Sustaining Our Future...Stories Of Legacy Gifts

LIFE Winter 2016-17 Historical PictureSeveral years ago, CJE SeniorLife was selected to participate in Create A Jewish Legacy, a JUF program designed to train organizations in the area of legacy giving to help ensure the sustainability of the Jewish community for years to come. After launching, we reached out to all our Board members (current and past) and asked them to mark their legacy by including CJE in their wills. The personal stories that accompanied members’ responses were inspiring. We’d like to share one of them.

Marc Berman, a long time CJE Board member, lost both of his parents within a span of a decade. His parents, Ruth and Leo Berman, had a history with CJE, having lived at Gidwitz Place, something Marc wanted them to do from the moment he knew they needed to move to the Chicago area from their home in the Bronx.

His parents’ stay at Gidwitz Place was a good one. They were happy, made a number of friends…even sat at the same table for all their meals. After Leo passed away at 92, Marc’s mom branched out—other residents joined her table for meals, and she kept herself busy with activities and attending services on Friday night and Saturday. Marc was thrilled by her transformation.

After Ruth passed at the age of 99, Marc knew that leaving two legacy gifts to CJE in the name of Ruth Berman and Leo Berman was the best way to honor them and all they did for him and the Jewish community. This would support the work of CJE, greatly helping its mission. “I want to make sure there are organizations like CJE around for years to come to take care of the seniors in our community,” said Berman. With his designation of a legacy gift, he has certainly done that.

To find out how you can become part of CJE’s Create A Jewish Legacy program, please contact Allyson Marks Greenfield at 773.508.1130 or

LIFE Winter 2016-17 Historical pictue of Marc Berman, CJE Board Member and Legacy Donor “CJE has to continue to be here for the community for decades to come. I am leaving a legacy gift for others to have the same experiences as my parents. This gift will hopefully provide and guarantee continuity for CJE, and that’s important for the people they serve.”
—Marc Berman, CJE Board Member and Legacy Donor