Life & Legacy a success for Montreal’s Jewish community

 Selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) as its Montreal partner for its LIFE & LEGACY® program, the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) is pleased to announce that over the course of its first year, 246 individuals or families have named one or more participating synagogues, schools, social service organizations and other Jewish organizations in their estate plans or other giving vehicle, for a total of over 330 promised gifts.

 “As a community, we take pride in the institutions we have built together and we are determined that they remain strong and vibrant for the next generation of Jewish Montrealers,” explains JCF Executive Director Kathy Assayag.

Added Joshua Rubin, philanthropic advisor at the JCF and lead professional for the program in Montreal: “It is clear that our LIFE & LEGACY® program has struck a positive chord across our community, which is why so many families are stepping up by making an after-lifetime endowment gift. He is grateful for the tremendous work put in by professionals and lay leaders alike and notes, “working together, the organizations in the cohort have created synergies that are benefitting the community as a whole. Many of the donors have chosen to make endowment gifts to multiple organizations, strengthening different pillars of our community”.

JCF’s partners in in the LIFE & LEGACY® program include: 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, Federation CJA,  Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA, Friendship Circle,Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, Hebrew Foundation School,  The Segal Centre for Performing Arts and Jewish Public Library.   

“Our partners represent an important part of the institutional fabric of Jewish Montreal and through this initiative we are taking important steps to ensure their long-term financial stability,” adds   Assayag.

The JCF provides partners with coaching and training and assists individual donors in establishing legacy gifts in the most tax-effective ways. Participating organizations learn best practices for executing legacy plans and how to make compelling cases for legacy gifts by communicating the organizations’ respective raisons-d’être and values and most importantly, the long-term impacts of individual gifts. The JCF is also offering incentive grants to participating organizations with a goal of ensuring that legacy giving becomes integrated in each of their philanthropic cultures.

“Fundraising has been challenging during the pandemic, particularly because special events, which are critical to many of our organizations, have had to be cancelled,” said Rubin. “ One of the advantages of endowments is that they create perpetual income streams that take some of the edge off year-to-year fund-raising pressures like we are all currently facing.”

LIFE & LEGACY®, which was developed by the HGF, has a proven track record. In North America, over 700 participating organizations secured more than 29,000 legacy commitments across 70 communities with a total value of over $1.1 billion (USD) during the program’s first eight years.

Harold Grinspoon

“In 1910, my great grandfather became a founding member of our YM-YWHA,”  said Rob Fainer, Vice-President of the Sylvan Adams YM-YWHA. “Without his generation’s commitment to our JCC, my story would be very different. Similarly, my pledge to the LIFE & LEGACY program crystallizes my commitment to this timeless institution and helps to secure its future for generations to come. From strength to strength! From generation to generation!”  

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 Jewish and innovate philanthropy and its vision is to build a strong and sustainable Montreal Jewish Community.  

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