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A New Jewish Year Is a Good Time to Reflect on Our Community

In the latest "Money Matters" column published by the Jewish Community Foundation, Inc. in the September 7, 2022 issue of the Jewish Community Voice, we consider how we can ensure the vibrancy of the South Jersey Jewish community for many future generations through endowment funds.

The following is a reprint of the column:

As the High Holy Days approach, now is the perfect time to reflect on how our Jewish community has succeeded for so many generations, and to think about what it will take to maintain this success into the future. The Jewish Community Foundation, Inc. exists to help preserve our Jewish community, and we welcome you to join with hundreds of community members who continue to make this possible. The JCF manages a large portfolio of endowment funds which collectively provide over $1-million in annual community support, benefiting numerous important causes and countless individuals. Together, the JCF Board and staff work diligently to grow this dollar amount, and we encourage you to join in this ongoing mitzvah.

For some inspiration, enjoy several stories about how JCF endowment funds benefit our community:

First, we recognize Richard Goodwin (z”l), who recently passed away but who created a lasting legacy during his lifetime through multiple endowment contributions. One endowment fund that he launched perpetuated his gift to the Annual Campaign (JFund) of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey to ensure that the Federation continues its mission of helping our Jewish community. In addition, Goodwin felt strongly about the need to support the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Holocaust education programming; in fact, his name is enshrined in the Esther Raab Holocaust Museum & Goodwin Education Center.

Next, consider an endowment fund “trio” who provide annual income for boosting Jewish communal leadership: The Helen and Harry Pinsky Memorial Award for Outstanding Jewish Professional Leadership; the Schreibstein Award for Emerging Community Leadership; and the Gerald W. Gordon Leadership Development Endowment Fund. Coincidentally, each of these awards was established by donors who wanted to memorialize loved ones, and, in so doing, created legacies of helping local Jewish leaders to enhance their skills so that they, in turn, can enhance our Jewish community.

Another JCF fund created in memory of loved ones is the Samuel Aaron and Rose Siris Free Loan Endowment Fund, thanks to Fred Siris (z”l) in 1990 who memorialized his parents. This fund serves Jewish community members in need by providing no-interest loans to help people get back on their feet. Loanees can pay household bills or cover emergency expenses when these funds are needed most.

The JCF also works with multiple synagogues that started endowment funds to receive annual income for such initiatives as Jewish education (via Congregation B’nai Tikvah Beth Israel’s Morris and Vivian Neidenberg Jewish Education Endowment Fund), Israel travel (via Congregation Kol Ami’s Amy Silvers Israel Scholarship Endowment Fund), and reserve funds for emergency needs at various synagogues, including Congregation Beth Tikvah and Congregation B’nai Harim (in the Poconos). Generous donors and synagogue leaders have recognized the need to save for the future by utilizing endowment funds that will last for generations.

One final, venerable example of an endowment fund that benefits the community is the New Camden Cemetery Endowment Fund. Located at Mt. Ephraim and Ferry Avenues in Camden, where South Jersey’s Jewish community once thrived, the Jewish sections are home to over 1,100 burials. Over the course of many decades, scores of community members had the foresight to contribute to the fund, to pay for ongoing upkeep. The JCF oversees the grounds and could not do so without this endowment fund.

These endowment funds are each different, but they all have the same ultimate goal: To preserve the vibrancy of our Jewish community. Please contact me today at (856) 673-2571 or if you would like to join us in this noble pursuit.

From the entire Board and staff of the JCF, we wish you a happy, healthy, and sweet New Year.


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