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Expanding Inclusion is My Calling. Atlanta Jewish Foundation Helps Make It Happen

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation, CARING, COMMUNITY

By Michelle Simon
Atlanta Jewish Foundation Operations Committee

After our middle son Kyle was born, we quickly discovered that he had differing abilities. They were not always visible to others, but it was clear to us that Kyle had unique challenges. We were fortunate to intervene early and provide him with the supportive services he needed along the way. Today at age 24, Kyle has just landed a new job where he is highly valued by his co-workers. Though he lives at home, he is quite independent, and is the heart of our family.

I became a community advocate for people with disabilities not simply for Kyle, but because so many others in our community didn’t have access to these resources. It was tragic to me that they could not access the social skills support, occupational and speech therapy, and inclusion opportunities Kyle had. There are roughly 28,000 families in our Jewish community with disability needs. I try to be a cheerleader for all of them.

Today, I’m thrilled to report that things are changing for the better in Atlanta. The Jewish community is making inclusion a priority. This year, the Jewish Abilities Alliance (JAA) is one of the Targeted Philanthropy options for Federation’s 2022 Community Campaign, enabling you to direct your gift to disability needs. As a member of the Atlanta Jewish Foundation Operations Committee and Advisory Committee, I’ve urged many friends and community members to join me in using donor-advised funds and legacy gift planning as tools. It’s an effective way to ensure that your philanthropic vision for inclusion will impact generations to come.

The Jewish Abilities Alliance has completed a community-wide disabilities needs assessment. I believe it will be a game-changer. Funded by Federation and several passionate donors, the JAA survey is the basis of a strategic plan to implement the most promising recommendations. Armed with research-based data, we have a blueprint for action. Knowing where there are gaps, we are ready to identify potential partnerships and collaborations and invest in filling as many as we can.

JAA is working alongside community partners to prioritize and implement recommendations from the community study, some of which include: Inclusion of people with disabilities in committees and decision-making processes; An inclusion certification process for Jewish communal organizations; Support for an inclusive trip to Israel; Expanded inclusion training for camps, and for all Jewish educators and synagogue professionals. Ultimately, JAA collaborates with all our community service agencies to create a seamless path of support for families and individuals across the lifespan.

Now, with additional funds we can do more of everything – the possibilities are endless and necessary! Having served on Federation’s Innovation Advisory Committee, I helped bring Innovation’s micro-grant practices to JAA. This year JAA awarded more than $19,000 in mini-grants to support local inclusion projects. These grants have funded things like an automatic door at a synagogue, sensory equipment for classrooms, and accessible shuttle services at community events.

Atlanta Jewish Foundation’s fundholders granted out close to $40 million to support our community last year, some of which supported disabilities.

I take a strategic approach to philanthropy and tikkun olam (repairing the world.) I’m not just about Kyle. I’m about the whole community. This is my calling in life, to focus on disability needs and inclusion, and to discover people’s talents and priorities. We have incredible people here who want Atlanta to be the most welcoming and inclusive community. Together, I know we can do it.

The Power of Storytelling in Legacy Giving

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation

What will your philanthropic legacy be? Will it improve the world? Will it support the community institutions you care about? Will it sustain your family? Will it express the values you want to be remembered for?  

Atlanta Jewish Foundation believes that your legacy can do all those things, and we are honored to help you shape it. 

Through a new LIFE & LEGACY® campaign, called Each One Reach One, Atlanta Jewish Foundation is partnering with the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to potentially double the number of donors in our community-wide legacy giving initiative. The new effort encourages committed legacy donors to share their stories and motivations for leaving a legacy.  

Have you shared your stories with your kids and grandkids? We’re big believers in the power of storytelling to inspire philanthropy, so we’re pleased to share these stories from fundholders Stephanie Abes and Avery Kastin, attesting to the power of legacy giving to secure the Jewish future. Read them and contact Rachel Rosner to initiate a conversation about a LIFE & LEGACY gift. 

LIFE & LEGACY donor Stephanie Abes said, “It was the right time in my life to help spark and steer conversations with my peers about leaving a legacy gift to our community. As I’ve progressed in my commitments as a Jewish woman, I can see that all I’ve worked for over the years leads to this. There are so many motivations to support LIFE & LEGACY. When I see the outstanding education my grandchildren enjoyed in our Jewish day schools, and as I watch my grown children step up and serve on the boards of our backbone agencies, I want all these organizations to be strong and sustainable going forward. It’s up to me and my family to ensure that these Jewish institutions continue for future generations.” 

