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October 23, 2020 1:38 pm

New Initiative Seeks to Secure Jewish Future Through Charitable Giving

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

An Israeli flag. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The non-profit initiative Jewish Future Pledge recently announced a new partnership with Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) that will help advance their shared commitment to secure a vibrant Jewish future and continue the Jewish value of giving, also known as tzedekah.

Jewish Future Pledge was created to inspire individuals and families to commit at least 50 percent of the charitable giving in their estate plan to Jewish and Israel-related causes. As part of the new collaboration, ten Jewish Federations across North America will engage in a two-year pilot program to help expand the reach of JFNA’s national affinity programs.

“The ripple effect of gifts secured decades ago is being felt in a profound way as this crisis unfolds,” said JFNA’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mark Wilf, in a statement. “Legacy gifts made today will have the ability to secure our community well into the future. That is why we are excited about partnering with the Jewish Future Pledge.”

According to the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, $6.3 trillion could be allocated to charity over the next 55 years, said a press release by Jewish Future Pledge, a worldwide movement that “seeks to leverage this wealth transfer to secure the financial future of the Jewish people by directing hundreds of billions of dollars toward Jewish and Israel-related causes.”

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The initiative added that the partnership “comes at a critical time for the Jewish community as two seismic forces are converging at the same time. The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has left the Jewish community more uncertain about its future than ever before and comes during the largest transfer of wealth in history.”

The Pledge was co-founded by philanthropist and business executive Michael Leven and entrepreneur Amy Holtz.

The initiative announced a similar collaboration with Morgan Stanley’s charitable giving vehicle, Morgan Stanley GIFT, in September.

Leven said at the time, “There is a historic opportunity to write the next chapter of the Jewish story. Jewish donors are estimated to transfer $1.26 trillion to charitable causes in the next 25 years, and Jewish Future Pledge hopes to direct half of that, or $630 billion, to Jewish causes. By acting now, we can ensure that more than $600 billion is set aside for Jewish causes as wealth is transferred from this generation to the next.

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