I’m not sure that many of you have ever zoomed in on the many different play-on-words blocks which are located on the Directory page in every issue of the Federation Star. Well, they are funny and clever, but they appear there for a reason. They are a subliminal message for you to consider leaving a bequest or planned gift to the Endowment Fund of our Jewish Federation of Collier County. It’s so important!
As a former Federation Endowment Director I know that many of your home communities are chasing you to consider making such a gift. And it’s important to our community as well. We’re a young community compared to so many others, but the need to provide for the future is just as important here as it is elsewhere. Endowments represent their donors’ vision for a bright future for Jews and our Jewish community. And they help perpetuate programs and activities near and dear to their philanthropic objectives – not to mention perpetuating their good name for generations to come.
I know a great deal about this. I recently completed a Lion of Judah Endowment Fund gift in my beloved wife Shereen’s memory, not only to help bolster our annual campaign each year but also to let her good name live on forever.
Endowment giving is not an easy process or for the faint of heart. It represents very serious thought, planning and caring about what is most important to you as a Jew. It’s a psychological process of the realization that we are all mortal and at one point in time will need to divvy up all that we have amassed during our lifetimes. Certainly family comes first. But after that, community hits high on the priority list.
The Endowment Fund of our Federation has recently topped the $1 million mark. I feel pretty confident that this fund is larger than all the local synagogue and organization endowment funds put together – but it simply scratches the surface when it comes to what is needed to plan for the future.
Whether you are reading this here or up north, and you have an opportunity to think about what I present to you, please know that your will or trust does not improve with age like fine wine. Life does change, and sometimes it changes very quickly. So think about planning a legacy for our community, where you enjoy the warmth and camaraderie of so many friends from all over the country. Contact your legal and tax professionals over the summer and write a bequest in your will or trust. It won’t change your present lifestyle at all, but it will give you the peace of mind knowing that you have planned for the good of many, including the tax burden on your estate to your family. And if you want to discuss this further, please give me a call at 239.263.4205.