Stephanie shared a story she heard about a woman with modest assets. “The woman wanted to support her synagogue’s future but didn’t think she had the means. She realized that her small condo was a possible resource, so she checked in with her kids to ask if, upon her death, making that asset a legacy gift was OK with them. Her children let her know that they’d be fine if she did it.” 

“Stories like that give me the tools to open up conversations with friends about making a legacy gift. I tell them, ‘I’m not your financial planner, but through Atlanta Jewish Foundation, you can get the advice you need.’ They can help you look at your assets and determine what makes sense for you.” 

Avery Kastin told us, “Legacy giving resonates with me, it’s a genius idea. The moment I heard about the LIFE & LEGACY opportunity and about the Jewish Future Pledge, I began to understand the potential impact on our community. I wanted to make Federation the recipient of my gifts because it’s where I’ve focused so much of my time over the years — first as chair of Federation’s Young Adult division, as a Federation board member, and as chair of the Business & Professionals’ division of Campaign and the new Journeys Allocation Committee.”    

To encourage donors, organizations, and our community to participate, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation is offering $300,000 in national incentives. To learn more, visit atlantajewishfoundation.org or contact LIFE & LEGACY Coordinator Rachel Rosner. 

Structuring a Named Gift

By Aging, Atlanta Jewish Foundation, LIFE & LEGACY

Have you ever made a donation or tribute gift in honor of a friend or a loved one — perhaps to celebrate a milestone birthday, a professional accomplishment, or to commemorate someone who passed away? Philanthropic gifts like this are incredibly satisfying, both for the donor and for the honoree. 

Howard Newman recently called us to talk about creating a named gift in honor of his late wife Sylvia whose passion was Jewish education. Sylvia Newman taught in the religious school at Temple Kol Emeth for many years. Howard wanted to establish a memorial to her in the Atlanta Jewish community. We were eager to help. 

Right away we thought about the Jewish Education Collaborative (JEC), an initiative of Federation that’s working to transform the quality of instruction at all Atlanta’s supplemental religious schools. It seemed like a perfect fit. Rabbi Elana Perry, who directs JEC, met with Howard Newman and together they crafted the Sylvia Newman Memorial Teachers of the Year Award, to honor excellence in teaching at supplemental religious schools. The award will go to a veteran religious school teacher, and to a new religious school teacher every year.  

Both awards include a monetary component. Atlanta Jewish Foundation helped Howard create a restricted fund at the Foundation specifying exactly how the dollars would be granted out. The fund will grow annually and should provide this financial gift to recipients for many, many years. This year’s winners of the Sylvia Newman award were Josh Needle, a seventh-grade teacher at Congregation Gesher L’Torah, and Kimberly Reingold, a third and fifth-grade teacher at Congregation Or Hadash. See their video tributes here. 

Named gifts come in all sizes. As universities, museums, and symphony halls know, securing large named-philanthropic gifts can have a powerful impact for years to come. At Atlanta Jewish Foundation, we have the expertise to help donors develop a wide range of named gifts.  

We were involved in shaping a $5.6 million legacy gift from the Frances Bunzl Family Trust — the largest endowed gift in the history of Jewish Atlanta. This named gift is structured to support both Jewish Family & Career Services and Federation for years to come. It reflects the lifetime values of Frances Bunzl, a Holocaust survivor, whose family found safety, community, and success in Atlanta. Her gift creates a legacy of gratitude to the organizations that keep Jewish Atlanta strong and responsive to human needs.

We’re here to help you establish funds that can be earmarked to do good in the community. Call Jori Mendel at 404-951-6900 to start a conversation on how values can live on through named gifts and funds that honor your loved ones. 

Because It’s Our Turn: Thoughts on NextGen Philanthropy

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation, COMMUNITY, NextGen, PHILANTHROPY

Jonathan Arogeti always heard his parents and grandparents say that giving back to the community was a central family value. “They told us, you have three options with money — spend it, save it, or give it away. And they believed by far that giving it away, if you are able, was the very highest value. During this time in my life, I’m doing all I can to encourage my peers to get involved in philanthropic giving. It’s our generation’s time to build on and sustain this incredible Atlanta community.”

Arogeti vividly remembers how his family’s support for Hillels of Georgia brought the commitment home. “We all attended the dedication ceremony of the new Hillel building at Emory,” Jonathan says. “It was just a few years after my grandfather’s death, and there was so much meaning to see my grandmother’s pleasure at the depth and impact of this gift. I was in college, and it felt so relevant to my stage of life.”

