Experts forecast that approximately $40 trillion will change generational hands over the next fifty years, making it the greatest transfer of wealth in history. Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School is looking to the future and keeping this in mind.
One way that organizations achieve long-term sustainability and take advantage of the tremendous wealth transfer that is beginning to take place, is through planned giving. A planned gift can be made in a variety of ways, and many of the options are simple to execute and can cost you nothing today.
I’ve been fortunate to serve as the Director of Development at JDS for almost ten years, and by far my favorite part of the job is hearing the stories of how the School changes lives, because I can personally relate. I hold this community close to my heart, both professionally, and through my own family’s experience. Sending my daughter, Madison Roll ‘13, to JDS for high school was the best decision her dad and I could have made for her. Her years in high school where she created meaningful relationships with her teachers and made life-long friends were transformational. She spent her teen years learning to be fair and respectful, caring and confident, curious and conscientious in her studies.
I hear the same stories of true friendship and hunger to learn when alumni tell me about their favorite teachers and the impact they had on their lives, and how their JDS friends are still their best friends - 30 and 40 years later. Today, parents of alumni share their stories of school celebrations (some which have become annual traditions that we still have today!) and find myself smiling from ear to ear with parents who tell me that their children LOVE to learn, and that JDS was the best decision they could have ever made for their child. I nod in knowing agreement.
I love hearing your stories. Sometimes these stories revolve around people telling me how they want to be remembered, or how they want to memorialize a loved one. Something that we often talk about is that you can take care of your family, and then dedicate even a small percentage of your estate, or an IRA, or life insurance policy, to make an end of life gift to JDS. So, if 95% of your retirement plan goes to your children, and you divide the remaining 5% between JDS and other charities you care about – your synagogue, local hospital or food bank – that amount can turn into a very substantial gift for those organizations in the future. I also have conversations with professional advisors (attorneys, CPAs, financial planners) in our community to help them help their clients provide a gift to these organizations in the most tax beneficial way.
I’ve made my own planned gift to JDS, for three reasons: 1) Madison’s and our family’s personal experience 2) I truly believe in the high quality general and Jewish education we provide and I see the benefit in our alumni who are leaders in industry, government, medicine, non-profit work, business, and in their communities worldwide, and who make Judaism and Jewish values primary in their lives. 3) My planned gift through my trust will likely be a much larger gift than what I could make during my lifetime. That gift will represent my story.
The Zitelman Planned Giving Challenge encourages us to obtain 25 planned gift commitments before June 30 and we plan to continue to meet that goal every year. When donors make these arrangements, they will become a member of the Bonim Society, which was created to celebrate those that make planned gifts and establish endowments. I hope your commitment will be one of them.
Will you tell me your story?
Sharon S. Metro