Generation to Generation Circle: Legacy Giving
“I did not find the world desolate when I entered it, and as my ancestors planted for me, so I plant for my children.”
— Talmud Ta’anit 23a
Become a Member of Temple Shalom’s Generation to Generation Circle
Your legacy gift will strengthen the foundations of Temple Shalom, through its Endowment Fund honoring Rabbi Emeritus Bruce E. Kahn. This foundation will be part of your legacy, and provide the support for our beloved community to continue to thrive for generations to come.
Today make Temple Shalom’s foundation part of your legacy for tomorrow.
The future of the Jewish people depends on the strength, vitality and relevance of our synagogues. More than 60 years ago, our 39 founding families imagined a future in which Temple Shalom would stand as a pillar of openness, strong connections, and learning, comfort and care.
In that same tradition, today we are called upon to ensure that the foundation they built remains enduring for the next 60 years and beyond.
Your legacy gift will:
- Continue your support of the values and causes for which Temple Shalom stands.
- Leave the world a better place and make a difference: tikkun olam.
- Ensure that future generations can experience this wonderful spiritual home.
Please explore the why’s and how’s to join the many Temple Shalom members who are already members of the Generation to Generation Circle.
Then, contact Rachel Miller at ten.molahselpmet@noitareneGotnoitareneG to have a private conversation about how your personal legacy can be combined to support Temple Shalom from Generation to Generation.
If you have already included Temple Shalom in your legacy planning, let us know by completing our Gift Intention form.
This vision behind the Generation to Generation Circle is reflected in Rabbi Rachel Ackerman’s 2019 Yom Kippur Sermon in which taught us that Yom Kippur:
- Reminds us of our limited time on this earth.
- Reminds us that we are temporary visitors.
- Encourages us, with this knowledge, to recalibrate ourselves and make sure we are living our best lives.
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold of our world, a group of Temple members—inspired by Rabbi Ackerman’s words and their own longstanding commitment to securing Temple Shalom’s future—came together to create the Generation to Generation Circle.
During our first Covid-19 pandemic virtual annual meeting, Rachel Miller powerfully and personally explained why she and Walter chose to include Temple Shalom in their legacy planning and invited others to join:
The Generation to Generation Circle is an expression of love for our community by its members.
Temple Shalom created the Generation to Generation Circle to honor all who have included Temple Shalom in their estate plans and to encourage the entire congregation to think of Temple Shalom as part of their legacy. Circle membership does not depend on the size of the gift. We want every member to join.
We will be recognizing publicly (with permission) those who have already joined and invite new members to share in their own words their reasons for joining. These testimonials will inspire more to become members. As a member, you will be invited to come together periodically to reflect on your vision for the future and love of this community.
Why Have Many Others Already Joined?
Explore the personal words of our growing group of Circle members to understand why they have enthusiastically answered the call to make Temple Shalom part of their legacy.
Pearl and I began including a contribution to Temple Shalom in our wills several decades ago before there was a Legacy group. We did that because Temple Shalom has been such an important part of our lives.
When we moved from New York to Maryland in 1973 we had only a couple of friends here. That changed rapidly when we joined Temple Shalom that same year. Since I was very busy with my newly-formed law firm and frequently out of town I had no opportunity to make new friends. But Pearl became very engaged in Sisterhood, which then had a number of programs requiring active volunteers. For example, Sisterhood then catered celebratory events, such as b’nai mitzvahs in the Social Hall, and needed cooks and servers. And Pearl (along with Ellie Shyman) published the Temple’s annual directory of members, which involved soliciting donations from local businesses in the form of ads and, in pre-computer times, actually preparing and pasting together pages containing both ads and names. As a result Pearl made numerous Sisterhood friends, many of whom remain our good friends to this day. Members invited us to a dine-around group of couples and then to Winetasters, which still persists. And we were among the founders of Renaissance which is a constant source of pleasant events.