Now, when he can direct his philanthropic giving, Jonathan works closely with Staci Eichelbaum, Atlanta Jewish Foundation’s Director of Philanthropic Advising. He serves as a mentor to Atlanta young adults who have grown up blessed with family resources. With Eichelbaum, Arogeti has led two cohorts of a four-month NextGen Legacy group that helps NextGen donors clarify their own philanthropic interests — and equally important, teaches them to initiate discussions about where they would like to see family resources allocated and how they can participate.

Arogeti explains, “When you are coming of age in a family with the capacity to be generous, we want you to think about what your philanthropic interests look like from a structural and decision-making standpoint. In the group, we ask, ‘Does your family let you speak up and participate in philanthropic decisions? If not, how can you get more involved?’ “

He adds, “When the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund was gearing up last year, we encouraged our Legacy participants to ask their parents if they were participating.  Some had never asked about these decisions before.”

Arogeti also empowers the NextGen Legacy groups to be very specific about their personal priorities. “For example, tell your family, ‘I’m interested in environmental projects that lower carbon footprint. How can you support me in that?’” Jonathan is a founding member of the Repair the World Advisory Council and makes his own gift, but he also asks his family to make a gift to amplify the commitment. “They do it because I asked them,” he says. “It’s tremendously empowering!”

“We’re a fortunate group, but we agree that talking about money is always hard — even with your parents. The idea is to get these conversations started. The first thing I ask each new group is, ‘How many of you told your families that we asked you to participate in NextGen Legacy?’ I’m frequently surprised by how many have not! Having peers on the same journey as you takes away some of the hesitancy and helps you learn what is possible.”

To learn more about NextGen Legacy, and upcoming cohorts, contact Staci Eichelbaum, Director of Philanthropic Advising, Atlanta Jewish Foundation.

Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation, COMMUNITY

Ron Lieber is a financial journalist who not only talks the talk, also walks the walk about family philanthropy. His keynote address at last week’s 15th Annual Balser Symposium underscored something many high net-worth families know to be true — raising generous kids cannot be left to chance. It requires real intention to teach and to model philanthropic giving. Too few families know how.

Lieber learned it early. He was a Jewish kid from Chicago whose middle-class family experienced a series of big financial setbacks. His parents divorced. Then, one parent lost their job. Suddenly there wasn’t an adequate income stream to send three children to private school. Fortunately, his private school literally passed the hat to raise tuition assistance for Ron and his siblings. “It was the nicest thing anybody has ever done for me,” he says.  When it was time to apply for college, a savvy financial counselor shared tricks and tips that got Ron into Amherst College. That education, in turn, led to a journalism career at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Ron never forgot the people who helped him along the way.

So, when his 3-year-old daughter asked out of the blue, “Daddy, why don’t we have a summer house?” Lieber realized he had work to do.

Kids aren’t born spoiled, Ron Lieber asserts. They’re made that way. Parents can seize teachable moments simply by sharing their own family stories about gratitude. In Lieber’s case it went beyond his own scholarship story. His daughter didn’t know the story of her own grandmother, who helped create a breast cancer research foundation. Or that his wife’s mother was a Holocaust survivor whose family got on its feet in America with help from refugee aid organizations. Those family stories illustrate philanthropy in a deeply personal way. Once she knew that story, Ron’s daughter got up in front of 1,500 people at a charity dinner and made the ask for her grandma’s breast cancer foundation. “She killed it,” he says.

Other tangible techniques Lieber discussed: Create a Generosity Jar for coins where very young children can see money collected and then donate it, preferably in person, to something they care about. Teach philanthropic budgeting with 100 Beans. Tell your kids that each bean equals $100 and show them where and how YOU decide what each charity will receive. Then give them a few beans of their own to allocate to things they care about.

Lieber told of a Jewish day school where parents created a policy that instead of individual bar and bat mitzvah gifts, students put money into a single pot and then decided what charities were deserving. “They pooled $25,000 in the first year,” Lieber said. “Suddenly charities started pitching the kids with grant proposals. They became foundation trustees!”

Start to schedule a formal discussion with your children and grandchildren and introduce them to your philanthropic decision-making process. Let them participate as they mature. Show what you’re giving and why! Lieber’s advice can have profound results and can help create the next generation of givers, right in your own family.

