Life & Legacy Program takes root in Montreal

Less than eight months after having been selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) as its Montreal partner, the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) has announced that 15 community organizations have enrolled in its LIFE & LEGACY® program. The purpose of this initiative is to help synagogues, schools, social service organizations and other Jewish entities build endowments that will help ensure their long-term financial stability.

“Our partners in the LIFE & LEGACY® program represent an important part of the institutional fabric of Jewish Montreal,” explains JCF Executive Director Kathy Assayag. “Ensuring they have the financial security to continue as pillars of our community is critical to keeping Jewish Montreal connected and to the passing on of Jewish values to the next generation.

“Over the next several years,” she continues, “we will be supporting these community organizations as they have discussions with their most loyal donors, encouraging supporters to make a lasting impact on the organizations that have influenced them throughout their lives with an after-lifetime endowment gift. The JCF will be providing coaching and training and assisting donors in establishing legacy gifts in the most tax-effective ways. We are also offering incentive grants to participating organizations with a goal of ensuring that legacy giving becomes integrated in the philanthropic culture of our community.”

The first cohort of organizations participating in the program are:

Auberge Shalom pour femmes Les Écoles Azrieli Schools Talmud Torah |Herzliah
Beth Tikvah Congregation Shaar Hashomayim Congregation
Camp B’nai Brith of Montreal Shaare Zedek Congregation
Dorshei Emet Congregation Shaare Zion Congregation
École Akiva School Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA
Friendship Circle Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom
Hebrew Foundation School The Segal Centre for Performing Arts
Jewish Public Library

LIFE & LEGACY®, which was developed by the HGF, has a proven track record. In North America, over 600 participating organizations secured more than 25,000 legacy commitments with a total value of over $900 million (USD) during the program’s first seven years

Rabbi Fishman with Zev Mestel (Executive Director of Beth Zion Congregation) & Howard Zingboim (Beth Tikvah team member). 

“A key benefit of endowments,” notes Ms Assayag, “is that they create perpetual income streams that take some of the edge off year-to-year fund-raising pressures that all nonprofit organizations face. By working together, the organizations in the cohort will create synergies that will benefit the community as a whole, as well as secure their own futures. The experience of HGF, which reflects our own, is that a legacy commitment from an individual often results in endowment gifts to multiple organizations.”

The JCF is committing significant resources to running LIFE & LEGACY® locally for at least four years. Participating organizations will learn best practices for executing legacy plans and how to make compelling cases for legacy gifts by communicating the organizations’ raisons d’être and values and, most importantly, the long-term impacts of individual gifts.

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) creates opportunities to connect with Judaism and the Jewish community at key life moments. In addition to flagship programs that are active across North America and around the world, the HGF invests in Jewish life at home in Western Massachusetts. Everything the HGF does is in partnership. By leveraging philanthropy, the HGF encourages others to invest in Jewish life.

The JCF’s mission is to inspire, promote and innovate Jewish Philanthropy and our vision is to build a strong sustainable Montreal Jewish Community . Its commitment is:

  • To help individuals and families support the causes they care about and achieve their philanthropic goals;
  • To find solutions that are tax-wise and create greater impact;
  • To ensure Montreal and its organizations remain strong and vibrant by helping build and carefully steward financial resources.



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