B’nai Tzedek Program Update

Former B’nai Tzedek member, Ethan Hassenfeld, recently converted his B’nai Tzedek fund into a donor advised fund and looks forward to watching it grow through the years.

There is a remarkable amount of enthusiasm for philanthropy among Jewish teens and young adults in Nashville. For the past forty years, the B’nai Tzedek Program has given local teens the opportunity to explore what it means to be a Jewish philanthropic leader. The B'nai Tzedek Fund teaches young adults how to manage a fund and prioritize giving back to their Jewish Community.


Beginning at age 13, B’nai Tzedek members can create their own fund into which they can make annual donations with the goal of reaching a full Donor Advised fund of $5,000 by the age of 33. Initial donations are matched by gifts from the Feldman/Hassenfeld Fund for the B’nai Tzedek Program housed at the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville. Events are led by teen board members who also choose two organizations for an annual group gift using money gathered from individual funds. This year’s B’nai Tzedek board members include: Sydney Johnson, Batya Coleman, Micah Rosenbloom, Amari Schneider, Celia Wiston, Max Lapidus, Lilly Lapidus, and Carson Pounds. They selected Second Harvest and Jewish Family Service as the organizations B’nai Tzedek will give back to this year.

Katie Shmerling Wayne recently converted her B’nai Tzedek fund into a donor advised fund and hopes to inspire her children to do the same

Reaching the $5,000 mark by the age of 33 may seem like a challenge, but whether a B’nai Tzedek participant decides to give daily, weekly, monthly, or annually to their B’nai Tzedek Fund, it is possible to reach that number. The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville is proud to feature Ethan Hassenfeld and Katie Shmerling Wayne as B’nai Tzedek success stories. They have both made the decision to continue giving back by turning their B’nai Tzedek Fund into a Donor Advised Fund. Ethan Hassenfeld says, “It is important for me to continue the giving that has been instilled in me. So now that I'm rolling out of the B'nai Tzedek fund and into a Donor Advised Fund, I am looking forward to continuing a similar process and seeing this new fund grow through the years.”


Katie learned to appreciate the importance of supporting her Jewish Community from a young age thanks to her family and the B’nai Tzedek program. Katie and her husband Adam are excited to help pave the path for philanthropy for their two daughters, “We believe in the importance of Tzedekah and giving back. We hope that this fund will inspire our daughters to continue this tradition and learn the same one day as B’nai Tzedeks themselves”.


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