Frances Bunzl Family Trust Gifts $5.6MM to Atlanta Jewish Community 

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation, CARING, COMMUNITY, JEWISH JOURNEYS, LIFE & LEGACY, People in Need, PHILANTHROPY

In 1939, shortly after Kristallnacht, 19-year-old Frances Bertha Hamburger escaped Germany and eventually made it to Atlanta. The Jewish community here helped her connect with other European Jewish immigrants. A few years later, she met Walter Bunzl and three months later they were married. The family never forgot the support of the Atlanta Jewish community and now, the Frances Bunzl Family Trust will disburse an approximately $5.6MM gift in equal shares to Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta (JF&CS). It is the largest endowed gift in both Federation and JF&CS’s history. 

“Frances was a visionary and a pioneer in communal service. Her personal experience as a lay leader inspired her desire to make a lasting imprint on our community,” noted Beth A. Warner, Federation’s Chief Philanthropy Officer. “This gift was many years in the making. Federation professionals and communal leaders met with Frances to discuss community priorities and goals to help her create a legacy that reflected her life-long philanthropic passions,” she explained.   

At Federation, the endowed funds will be directed for three initiatives. This includes funding the lead fundraising professional for the organization – the Frances Bunzl Chief Philanthropy Officer – the first time a Federation position has been endowed; the creation of the Frances and Walter Bunzl Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment (PACE), which will ensure a major gift to Federation’s annual community campaign in perpetuity; and funding the Frances Bunzl NextGen initiative to support Jewish journeys for the next generation of Jewish community leaders. “It is also our hope that this endowment will inspire others to consider gifts of this magnitude and impact,” said Warner.

Generosity has always been a core value for the Bunzl family.   

“Throughout her life, my mother spoke of growing up in a family (both in Germany and here in Atlanta) that was focused on helping others,” said Suzy Wilner. “We believe her gifts to Federation and JF&CS will continue that legacy.” 

Jeff Alperin, Chair of the JF&CS Board commented, “This gift increases the JF&CS Foundation by 50%. This will have a direct impact on the agency’s ability to serve the needs of the Atlanta community. We are honored to receive this gift and will make sure these dollars are used to deliver the greatest impact.” 

At JF&CS, the generosity of Frances Bunzl will live on in perpetuity through its continued support of the nonsectarian agency’s operations. In honor of this generous gift, JF&CS will name its Clinical Service practice, ‘The Frances Bunzl Clinical Services.’ This service area provides mental health support for people of all ages and from all walks of life, offering both individual and group therapies across a broad spectrum of issues. “Naming this practice for the late Frances Bunzl honors the tremendous impact her gift will have on the health and well-being of our community,” said Chief Development Officer, Amanda La Kier.  

JF&CS CEO, Terri Bonoff said, “The challenges of the past year underscore the importance of planning for the unknown and ensuring vibrant Jewish life for generations to come. Choosing to spotlight the importance of mental health support by naming this service area in Frances Bunzl’s honor reflects the deep commitment JF&CS has to providing best-in-class support for the health and well-being of this community. Legacy gifts such as this one support Jewish Atlanta long into the future.” 

“This gift is indicative of the generosity we hope to inspire as part of our LIFE & LEGACY initiative, in which participating organizations embark on a legacy building program benefiting the entire Jewish community,” said Federation President and CEO, Eric Robbins. 

In the first two years of this four-year program, more than 270 local donors have made legacy commitments which will support Atlanta’s Jewish community with more than $23.3 million in future gifts. Worldwide, the LIFE & LEGACY program has motivated more than 17,000 donors in 63 communities across North America to commit more than a billion dollars in current as well as after-lifetime assets to the Jewish organizations which shaped their lives. For those interested in creating a legacy for the Jewish community, contact the Atlanta Jewish Foundation at foundation@jewishatlanta.org or www.atlantajewishfoundation.org. 

Photo courtesy of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.

Atlanta Jewish Foundation Expands Team & Services

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation, CARING, COMMUNITY

We are proud and excited to announce a significant expansion of the Atlanta Jewish Foundation (AJF) professional team and services as we seek to grow philanthropic assets for the Jewish community. In 2020 the Foundation spearheaded a massive philanthropic response to help stabilize and support the Jewish ecosystem throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Our fundholders gave more than $38 million in grants to over 1,000 organizations, much of it directed to.

We have added two newly created positions and an enhanced mix of service offerings to serve our fundholders better in 2021. “There is huge growth and investment happening in the Jewish community,” says Christy Butler Eckoff, Chief Foundation Officer and Managing Director of AJF. “People are seeing first-hand how their generosity sustains the causes they care about today and for generations to come, ensuring a more vibrant, vigorous Jewish Atlanta and a better future for the world.”