I did not become active at Temple Shalom until I retired in 1996. But I then served on the Board for 8 years, first as Financial Secretary, then as Vice-President. I became active in Brotherhood and served as President for 4 years. I am now finishing another term on the Board and am pleased to have initiated a very vibrant weekly public events discussion group, News & Views. These various activities provided me with many new friends.
When we moved here our two daughters, Caryn and Nina, had already held their bat mitzvahs, but they continued their religious education at Temple Shalom through confirmation and post-confirmation and made many friends. After college graduation Nina served in the Peace Corps in the Central African Republic, then taught disabled children in local public schools. When, unfortunately, she passed away prematurely, Rabbi Bruce Kahn delivered a eulogy in the packed sanctuary that we will always remember. In view of Nina’s love of children when the sanctuary was renovated we contributed to the addition of the “quiet room” which is named in her memory.
Thus our lives would have been very different if we had not joined a temple with such a friendly and active membership. We are hopeful that our contributions will enable Temple Shalom to continue to provide a warm and friendly environment for future members.
We joined Temple Shalom in 1978. Our daughter Michelle was in first grade and our son Howard was in preschool. We were looking for a Temple that would meet our educational and spiritual needs. Neither of us grew up in Reform Judaism, and we were not familiar with all of its beliefs and rituals. However, we knew we did not want to join an Orthodox or Conservative synagogue, and we wanted to be part of a community whose beliefs were compatible with our own. We talked to a number of our friends, some of whom belonged to Temple Shalom, and they convinced us to try it. We did and were impressed with the warmth and friendliness we found there. Our children loved the Religious School and were happy to go each week.
After several years, we decided to become more involved. I (Harvey) joined Brotherhood and Fran joined Sisterhood. I soon became President of Brotherhood and joined the Temple Board as Brotherhood representative. Fran got involved with Sisterhood activities. We both were involved in a number of Temple functions, such as the Purim Carnival. We met more members and were asked to join the Wine Tasters, to which we still belong. We also were invited to join a Chavurah with a number of couples around our age. More than 25 years later, we still belong to that group who have become our closest friends.
I continued to be a Board member after my two years as Brotherhood President. I served for more than 20 years as Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Vice President, President and Past President. I continued to attend Brotherhood meetings and functions and pushed for the reestablishment of the end-of-year picnic for the Religious School. Fran became involved with helping Bar and Bat Mitzvah families as a Coordinator, eventually becoming Chair of that group. Our children went through Religious School all the way to Confirmation and Post-Confirmation.
In 2010, I was asked to again join the Board as Executive Vice President with the expectation of becoming President for a second time. (I am the only person to do this in our Temple’s history.) I was pleased to do this to help the Temple in a difficult situation.
The Temple has always been there for us for life cycle events. Both of our children celebrated their B’nai Mitzvahs at Temple and my daughter was married there and subsequently had a ceremony to renew her vows. The Temple provided a great deal of support when we lost parents and when we have had medical issues. We were part of a group of friends that jointly celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at services with a beautiful ceremony led by Rabbi Ackerman and Cantorial Soloist Emily Meyer.
Because the Temple means so much to us, I provided a bequest to the Temple when we redid our Wills in 2005. I subsequently increased that bequest and may choose to further increase it. We feel strongly that we should provide support for the Temple that will continue after we are no longer around. We encourage all of you to join us in that effort so that this wonderful Temple will continue to be a blessing for our community.
We plan to leave a legacy gift to Temple Shalom in our will. Temple Shalom has added immeasurably to the things we value most—family, friendships, and making our world better. Our children were named, confirmed and married, our loved ones buried, and our Temple Shalom community never let us down. We had opportunities to have relationships with people who have similar values, people we admire and people we trust. We were given the opportunity to volunteer for leadership roles, striving always to act in the best interests of all involved with kindness, and we know that whatever time is given, is paid back tenfold with the community. This is our chance to tell others how grateful we are to have had this community, and to help keep it alive for the next generation.
Toby and I have included in our wills a bequest to Temple Shalom. It is so easy to do! It is such a good and productive thing to do! It is a me’chi’yah! It strengthens our congregational family beyond our physical time on Earth.
