Dear Rabbi Forman,
During the 4th Annual LIFE & LEGACY Celebration, it was announced that 25 percent of our Or Chadash congregation have made legacy commitments. You turned to me and said, “You must be very proud of this accomplishment.” As the Chairperson, I certainly am proud but it could never have happened without your foresight. About four years ago you asked me to initiate a legacy program. While Or Chadash had been in existence for close to 25 years, we had no endowment funds to provide long-term financial security and sustainability.
I knew nothing about initiating a legacy program but as a congregant since Or Chadash was formed in 1988, I heeded the call. The synagogue has been a special place for our family. As an interfaith couple, we were welcomed with open arms. Both Kathryn and I felt very comfortable there. Now that our children are raising their own little ones, my connection to the synagogue has only deepened. It is especially gratifying to know that my grandchildren are receiving an outstanding Jewish education at Or Chadash.
I want to preserve a Jewish presence in Hunterdon County for them and for all Jewish children. I recall jumping into this project, researching legacy giving and learning how difficult it was to implement. I became apprehensive but then, like a miracle, I discovered LIFE & LEGACY. I can still hear Executive Director Julie Meyers’ voice when I called the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer to explore the possibility of joining their program. She said, “Harvey, this is your lucky day.”
Yes, we have been lucky indeed. We have benefited beyond our expectations from LIFE & LEGACY, with its step-by-step process within a network of other Jewish organizations. The structure, support, coaching and incentive grants all helped us to secure legacy commitments. Within just three years we have 25 percent of our congregation committed. It’s time to plan for the next 25 percent.
I want to thank you, Rabbi, as well as our legacy committee, the Board, the JCFGM and most importantly the many individuals at Or Chadash who share your vision and have made a Promise.
With much appreciation,