The Importance of Legacy Giving

The Importance of Legacy Giving



As members of Atlanta’s strong Jewish community, we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Today we see evidence of the vision, passion and dedication of generations before ours in the institutions, programs and values that keep our community thriving.

L’dor v’dor is one of the most fundamental tenants of Judaism. To continue this tradition and to ensure a strong Jewish community for generations to come, we too must create legacies for our children. How will we show the younger generation what we care about? How do we want to be remembered? While discussing our values and life lessons with our families and community members is a crucial component of passing along our legacies, it is equally important to demonstrate those values through tzedakah. Each of us has the opportunity to help our favorite agency, synagogue or community service exist in perpetuity. Gifts today and endowment gifts for the future can underwrite vital programs for the Jewish community in Greater Atlanta, in Israel, and around the world. Long after our lifetimes, families throughout the world will benefit from our generosity.

Itai D. Tsur

Securing a Jewish future is one of the most important actions we can take as concerned, committed Jews. Your legacy gift lasts far beyond your years because in a true endowment the principal is never spent, but rather invested, therefore earning income that is then spent to sustain the cause you have chosen to support in perpetuity. Your legacy can reflect everything that is most important and meaningful to you. The legacy planning process can engender heartfelt conversations with your family and build bonds with your partners in the community. Creating your legacy through a planned gift or endowment allows you to ensure that those who come after you know what you stood for.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is one of many Federations around the country to implement the Create a Jewish Legacy program (CJL), which seeks to build a vibrant Jewish community, now and in the future, through planned gifts and endowments. CJL promotes the message that all of us have the ability to make a difference for future Jewish generations. As the central address for Jewish Atlanta, Federation is the steward for this program on behalf of the community. Federation works with over 30 local partners – congregations, day schools, and other Jewish non-profits – to educate and empower them to ensure their organization’s future will be bright; we also encourage members of the Jewish community to include these organizations in their estate plans. Creating your Jewish legacy does not have to be complicated or expensive. The legacy planning process can save you money by reducing estate or income taxes, especially if you are about to sell a business or property. Here are some quick and easy ways to support our community:

Rachel Wasserman
  • Leave a percentage via a codicil to (or update of) your will.
  • Leave a percentage via a beneficiary designation on your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other corporate retirement plans.
  • Leave a percentage via a beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy.
  • Donate a cash value life insurance policy you no longer need.
  • Donate cash to cover the premiums on a new life insurance policy insuring you and naming your favorite non-profit organization as the owner and beneficiary.
  • Donate cash or appreciated stock, real estate or another business interest.
  • Leave a percentage of your Donor Advised Fund or family foundation.

Federation doesn’t know what the needs of tomorrow will bring, but we know there will always be a Jewish community in Atlanta, and it is our duty to support it both today and tomorrow. By including your favorite charities, day schools, and congregations in your estate plans, you can ensure that your support will exist forever.

Editor’s note: If you would like to include the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta or one of our CJL partners in your estate documents or as a beneficiary designation in your IRA, 401k or life insurance, please visit www. for suggested wording you can bring to your financial advisor. For more information, contact Rachel Wasserman at rwasserman@

Itai D. Tsur is Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Senior Endowment Counsel and Rachel Wasserman is the PG&E Manager of Special Projects at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

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