberg said. “Moving forward we’re expecting many more generous donors to sign legacy commitments as they create their Jewish legacies because the continued strength of our community is vitally important to them.”
Jody Kaufman Loewenstein and Stephen L. Chernof were among the volunteers deeply involved with the Create a Jewish Legacy program. Kaufman Loewenstein served as program chair while Chernof served as Jewish Community Foundation chair.