Jori Mendel has been named Deputy Director where she will bring her sales, marketing, and innovation experience to lead efforts on direct outreach to potential individual fundholders and grow and steward the Foundation’s planned gift portfolio. Staci Eichelbaum has been named Director of Philanthropic Advising where she will bring her expertise and training on family philanthropy, philanthropic advising, giving circles, and NextGen engagement to lead efforts with existing fundholders on their personal philanthropy, family philanthropy, educational events, and collaborative giving.

They strengthen our team of experienced professionals. Kathy Evans, Director of Foundation Operations, brings several years of operations and finance experience in the for-profit sector and leads operations for the Foundation. Cindy Weik, Donor Services Associate, has been with the Foundation for 14 years providing excellent customer service and leading gift acknowledgment and grants. Rachel Rosner, LIFE & LEGACY® Coordinator, brings years of executive experience at large retailers and leads efforts around the LIFE&LEGACY program and Foundation marketing.

AJF currently manages and stewards $330 million in assets for the Jewish community and has a goal to grow its portfolio to managing $1 billion over the next decade. “Our goal is to make AJF the go-to place for philanthropic funds, family and personal philanthropy, planned giving, asset management, and Jewish generosity,” Christy Eckoff explains. “AJF has a deep understanding of community needs and the organizations that are addressing them.”

Gifts That Continue Grow

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation, CARING, COMMUNITY

Elaine and Jerry Blumenthal’s oldest son Matthew was five years old when he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. Matthew’s special needs, and a deepening commitment to Jewish life set a chain of events in motion that had a profound impact on the whole family.  

“I grew up in a warm, orthodox Jewish family in Savannah,” Jerry says. “Elaine grew up in Topeka, Kansas where there were only about 100 Jews in the whole town, but she was active in NFTY, the Reform youth movement. It wasn’t until we attended a retreat at Camp Barney where Rabbi Irving (“Yitz”) Greenberg was the scholar in residence, that our family began to walk a road to greater Jewish observance. It became clear to us that Matthew and all our kids really belonged in Jewish day school. The Hebrew Academy, which is now Atlanta Jewish Academy, was the community day school that made sense for us. Matthew attended from first grade through graduation. Eventually, with the encouragement of Rabbi Goodman at the Ahavath Achim Synagogue, we decided to have a kosher home.”

“Matthew’s positive experience showed us how day school could knit a Jewish community together,” says Elaine. “Hebrew Academy enrolled kids from every denomination. When Matthew was in his bar mitzvah year,he attended his classmates’ simchas (celebrations) at every single synagogue in town. When it was his turn to become a bar mitzvah, we were members of Temple Sinai, but even the more observant students came. They took a hotel room together so they could walk to synagogue and celebrate with us. They were among Matthew’s best friends.”

“After Matthew died at age 24, the head of school at Hebrew Academy knew we were looking for a way to memorialize him. Mathew’s grandparents, Saul and Adele Blumenthal, z”l, donated the seed money to start up the Matthew Blumenthal M’silot (Pathways) Program supporting children with special needs. With their sustaining gift, and support from our endowment fund at Atlanta Jewish Foundation, the M’silot program continues at Atlanta Jewish Academy.”

“To this day we depend on Atlanta Jewish Foundation to manage and grow our investments, not only for M’silot, but for The Jewish Home, JF&CS, Birthright Israel, Hillels of Georgia, Limmud Atlanta, and non-Jewish charities as well. When you have your funds put away in an endowment you can continue to support the things you care about. You don’t have to worry that the funds won’t be there or that current income won’t be adequate. You can use stocks, bonds, and appreciated assets to build a solid foundation for your charitable portfolio.”

“Federation supports things we don’t even know about! By using the tools provided by Atlanta Jewish Foundation like donor-advised funds and endowments, we feel like we’re securing the Jewish future.”

Using Foundation Tools to Build the Jewish Future

By Atlanta Jewish Foundation, CARING, COMMUNITY, PHILANTHROPY

Elaine and Jerry Blumenthal’s oldest son Matthew was five years old when he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. Matthew’s special needs, and a deepening commitment to Jewish life set a chain of events in motion that had a profound impact on the whole family.  I grew up in a warm, orthodox Jewish family in Savannah,” Jerry says. “Elaine grew up in Topeka, Kansas where there were only about 100 Jews in the whole town. It wasn’t until we attended a retreat at Camp Barney where Rabbi Irving (Yitz”) Greenberg was the scholar in residence, that our family began to walk a road to greater Jewish observance.It became clear to us that Matthew and all our kids really belonged in Jewish day school. The Hebrew Academy, which is now Atlanta Jewish Academy, was the community day school that made sense for us. Matthew attended from first grade through graduation. Eventually, with the encouragement of Rabbi Goodman at the Ahavath Achim Synagogue, we decided to have a kosher home.”

