I want to share a beautiful story about a recent bequest made to our Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation. I asked Brian Eglash, our Federation Chief Development Officer, who worked with the executors of the estate to share this act of tzedakah and appreciation.
Recently, we received a bequest from a man who arrived here from Poland as a teen. He and his parents, who had both survived the Holocaust, moved to Pittsburgh with very little to their names. The Jewish Federation’s partner agencies helped his family resettle, and when he reached working age, a Federation volunteer from our local National Young Leadership Cabinet helped him find his first and only job.
For decades, support from the Jewish Federation touched and enriched his life. He decided to express his gratitude by giving back to the community, leaving a legacy to Federation.
Because he did not have any immediate family, his former employers, who themselves are extraordinarily generous and passionate around the Jewish community, became the trustees of his estate. They facilitated establishing his wonderful bequest as a Legacy Fund, a permanent endowment to fund Jewish needs each year both here at home and in Israel, through our Jewish Federation’s Foundation.
This man started out in Pittsburgh with nothing. Through the Jewish Federation Foundation he will give back in perpetuity to the same Jewish community that helped him so much during his lifetime.
This gentleman’s bequest was far from being an amount of money that would capture headlines in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. However, it is a stunning illustration of generosity and appreciation to our community.
It demonstrates that we all can leave a legacy. As Brian writes above, Federation has launched an effort to encourage donors to endow their annual campaign support, calledLegacy Funds. There are many techniques and strategies to establish such funds – from a simple bequest, through the purchase of life insurance (where Federation can match the premiums), or using sophisticated planned giving tools (Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts and Annuities) to minimize taxes. Our expert staff is happy to help you find the best way to leave a lasting legacy for our amazing Pittsburgh Jewish community, a community that enriches all our lives.