Each of us wants our legacy to be a blessing. In the Babylonian Talmud, Ta’a’nit p. 23a, we read that the great leader Honi was walking along the road when he saw a man planting a carob tree, a tree prized for its edible pods and ornamental value. Honi asked the man how long it will take for the tree to bear fruit. The man answered: “70 years.” Honi inquired “How do you expect to benefit from this tree?” The man was pleased to respond. Joyfully the man pointed out the carob trees that already existed in the field where he was now planting. He said, “Just as my predecessors planted for me, so am I planting for those who come after me.”
For decades Toby and I have sought to be a blessing to Shalom, to strengthen and nourish our congregational family even as it strengthened and nourished us. So there is not the slightest doubt that we want the families of Shalom to continue to be blessed by us into the future. It literally delights and humbles us to know our bequest, combined with yours, will help strengthen and nourish Shalom families for generations to come. L’dor v’dor! We give our profound thanks that it will be so and that it is so very easy to do.
In gratitude for fifty-five years (so far!) of a wonderful, caring community. Weddings, b’nai mitzvahs, confirmations, baby namings for four generations of the Kalin Family! My husband Stanley was president and it has been my honor to serve in many capacities through the years—vice president, committee chairs, Board member, Sisterhood president. I’ve studied, learned, and grown. I have received so much and now is my chance to give back. It is important to me that Temple Shalom thrives. L’dor v’dor!
A year or so ago a friend asked me to accompany her to a presentation about including a nonprofit that she is involved with in her will. I went as a favor to her, not really thinking about what kind of impact it might have on my estate planning. But what I heard there got me thinking. Is there an organization in my life that I would like to include in my will? The answer was a resounding YES!
Over the last 10 or so years Temple Shalom has become a more and more important part of my life - in fact it is central to my life in many ways. So it only makes sense to me that I would want to do all that I can to support this vital organization, even after I am gone. So when I redid my will last year I included Temple Shalom - but not in the way that I had anticipated. My estate attorney recommended that, rather than putting a dollar amount in my will, I should add Temple Shalom as a beneficiary in my IRA. That means that as my estate fluctuates I have more control of the amount that will go to the temple, and I don't need an attorney to make changes in the future.
If Temple Shalom is important to you, I strongly encourage you to consider including it in your will or estate plan as well. If you would like to talk about how I came to my decision or how I implemented it, I am happy to get together (virtually at least for now) to discuss it.
We moved to Northwest Washington in December 1992. As Spring 1993 arrived, our thoughts became “more Jewish.” Since our marriage 30 years prior to that year, we had always been members of a synagogue, initially Conservative shuls in Tampa, FL and Alexandria, VA and then a Reform congregation in Rockville Centre, NY, because of Reform’s acceptance of women as religious equals to men and its dedication to social action causes resonated with us.
Here in DC, when we investigated nearby synagogues, our steps led us to Temple Shalom and Rabbi Bruce Kahn, now our Rabbi Emeritus. Early on, Rabbi Kahn and the Temple leadership got us involved in committee work which ultimately led us to elected Trustee and Officer positions. Through this work we met and bonded with fellow Temple members that have become much loved acquaintances and friends.
Involvement in the Temple’s management brought us to the understanding that for Judaism to survive in an increasingly secular United States – synagogue and church memberships have been in decline for decades – supporting religious institutions and their programs is essential. That has two components: The brick-and-mortar aspect and the programs and activities. Both involve money and money means supporting short term costs (yearly operations) and long-term costs (future needs in the form of endowment funds).
For those of us, who are “closer to the end than the beginning” and have been fortunate enough to amass enough to cover our needs and those of our offspring, we are in a position to allocate funds to Jewish survival in our community and that means remembering Temple Shalom in our wills. Judy and I have done so—specifically requesting The Temple Shalom Bruce E. Kahn Endowment. We encourage you to look ahead to join us in making Temple Shalom a part of your estate planning.
