Yom Chamishi, 11 Iyyar 5778

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It is with great pride and excitement that the Board of Trustees announces that Berith Sholom has been selected to participate in the Harold Grinspoon Life and Legacy program jointly administered with our own Jewish Federation of Northeast New York. Sixteen Jewish organizations applied, and only ten were selected. It's an honor!

Our Life and Legacy Team


(Photo credit: David Kassover)

(l to r) Beth Hershenhart, Sandi Costello, David Kassover,  
Jayne Architzel, Jo Katz, Susie Rosenberg,
Josh Sabo, Rabbi Debora Gordon.

Missing from photo: Bob Green &  Margaret Harvey. 


The Life and Legacy program will provide training for our team in how to create a vibrant endowment campaign, how to be responsible stewards of our resources for a stable future, and how to grow and honor our donors. One of the most exciting things we've learned already is that one need only have a love for Berith Sholom, not a fortune, to participate in this gift of stability and growth for our future.

The Grinspoon Foundation will also provide incentive grants for us as we meet our pledge goals: up to $7500 a year in each of the first two years in unrestricted funds. Your Life and Legacy Team believes wholeheartedly in the generosity and commitment of our community. We are aiming for 100% participation in this venture. We may be one of the smallest organizations participating but we have the biggest ruach (spirit) and lev (heart) and we can do it!
Stay tuned for more information as the project gets underway. If you have any questions, feel free to ask any of the Legacy Team members for more information. Let's get growing!


Presentation to the Board of Trustees by Susie Rosenberg, April 11, 2018

Securing Our Future - LIFE & LEGACY™ - Assuring Jewish Tomorrows


What is Life & Legacy™?

A partnership incentive grant program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Northeast New York.  Its Purpose is to provide support and resources to Jewish organizations looking to secure endowments through legacy gifts


Life & Legacy works through regional Jewish Federations.  The Jewish Federation of Northeastern NY is in the seventh cohort.  Sixteen organizations applied. Ten, including Congregation Berith Sholom, were selected.

Benefits & Responsibilities

Financial Match – Unrestricted cash

  • 18 Confirmed Letters of Intent in Year 1: $5000
  • 18 Confirmed Letters of Intent in Year 2: $5000
  • 18 Finalizations in Year 3: $2500
  • 18 Finalizations in Year 4: $2500


  • Teams attend 4 group training sessions per year at Federation
  • Each Team attends 4 team training sessions per year (Individual teams)
  • Role specific training is available, e.g. for the Team Recorder

Introduction of the Congregation Berith Sholom Life & Legacy Team

What this means to us

  • We currently have a structural budgetary deficit of approximately $100,000 per year.
  • We have been making up for this deficit through:
    • Certain time-limited external sources (i.e. Marinsky Trust)
    • Unexpected large gifts (e.g. The Pakulas, a few bequests)
    • Rare successful fundraising events
    • Drawing on reserves (i.e. Marinsky Estate including the Investment Fund)

This is Not Sustainable!  What can we do about it?

A Two-Pronged Approach:

  • Near term and ongoing: Examine our fixed and variable expenses, making what reasonable economies we can
  • Longer term: Build towards Full Endowment

A Full Endowment is one that enables the organization to meet its budgetary deficiencies and operating shortfalls through earnings, without invading principal.

Full Endowment at Congregation Berith Sholom = $3 Million earning 4% / year, on average.

Some Good News

  • We have $1 Million in hand now.
  • We are partnering with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to encourage a culture of philanthropy, and to help us secure legacy gifts.

Opportunities for Giving

  • You do not have to have great wealth to make a legacy gift, just a Great Heart
  • Our goal is 100 % Participation
  • Every gift counts
  • Each gift should be meaningful to the giver.

Some Ways to Make A Legacy Gift

  • Designate a beneficiary of Life Insurance or Annuity
  • Designate a beneficiary of IRA
  • Make a bequest in a will (e.g. amount, or percentage of residual estate)
  • Establish a charitable remainder trust
  • Give real estate
  • Give appreciated stock

Where do we go from here?

Please be open-minded and open-hearted. It is important to have 100% Board participation. Every gift counts.

Donor Recognition Activities

  • Thank you notes and small gifts
  • Frequent contact
  • Donor recognition Shabbat
  • Kick-off event around June or July 2018
  • Tu b’Shvat Seder in 2019
  • Donor recognition Gala Dinner around beginning of Year 3 (March 2020)