2019-01-02 / Voice at the Shore

Four LIFE & LEGACY teams and all donors to be honored at upcoming reception

On January 9, four LIFE & LEGACY teams and donors who have made legacy commitments will be honored at a cocktail reception at Beth Israel. The four teams represent Beth Israel, Shirat Hayam, Seashore Gardens Living Center, and Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties. These teams have distinguished themselves by surpassing the LIFE & LEGACY Program’s first-year goal of obtaining 18 legacy commitments four months ahead of schedule, said program coordinator Samantha Hammond.

Created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the LIFE & LEGACY Program seeks to create endowments for local Jewish organizations to assure the future of the local Jewish community. The endowments are created from legacy commitments made by community members who pledge to leave after-lifetime gifts to Jewish organizations they care about through their wills, trusts, retirement accounts, or life insurance policies.

“It’s really a gift that lives on beyond you. It’s an extremely important gift,” said Hammond.

Said Kirk Wisemayer, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties and part of his organization’s LIFE & LEGACY team, “Donors we’ve spoken to have been very receptive about leaving an after-lifetime gift. They want to play a part in building the future. To me, that’s very gratifying.”

Donors to be honored at the Jan. 9 cocktail reception include everyone who has made an after-lifetime commitment to any of the ten organizations participating in the LIFE & LEGACY program locally. In addition to the four honorees, these organizations include Avoda, Beron Jewish Older Adult Services, the Board of Jewish Education, JCC, JFS, and the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem Counties.

Thus far, the ten organizations participating in the program have obtained 148 legacy commitments, representing gifts amounting to roughly $6.2 million. According to Hammond, 180 legacy commitments are needed by Feb. 28 to fulfill the LIFE & LEGACY Program’s first-year requirements.

Each organization participating in LIFE & LEGACY has a goal of obtaining 18 legacy commitments during the program’s first year. Beth Israel, Shirat Hayam and Seashore Gardens will all receive incentive grants of $7,500 for meeting this goal, as will the other organizations that meet this goal by February 28. Organizations that obtain 25 commitments by that date get a $10,000 incentive grant for this year. The exception is Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties, which oversees and funds the program, and therefore does not receive incentive grants.

Wisemayer counts the first year of LIFE & LEGACY as a success already. In addition to generating funds to be used for endowments, “the program has been a great experience in community dynamics and learning the philanthropic visions of donors.”

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