The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Wednesday, June 19, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Halfway There - Life & Legacy

Halfway There 

By Norma Shirk 


We are halfway through another year of the LIFE & LEGACY™ program and it has been a wonderful year so far. This year, we added two new participating organizations, the Jewish Middle School, and Kehilla High School. There are now 14 participating organizations in our community working to ensure the future of Jewish Nashville.  


On October 26, the L&L program hosted “Telling Our Stories,” a closer look at the treasures in the Jewish Archives housed at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. Ms. Valeriya Eadler talked about her project creating a digital record of the documents in the Archives. Eadler is a graduate student at MTSU. The next phase of the project will involve organizing the scanned documents into a searchable, online database so that scholars, historians, genealogists, and family members can research the history of Jewish Nashville.   


On December 6, I appeared as a panelist on the program, “Powerhouse Communities: Best Practices From the Best,” hosted by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer New Jersey.  Our community was featured based on the recommendation of Arlene Schiff, currently the interim national director for the L&L program at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Other panelists were from Cincinnati and Charleston.  


Still to come this year is our annual celebration, honoring all the LIFE & LEGACY™ donors in our community. This year’s event will be held on February 27, before the program featuring Aleeza ben Shalom, the Jewish Matchmaker, well-known from her Netflix series, and a resident of our partnership region, Hadera-Eiron. 


The LIFE & LEGACY™ program was created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to support Jewish organizations across North America through partnerships with local Jewish Federations and Foundations to promote after-lifetime giving. After-lifetime giving allows donors to use their money during the donor’s lifetime while arranging to leave a gift to the organizations of their choice later.      


The Nashville Jewish community joined the program in 2017. In the past seven and a half years, our community has received 842 letters of intent with an estimated total value of $25.6 million, of which 73% have been formalized. Formalization is the step where donors legally confirm their promised gift by adding a codicil to a will or adding the organization as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or a retirement plan.  The participating organizations have already received $895,867 from donors.   


As we move into our eighth year, it is important to remember that the LIFE & LEGACY™ program is about preserving Jewish Nashville for generations to come. It depends on individuals stepping up to volunteer their time and expertise to help the organizations they value. If you would like more information about becoming a donor or a team volunteer, please contact a participating organization or the Jewish Federation staff for assistance. 

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