“Matthew’s positive experience showed us how day school could knit a Jewish community together,” says Elaine. “Hebrew Academy enrolled kids from every denomination. When Matthew was in his bar mitzvah year, he attended his classmates’ simchas (celebrations) at every single synagogue in town. When it was his turn to become a bar mitzvah, we were members of Temple Sinai, but even the more observant students came. They took a hotel room together so they could walk to synagogue and celebrate with us. They were among Matthew’s best friends.”

After Matthew died at age 24, the head of school at Hebrew Academy knew we were looking for a way to memorialize him. Mathew’s grandparents, Saul and Adele Blumenthal, donated the seed money to start up the Matthew Blumenthal M’silot (Pathways) Program supporting children with special needs. With their sustaining gift and support from our endowment fund at Atlanta Jewish Foundation, the M’silot program continues at Atlanta Jewish Academy.”

To this day we depend on Atlanta Jewish Foundation to manage and grow our investments, not only for M’silot, but for The Jewish Home, JF&CS, Birthright Israel, Hillels of Georgia, Limmud Atlanta, and non-Jewish charities as well. When you have your funds put away in an endowment you can continue to support the things you care about. You don’t have to worry that the funds won’t be there or that current income won’t be adequate. You can use stocks, bonds, and appreciated assets to build a solid foundation for your charitable portfolio.”

“The Foundation supports things we don’t even know about! By using the tools provided by Atlanta Jewish Foundation like donor-advised funds and endowments, we feel like we’re securing the Jewish future.”

 

 

 

Anyone Can Be A Philanthropic Champion

By AgeWell Atlanta, Aging, Atlanta Jewish Foundation, CARING, COMMUNITY, JEWISH JOURNEYS

Anyone Can Be A Philanthropic Champion 
By Etta Raye Hirsch

One of the best things that has happened in Jewish Atlanta is the consolidation of resources that make life better for older adults. Finally, with AgeWell Atlanta, we’ve pulled together all the supportive programs of Jewish Family & Career Services, the care of Jewish HomeLife, and the social opportunities of the MJCCA, into one entity. It took guidance from Federation to spearhead the effort, but the result is a much-needed coordination of services that makes me really proud! 

With the pandemic, our older population is struggling as never before. If you don’t make it easy for people to find the help they need, they give up. Now through AgeWell Atlanta, if you’re a caregiver or an older adult needing help, you just dial one number 1-866-AGEWELL and you can speak to a real live person who can guide you to the right resources. It’s just what our community needs now.  

For me, philanthropy is both a habit and a family imperative. Our family foundation is something my grown children are involved with as decision-makers, and something my grandkids are becoming well aware of. If you want to know how to leave your necklace to a family member, your attorney or financial advisor can set that up. But if you want to truly be a change agent, become an investor in the things you really care about. You can be a philanthropist at any level! 
I give to a wide range of nonprofits in our region, yet I rely on experts to advise me on my gifts. In truth, Atlanta Jewish Foundation (AJF) has educated me about opportunities I didn’t even know existed. I’m almost embarrassed to mention this, but I was “old” before I even knew what a donor-advised fund (DAF) was! Now I use my DAF as a tool for making grants and I want everyone to know about them. We have to say to folks, “Let’s make philanthropy easy for you.  

Atlanta Jewish Foundation makes it simple to support AgeWell Atlanta, and other older adult supportive programs, through your donor-advised fund. The Foundation can also guide you on how you can make long-term “legacy” commitments through the Jewish Future Pledge and the LIFE & LEGACY program. Both are vehicles to build up endowment reserves in our synagogues, schools, and organizations, to sustain their future. I’m on board!  

There are many ways you can donate, but why not do it through AJF? I can make grants online, or just call the Foundation and say, “Here’s where I want my gift to go, and they take care of it. They have the right people with the right skills and relationships to connect the dots and really amp up your impact.  

Etta Raye Hirsch was Atlanta Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2019 Philanthropist of the Year. She currently serves as Honorary Chair of Federation’s AgeWell Atlanta Targeted Philanthropy giving opportunity.