Dear BAS family,
I am writing this letter as I reflect on the season of giving. I have shared with you, the many types of gift giving I have come up with. Leaving an enduring legacy is something we all hope to do, in some form or another. When we join a congregation, we pledge our gifts of time and talents, faith and financial support. We offer service; worship participation, committee membership, annual pledges, social action work and more. All of these traditional gifts are wonderful expressions of faith and love, and are very much appreciated. All of these help to support the congregation in many ways. Helping the religious school, and contributing to ongoing educational opportunities for both young and senior members. The maintenance of our building, where we come together for weekly services, for the good times and the not so good times, for celebrations of life events, and so much more. Beth Am Shalom represents us; it’s our community, family, friends, it is a place of comfort, inspiration and lifelong learning.
However, these gifts are happening now. What about the future? Isn’t it our goal, our mission to fulfill these dreams beyond the here and now? Could we leave a legacy that would make a difference after we are gone?
Attached, you will find a document about gifting for the future. This document has been well thought out by our Investment/Financial Committee together with the team managing our Investment Portfolio.
Please take some time to go over all the options. Give the gift of a lifetime that will sustain for generations. L’Dor vador. From generation to generation.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Howard Crain or Dennis Newman, Chair and Co-Chair of our BAS Investment & Finance Committee, Yvette Atkins or the Temple Office.
I wish you all good health, peace and much happiness this year and many years to come.
It is my honor to serve you,
Strategies for thoughtful planning
Beth Am Shalom provides spiritual, educational and social programs for our members and the community. These programs are funded through generous gifts from individuals and businesses. The most common gifting strategies involve outright cash donations, however, there are other giving options that can have favorable benefits to our members as well as the congregation.
A popular way to create a charitable legacy is through your will. It’s simple, does not affect your current cash flow and allows you to maintain control of your assets.
You may direct a certain dollar amount or specified asset. You may do this by adding an amendment (i.e. a codicil) to your current will or incorporating the language in a new will.
You can also name Beth Am Shalom as a beneficiary on your IRA or life insurance policy.
All gifts matter, so no matter the level, your future gift will make a difference to our congregation.
Donations from your IRA
If you are age 70 ½ or over and have a Traditional IRA, there is a tax efficient way to gift. You are eligible to make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) – this allows you to make a distribution from an IRA directly to Beth Am Shalom without including that distribution in gross income on your taxes. Moreover, a QCD counts toward your required minimum distribution (RMD).
Donations of financial securities
Anyone can donate shares of publicly traded securities like stocks or mutual funds with an easy, cost-effective transfer. This strategy allows you to transfer ownership of appreciated securities rather than selling the security and paying taxes on the capital gains. So you may qualify for tax deduction, owe no taxes, and Beth Am Shalom receives the full value of the security.
Matching gift programs
Check with your employer to see if a matching gift program is available. More and more employers are matching charitable donations, and this is an easy way to increase your gift!
We encourage you to speak with your tax or financial professional on the best gift for your situation. If you have any questions, please reach out to Howard Crain or Dennis Newman, Chair and Co-Chair of our BAS Investment & Finance Committee.
Beth Am Shalom
Like most religious institutions, depends on your generosity to help keep it financially healthy. Even though your Temple is managed on a fiscally conservative basis, your dues and fees simply don’t fully cover our expenses. The Temple has many vehicles through which you can express your generosity; in times of sorrow, and just because you care. The following descriptions of our ongoing funds are designed to help you select the beneficiary of your choice.
• Yahrzeit Fund (Remembrance)
• Merrill Pollinger Scholarship Fund
• Choir Fund
• Religious School Fund
• General Fund
• Rabbi’s Fund
• Rabbi Stanley and Myra Yedwab Adult Academy of Judiasm
• Oneg Shabbat Fund
• Prayerbook Fund
• Honorial/Memorial (Tribute Fund)
• Social Action/Outreach
• Youth Group
• Memorial Plaque
• Tree of Life Leaf
• Leave a Legacy (Planned Giving)
• Tree Plaque
• Brick by Brick Paving a Pathway to the Future
• Jerusalem Stone Donor Wall
• Sanctuary Seats
• Trees In Israel
Good Deeds (“Mitzvah” or “Mitzvot”)
Jewish communities often pride themselves on tending to the temporary and chronic needs of their weaker (or temporarily weakened) members. Larger communities throughout history have often created voluntary organizations that undertook to fulfill one or another of these mitzvot, which fall into the category of gemilut hasadim, doing acts of lovingkindness. In the welcoming “host societies” of modernity, many Jews have turned the tradition of Jewish self-help outward as well, transforming it into a concern for social welfare and social justice for Jews and non-Jews alike.
Visiting the Sick (Bikkur holim):
Fulfilling this mitzvah involves tending to the spiritual needs of those who are ill as well as assuaging their physical ailments. Visits, prayers for healing, and other expressions of concern can help relieve the anguish and isolation felt by those who are ill. Traditional texts offer guidance on how to perform–but not overdo–this task.
Comforting Mourners (Nichum Avelim):
It is a major mitzvah to see to the burial of someone who dies, and communally healing the psychic wounds of death inflicted upon the mourners is the purpose of a highly elaborated set of rules and rituals. Jewish tradition mandates that one should provide mourners with their immediate needs (such as meals) and with unobtrusive companionship, interacting with them in a way that enables them to express their grief, whether in words or in silence.
Hospitality (Hakhnasat Orchim):
In the pre-modern world, without ubiquitous hotels and rapid transportation, wayfarers were often dependent on those whom they encountered en route. Jewish communities traditionally provided for Jews passing through their locales, whether they were indigent or simply in transit. These traditions of hospitality persist. Some rabbinic writings on law and ethics offer practical advice on how to be a low-impact, appreciative guest as well as how to be a gracious and generous host or hostess.
Jewish communal efforts on behalf of the poor extend beyond charitable giving (tzedakah) that reaches recipients in the form of money. People in need of food, shelter, or clothing are often provided with these directly, whether by individuals or by community institutions. Even more specialized needs, such as those of families marrying off a child, have often been provided for by Jews who took this on as their personal contribution to the needs of others.
The concept of “repairing the world”–the notion that the world itself is somehow disjointed, incomplete, and in need of reworking so that it will function as it was meant to function–has ancient roots, but it is primarily a product of certain schools of Kabbalah in the sixteenth century. Its fascinating history has culminated in a new, broader usage. Since the mid-20th century, it has come to be associated with social welfare efforts and even with a liberal agenda regarding social policy. Tikkun olam does not strictly fall into the category of gemilut hasadim, which usually refers to acts which help individuals rather than working towards larger societal change.