Your dreams are within reach

“I have a special place in my heart for the State of Israel and the staff at the Foundation has helped me understand the great work they do there,” said Michael Engels, a Legacy Society contributor.

Last year, over $27 million in funds was given from one charitable foundation in Montreal to hundreds of social services and community organizations around the world. This same foundation also has total assets in excess of $310 million – all meant to secure the high quality of Jewish life in Montreal for future generations.

This benefactor is none other than the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal – this year celebrating its 40th anniversary.

“The Jewish Community Foundation has really evolved in the ways donors can give philanthropically,” said Joel Segal, President. “It was created as a safety net for the future of the Montreal Jewish community. People would give to the Foundation and they would invest it and only use the capital to benefit the community.

4,555

In 2011, a record-number of 4,555 cheques was issued from the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal to almost 500 organizations on behalf of Foundation donors.

It used to be a very passive process. We would only get money when people bequeathed it in their wills. We wouldn’t even know it was coming. Now, people can give in a variety of ways that offer significant tax and financial planning advantages. It is very personal. We work really hard with donors to make sure their gifts are in accordance with their wishes and their charitable priorities.”

In celebration of this milestone anniversary, the Foundation launched what’s called the “Dream Principle”. Highlighting this focus on the donor, the Dream Principle allows people to decide when, where and how to give back to community. Families can be brought in and the priorities decided upon together in a way that reflects their needs, desires and values. Through planned giving initiatives (such as creating an endowment, a family foundation, a gift of life insurance or a will bequest), the Foundation essentially works with people to identify and realize their philanthropic dream.

“I have a special place in my heart for the State of Israel and the staff at the Foundation has helped me understand the great work they do there. Their partnership with Montreal’s sister city of Beer Sheva, as well as several other initiatives surrounding education, are particularly appealing to me. My contribution will go towards supporting these programs,” said Michael Engels, a 32-year-old who recently became a Legacy Society contributor. “I’ve made a commitment to contribute a portion of my assets after my life. I plan on sticking around on this earth for a very long time, but in case something happens to me, I wanted to make sure my savings would be put to use for the greater good of our Jewish community, especially Israel. It is very important to ensure the continuity of our community and to make sure it is left in good shape for future generations. If we don’t take it upon ourselves to invest in our own community, no one will.”

“For me, endowing my Lion is to perpetuate the legacy – it will guide my children and grandchildren to be able to continue my dream of giving and helping others beyond my lifetime,” said Thérèse Attias, seen here signing the Book of Life with husband Jacob and family.

Today, donors have the utmost flexibility in their planned giving. For example, they can decide to designate an endowment fund with the annual allocation going to as many organizations as they choose, and they can change their beneficiaries at any time. With such a variety of options and plans available, anyone in almost any financial situation can make a difference – an endowment can be started with as small an investment as $10,000; and a $100,000 life insurance policy costs very little for a young person and the premiums are tax-deductible.

“It is not about being generous. It is the importance of giving and making a difference for our future generations. There are always people who need help. I grew up in a Jewish home concerned with the survival of Jewish heritage, specially the meaning of tzedakah. The Foundation helped me to understand more about that meaning,” said Thérèse Attias, who endowed her Lion of Judah ($5,000 annual contribution to Women’s Campaign of Combined Jewish Appeal). “For me, endowing my Lion is to perpetuate the legacy – it will guide my children and grandchildren to be able to continue my dream of giving and helping others beyond my lifetime. Canada has given us security and opportunity. The Jewish Community Foundation has built our institutions and has created a foundation for the future. It’s up to us to nurture this foundation.”


Realize your philanthropic dreams

To learn how you can fulfill your philanthropic dreams, contact the Jewish Community Foundation at 514-735-3541 or email info@jcfmontreal.org. Visit www.jcfmontreal.org for more information on planned giving initiatives.

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