Planned Giving & Endowments

Consider your personal legacy and take action

Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School has more than 3,000 alumni who lead purpose-driven lives and engage the world through Jewish values.

Consider your personal legacy and take action to leave a lasting impression at CESJDS. You can ensure a Jewish education that provides context for principles, cultural continuity, and spiritual reflection. The simplest way to provide for CESJDS is through a gift in your will or trust.

Lessans Challenge

As some of you may know, it’s been said about me that  “if an organization has a “J” in its name, Stu’s a supporter!”

So I wanted to explain what put JDS at the top of the list for my Planned Giving.

First of all, JDS’s mission, besides providing a terrific General and Jewish education, is “to ensure a vibrant Jewish future.” And that means a huge amount to me because Jewish Continuity is a key issue of mine.

Some demographers actually speak of the “evaporation of the American Jewish Community” and I’m hoping my legacy gift to JDS will help to prevent such a horror!

Also, a core value of JDS is the teaching of AHAVAT YISRAEL, Love of Israel which includes “An inextricable bond with the Jewish people – past, present, and future and a strong personal and ongoing relationship with Israel, its history, people, and culture”.  Our children will sorely need this to deal with rising antisemitism, polarization and hate, and to fight those who challenge Israel’s legitimacy as a nation and threaten its very existence.

I believe our JDS is so effective because of its superb leadership, with Rabbi Mitchel Malkus at the helm, its devoted faculty and staff, and the remarkable lay leadership and loyal and generous donors.

As a lot of you know, my claim to fame is that I’m almost 80 years old and blessed with 20 year old twins, Matthew & Faye, who attended JDS since kindergarten. They are now sophomores in the Scholars Program at the University of Maryland and are the recipients of Merit Scholarships. Matthew is PreMed (following in my footsteps) and Faye is PreLaw (following in the footsteps of my beloved father Samuel, of blessed memory).

They are both Straight “A” Dean’s List students. I attribute this nachas to the wonderful educational experience they had at JDS, for whichI’m eternally grateful. I’m hoping my legacy gift will help to ensure this vital JDS experience for generations to come.

In order to accomplish this, I am working with JDS to challenge our entire community to confirm 25 more planned gifts this special year, 2021, the year we defeat this horrid COVID-19 Pandemic!

There are many ways you can respond to the Lessans Challenge. You can provide for JDS in your will, trust, through a beneficiary designation in your IRA, or through a life insurance policy.

Thanks so much for your help to ensure a vibrant future for this incredible institution!

-Stu Lessans, MD, parent to Matthew and Faye '19

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Please contact Sharon S. Metro, Director of Development at (301) 692-4861 or for more information to discuss your philanthropic goals.