An Enduring Legacy

by Carole Klein-Alexander

L’dor V’dor, from generation to generation. Jewish liturgy teaches that it is our mission as a community to pass along our traditions from one generation to the next. How we interpret and actualize this commandment can mean something different to everyone. Is it talking about the Holocaust to our grandchildren so we never forget? Is it celebrating Passover and telling the story about our ancestors’ exodus out of slavery? Whenever we share these stories that illuminate our values, we are embracing the “possibilities” of the next generation, hoping that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, understand and pass them along too... from generation to generation. But the process is not automatic or inevitable. We need to make it happen.

The soul of a great organization can be found within the people who nurture and sustain it.
One way to “make it happen” is through an endowment gift to CJE SeniorLife. By creating a legacy that perpetuates your ideals, you can ensure that seniors who depend upon CJE have life-sustaining services such as food, transportation and personal care—now and in the future. As the boomer population is turning 65, the elderly Jewish population is also growing exponentially in metropolitan Chicago and CJE wants to make sure it does not have to turn away those in need.

Recently, CJE SeniorLife was chosen as one of 15 organizations to participate in Create Your Jewish Legacy, a new program to help local organizations obtain legacy gifts. Funded by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, an anonymous foundation, and managed by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Create Your Jewish Legacy will safeguard CJE’s ability to help our community’s elders.

How We Will Meet the Challenge!
If CJE obtains a minimum of 18 new legacy gifts per year (over a 2-year period), CJE will qualify for a $10,000 (per year) incentive grant! In addition, our development staff are given the opportunity to attend special professional educational training sessions on how to secure, structure and manage endowment gifts that will provide a steady stream of income to CJE for years to come.  

Ken Lorch , CJE’s Endowment Chair, was elated to know that CJE was chosen to participate in this wonderful opportunity: “There are simple steps to take to ensure the future of CJE. These include adding CJE as a beneficiary of an existing IRA or 401(k), naming CJE in a bequest of a specific dollar amount or percentage through your will or trust, or investing in a charitable gift annuity. Your attorney or financial advisor can help you implement this generous act.” The important thing to remember is that while annual contributions are used for current needs, endowments keep giving forever; their funds generate income for immediate and continuing use, while the principal remains intact.

Alan Greene , CJE Development Chair, knows first-hand the importance of making certain CJE is around forever to help our community’s seniors. “My parents lived at CJE’s Gidwitz Place for Assisted Living (part of the Weinberg Community) for years. Their lives were enriched, and my wife, my children and I benefitted from knowing they were receiving excellent and compassionate care. I am proud to share that I signed a Declaration of Intent years ago, because I know... and I want my children and grandchildren to know... that it is important to ensure the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of our seniors.

And that is what CJE does for seniors in our community.” Whether your gift-giving goal is to make this world a better place, acknowledge your respect for the elder generation, or make your name a living blessing, CJE can help you meet your objectives. By choosing to create a charitable legacy, your commitment will strengthen the Jewish community long into the future and “make your story happen” for generations to come.

Please call Allyson Marks Greenfield, CJE Development Director, at 773.508.1130 for additional information on how to Create Your Jewish Legacy.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of LIFE, CJE SeniorLife's quarterly magazine.