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LIFE & LEGACY is a four-year partnership program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation The LIFE & LEGACY logothat assists communities across North America to promote after-lifetime giving to endowments to benefit local Jewish day schools, synagogues, social service organizations and other Jewish entities. Temple Beth Emeth is a part of this unique alliance with ten additional organizations in the Ann Arbor Jewish community. 

LIFE & LEGACY: Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are endowments important? Philanthropic advisors state: If 20% of your operating budget is not coming from your endowments by 2030, then your organization will be in fiscal crisis. $1 million in our endowments would generate approximately $50,000 to our operating budget. 

2. What is the difference between endowments and expendable funds?

  • LIFE & LEGACY gifts are earmarked for TBE’s L’Dor V’Dor Endowment. This fund is invested with the Jewish Community Foundation of Ann Arbor. Each year a percentage, typically 5%, is drawn out to offset TBE operating expenses. The principal remains untouched to grow over time. Income earned over 5% is re-invested in the fund.
  • Expendable funds, like the Rabbi and Cantor’s discretionary funds and the Members Helping Members fund, are used to support expenses that are not allocated in the budget. The dollars in these funds are not invested and are available immediately to cover expenses.

3. What are some of the ways I can make a legacy gift to TBE?

  • Gift (bequest) in will or trust
  • Percentage of retirement account – 401(k) or IRA
  • Percentage of life insurance policy
  • A legacy gift costs nothing now yet gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have provided for Temple Beth Emeth in the future.

4. What are the next steps?

  • Think about what TBE means to you and how you can ensure our financial stability in the future.
  • Talk with your financial advisor and/or attorney about the best way for you to make a legacy gift.
  • Complete the Letter of Intent form (below) and return to Shannon Hall at the TBE office: 2309 Packard Street, Ann Arbor 48104

Letter of Intent Form

Download the LIFE & LEGACY Letter of Intent Form HERE.

Confirmation of Gift Form

Download the LIFE & LEGACY Confirmation of Gift Form HERE.

LIFE & LEGACY Program Overview

LIFE & LEGACY: Susan Harris (z"l)

Susan Harris, a longtime member of TBE, passed away on March 6, 2022. Prior to her death she submitted a LIFE & LEGACY Letter of Intent (LOI) with a bequest to TBE in her will. The bequest has been realized and invested in the L’Dor V’Dor Endowment Fund. The distributions from this fund are used to offset operating expenses.

Susan was an only child who grew up in a secular Jewish household. She joined TBE in 2000 and went on one of  Rabbi Levy’s trips to Israel. According to Bobbi Heilveil, who spoke at her funeral, “TBE embraced her, accepted her for who she was and became her extended family, as well as her spiritual home.” Susan was a regular attendee at Friday night services, served on the Pulpit Committee, and for many years organized the lay-led summer services.

Susan Harris inspired Susan Gitterman to join the Pulpit Committee. She recalls, “For many years we collaborated on a lay-led summer service; Susan leading the services and my husband David and I leading the music. When I learned that Susan was in hospice, I visited her nearly every week. Because she loved TBE services, David and I once brought a laptop to her so she could attend services virtually. Susan was not fully conscious at the time, but a number of times she surprised us by joining in the singing with us!”

Susan also celebrated Jewish holidays at the homes of congregants. This is what Deb Katz remembers:  “Susan was a frequent participant in our family Passover seders. She would often bring a dish to share or a small gift. One year she brought a long pink scarf. Susan fit right in at our lively seder table, jumping right in with witty quips and banter!”

Susan’s LIFE & LEGACY bequest is an example of how anyone can make an after-lifetime gift with a Letter of Intent. This can be done in a will or trust, a retirement account, life insurance policy, or other giving options. A legacy gift costs nothing now yet gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have provided for TBE in the future.

Susan’s TBE friends contributed to the purchase of a memorial plaque for the TBE Chapel. It will light up every year on her Yahrzeit - another way that Susan will be remembered by her TBE family. May her memory be for a blessing. 

Donor List

Anonymous (6)
Axelrood (z"l)
Laurie and Jeff Barnett
Jesse Bernstein

Jack Billi and Sheryl Hirsch
Charles (z"l) and Irene Butter

Harriet & Gary Charson
Ronald and Stephanie Chervin
Alan and Bette Cotzin

Sheila Deskins
Ann S. Epstein
Annette Frank Fisch
Susan R. Fisher
Judith and Paul Freedman
Bruce Friedman and Hillary Murt
James and Trina Fuller
Nanette Gill

Terri Ginsburg & Jeffrey Spoon
David and Susan Lockett Gitterman
Rachel Lipson Glick
Ed and Mona Goldman
Hillary Handwerger, z”l
Ken Handwerger

Rebecca and Fred Hankin
Margaret and David Hannon
Susan Harris, z”l
Cantor Regina and Mr. Avishay Hayut
Bobbi and David Heilveil
Ralph Katz and Deborah Scott Katz
Marc L. Kessler
Mark Kolins and Maria Abrahamsen
Ted and Wendy Lawrence
Judie and Jerry Lax

Donald and Julia Levitt
Arthur and Karen Lindenberg

Robin and Rod Little
Marty and Kathy Ludington
Nancy and Phil (z"l) Margolis
Betsy Yvonne Mark
Jack and Cathy Marshall
Ed Stein and Pat McCune
Jerry and Emily Miller
Newell and Myrna (z"l) Miller
Bruce and Gayle Moyer
Sharon and Chuck Newman
Marylen S. Oberman, Ph. D.
Mark and Susan Orringer
William and JoAnn Parkus

Edwin and Susan Pear
Ruth Schumacher Petit
Robin and Joe Pollak
Sue Rauschl and Elaine Yeglic
Mali Resnik
Steve and Kathy Rhodes
Cantor Annie Rose
Howard and Lisa Saulles
Ronnie L. Shapiro

Miriam Shaw
Rhonda and Stuart Simon
Arthur and Elizabeth Solomon
Eva E. Taylor, z”l
Fredda Unangst
Laura A. Wallace
Martha Weintraub & Peter Smith

Rabbi Josh and Sarah Whinston 

*z”l is an abbreviation for a zichronah livracha
which means of blessed memory.

Sat, July 13 2024 7 Tammuz 5784