We had previously made capital donations to Temple Shalom, naming the Executive Director's office, dedicating the breastplate on a Torah, sponsoring events, and others.
With our children's approval and encouragement, we each made a legacy donation to the institution that gave us not only a career, but also a sense of satisfaction and purpose. Jack's is at Children's Hospital, mine (Karen’s) at Temple Shalom. In working as Executive Director, I felt that many days had something to laugh about, some days had someone to cry with, and every day I felt that I'd had a chance to help someone, make a difference in a Jewish life.
I was honored to serve so many roles at Temple Shalom - starting as a room parent, then Board member, editor of the Shofar newsletter, chair of Building and Grounds, Vice President, President and Executive Director.
I want to leave a legacy gift at Temple Shalom to help ensure that there will be a warm and safe place for Jewish children to learn about and further their connection to their Judaism into the future.
I wanted to be part of the ‘Generation to Generation’ effort because I have been a member, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, and in many other ways closely connected to Temple Shalom for roughly 40 years. Our daughters each had their Bat Mitzvah at Temple, my husband learned about Judaism and enjoyed celebrating with us, and now our little grandson is beginning to learn about the holidays. In addition, I have enjoyed working on membership development and advertising, leading Temple’s support of several URJ Biennial gatherings, adding a bit to the Tikkun Olam work, and of course, sipping with the Wine Tasters.
My religious journey did not start with my brother’s Bar Mitzvah many years ago, but rather when I was a senior in high school in Puerto Rico. We belonged to the Conservative Shaare Zedeck Synagogue, which, being the only Synagogue in the area at that time, was actually a mixture of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform traditions. As many members were recent arrivals from Cuba, the services were in a combination of English, Spanish and Hebrew. I taught Sunday school to the toddler crowd, trying, with somewhat limited success, to have them remember the basics about the major Jewish holidays. Now, many years later, after marrying and having children of my own, I am proud to say that my daughter was very active in Hillel at college and that both girls are continuing to honor and enjoy our Jewish heritage and tradition in their homes.
It is wonderful to be able to assist in enabling Temple Shalom to go forward. On a personal level, Temple Shalom has been a strong source of spiritual comfort, religious celebrations and friendships for me. Also, Temple Shalom has helped me stay connected and positive during this very difficult year.
For us to be able to explain why we included Temple Shalom in our will, we need to start at the beginning of our Temple membership.
In 2007 Rachel took a job at the NIH that she decided was important and where she felt that she could make a difference. This was done with the understanding that I (Walter) was closing in on retirement and she wanted to continue her career. For more than two years we commuted back and forth between New York and Bethesda. I had my own CPA practice, and I needed time to transition my clients to a new firm. In September 2009, I retired and officially moved to Maryland.
That year we started looking for a Temple that we would be comfortable with because in Great Neck, NY, we were both very active in our Temple. Once we found Temple Shalom, we knew it was the Temple for us, and when we went to the High Holiday Service, we were greeted by an usher that walked us to seats near the front and proceeded to introduce us to all of the congregants that were sitting near us. We were immediately welcomed and felt like this is where we belong.
Shortly after the Holidays I sat with Susan Zemsky to discuss how I could volunteer. I learned that they were experiencing problems in the bookkeeping area and I was available to help install a new bookkeeping system. Then we joined the Renaissance Planning committee, which gave us exposure to other members of the Temple. About the same time, I received a call from Brotherhood welcoming me to join and became a regular at their planning meetings. Shortly after we were invited to join The Silver Spring Chavurah and The Wine Tasters Chavurah. In our first few years, we managed to recreate the social environment that we had in our Great Neck community.
Both Rachel and I served for several years on the Board of Trustees of Temple Shalom. Our active Temple life let two strangers from New York find friends and a spiritual community that have become a very important part of our lives. We want to do our share by supporting the Temple as best we can so that it will be available for future congregants to find the same blessings our Temple life has given to us.
