National Jewish Endowment Building Initiative Tops $1 Billion in Commitments

Barry and Karla Benson sign the Endowment Book of Life.

By Julie Diamond

In less than eight years, LIFE & LEGACY, an initiative of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, has motivated more than 17,000 donors in 63 communities across North America, including Oregon and SW Washington, to commit more than $1 billion in current and after-lifetime assets to Jewish organizations. What a fantastic milestone to celebrate, especially in these difficult times.

“We give to the organizations we care about during our lifetimes. What about when we’re gone? LIFE & LEGACY has helped me and so many others understand the vital importance of after-lifetime gifts and their tremendous impact on our community’s future,” says Barry Benson, Shaarie Torah Legacy Team member and past co-chair of the MJCC.

Harold Grinspoon with Arlene Schiff, Julie Diamond and Gail Mandel.

“Providing Jewish organizations with a strategy to help secure their long-term financial goals is absolutely vital, especially now in the middle of an economic crisis,” says Harold Grinspoon, HGF founder. “Supporting our Jewish institutions is critical to ensuring future generations are able to enjoy our rich culture and heritage.”

“The cooperation and collaboration fostered by LIFE & LEGACY as local organizations work to a shared goal of endowment building is especially critical now,” says Arlene D. Schiff, national director, LIFE & LEGACY. “Even in the midst of so much disruption and uncertainty, we are witnessing many generous and committed donors stepping up to give back to the Jewish organizations that have played and are playing an important role in their lives.”

To date, LIFE & LEGACY in Oregon and SW Washington, which began six years ago at Oregon Jewish Community Foundation with 10 local partner organizations, has motivated 552 donors to invest an estimated $28 million to ensure a vibrant Jewish future. This fall, OJCF welcomes another 9 partner organizations to a new phase of the program, providing them with training, support and incentive grants made possible by the OJCF Community Endowment Fund.

To learn how you can be part of securing the Jewish future of Oregon and SW Washington, call me or Tara Siegman, Director of Donor Relations and Development Officer, at OJCF, 503-248-9328. Also, visit to learn more.

COVID Relief Fund Update
For a summary of all grants made through the Jewish community COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, click here for the Jewish Review article. We are deeply grateful for the immense generosity of our fund holders and so many others in making this emergency relief available. A total of $814,100 has been distributed to 41 different Jewish organizations facing the impact of the global pandemic.

JFCS is here for you
If you need emergency financial assistance or crisis counseling, or know of someone who does, contact Jewish Family and Child Service, call 503.226.7079. JFCS is here for individuals in need.



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