Rachel has a few words to say as well: “Yes, the Temple has provided us with a community with similar values and interests. But it has been more than that. For me it means everything that we have a Jewish community that cares about the bigger world as well as our own members, that stands up for what is right, that shares kindnesses and caring, that does everything possible to make our lives better and broader. We are both so grateful to know that we can help to make it possible to continue such a Jewish institution.”
I’m so pleased to remember Temple Shalom as part of my legacy. It was a no-brainer for me to include Temple in my estate plans when I updated my will and other documents several months ago.
I joined Temple in 1982 with my two then-elementary school aged children and as time passed we celebrated all their life cycle ceremonies all the way through post-confirmation at Temple. My family has a long-time connection to Temple Shalom for sure.
For me, in particular, Temple’s diversity, inclusiveness, and strong interest in the pursuit of social justice has always strongly resonated. So much of what Temple Shalom stands for is in sync with my personal values. I want very much to help support the religious, educational, and social aspects of Temple Shalom in the future so they can be perpetuated for future generations.
In addition, strongly coming into play is that both of my kids fell in love with and married wonderful spouses who are not Jewish – each of my four grandchildren are blends of two religions. I know Temple Shalom, as a Reform congregation, will always welcome them with open arms into the Jewish community. Above all else, this means the world to me.
Check back soon to hear why Leslie and Mike have included Temple Shalom in their estate plans.
How to Join?
Setting up a legacy gift to benefit Temple Shalom is exceptionally simple. No lawyer needed. No expenses to you. No reason to wait another day to make sure you have taken care of this small part of your legacy.
The simplest way to make a legacy gift is to add Temple Shalom as a beneficiary to a retirement fund (IRA, 401(k), etc.), bank account, life insurance policy, annuity, donor advised fund, or other similar accounts. Simply contact your account manager to update the relevant form. All it takes is a few minutes. There is no cost to you. And no lawyer is needed. You can:
- Name Temple Shalom as a secondary beneficiary to both your and your spouse’s accounts so all funds first go to the surviving spouse and then a portion to Temple Shalom once you are both gone.
- Set a percentage of the balance or a fixed dollar amount, although a percentage is usually better as the value in the fund and of a fixed dollar amount will be different and have different meaning years down the road.
- You can cap a percentage with a dollar amount (e.g., 1%, capped at $5,000; 10%, capped at $250,000).
- You can just as easily modify your gift whenever you want as your circumstances evolve.
As Rabbi Ackerman taught at Yom Kippur in 2019, everyone should have a will and other estate planning documents. You can name Temple Shalom when you set up (or update) your Will or Living Trust. Remember that it is best practice to review all of your estate documents at least every decade and always after any major life event to ensure they reflect your current wishes.
That answer is simple: whatever works for you. No amount is too small. (Nor is any amount too large.) Everyone has a place in building the legacy of Temple Shalom. As noted above, often, it is easiest to designate a percentage of your estate or relevant account. That way the amount adjusts as your financial position changes, while a fixed amount may seem too little or too much down the road.
All gifts to Temple Shalom will be invested and utilized under the policies established by the Temple’s Board of Trustees. The goal of the Generation to Generation Circle is to combine your legacy gift with those of others to create a strong foundation on which Temple Shalom will continue to grow. Temple Shalom’s Endowment Fund, which honors Rabbi Emeritus Bruce E. Kahn, is currently the default destination for legacy gifts, absent other instructions from the donor or Board of Trustees.
Temple’s Tax ID Number
You can use the following information in making Temple Shalom a beneficiary:
EIN/tax ID number: 52-0729006
8401 Grubb Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Consult Your Advisers
As with all personal financial decisions, it is best to consult your trusted lawyer, tax, and financial advisers before making decisions regarding a planned gift or other charitable donation. The information provided on this page is for general information only.
Contact Rachel Miller at ten.molahselpmet@noitareneGotnoitareneG for a private discussion about your legacy. If you have already included Temple Shalom in your planning, please let us know so that we can include you in the Generation to Generation Circle.