A Simple Bequest and a Lasting Legacy

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If only the Federation’s Legacy Society members could see into the future so that they could appreciate the impact of their generosity in our community. Sadie and Maurice Friedman (z”l) would be so pleased and surprised to know how many lives have been positively impacted by their bequest. While each Legacy Society donor story of how and why a gift was made is unique, they are all united by the concept of tikkun olam – repairing the world.

Sadie Yoslovitz moved to Cleveland with her family in 1916, working for The May Company and then as a bookkeeper for a clothing factory. Maurice “Moe” Friedman moved to Cleveland in 1918 after serving in France during World War I. He worked for the Federal Coffee Company. In 1924, he and a partner bought the company, and renamed it Euclid Coffee Company. He soon met Sadie, and married her on Christmas Day 1927.

The Friedmans gave generously throughout their lives, and in very personal ways. In the early 1940s, the Friedmans opened their home to a young girl who had fled Nazi Germany. Later, they welcomed a French Jewish girl who had been sheltered in a convent during the war. Sadie was an active volunteer as a Big Sister at the Jewish Orphan Asylum (now Bellefaire JCB), NCJW, and several other Jewish women’s organizations, while they traveled and enjoyed life.

After continued success, Moe sold his business in 1950 and retired. In addition to volunteering, he enjoyed gardening, reading, fishing, and listening to the Cleveland Indians on his back porch. He also managed his own investments, very successfully. Moe supported Sadie’s interests and activities and was involved with, and a major contributor to, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.

Sadie passed away in 1981, and Moe spent the next eight years mourning the loss of his beloved wife, but also continuing his interests. Prior to his death in 1989, Moe created what would become his and Sadie’s legacy through his estate plan.

With the assistance and expertise of attorney Robert Lustig and Federation’s Director of Endowments, Howard Berger (z”l), he established the Sadie and Maurice Friedman Endowment Fund for Jewish Welfare (now the Campaign for Jewish Needs), which makes a distribution to the Campaign for Jewish Needs every year in perpetuity — what we now call FOREVER Funds. This fund, along with the more than 100 FOREVER Funds and Lion of Judah Endowment Funds created by other insightful donors, made distributions of greater than $1,000,000 to the Campaign for Jewish Needs this year, and this amount grows every year.

In total, the Friedmans left a bequest of $8.5 million to be shared by the Federation and seven other Jewish and general community organizations. The Federation’s Sadie and Maurice Friedman Endowment Fund has tripled in value while making grants that exceed the original contribution. In addition to the Campaign, the fund has helped hundreds of students attend college, summer camp and take trips to Israel, and because a portion of their fund goes to the unrestricted endowment fund, it has helped to fill gaps in services at Federation agencies.

The Friedmans’ beautiful legacy lives on forever in the improved and enriched lives of Jews who have or will benefit from their generosity for generations to come.

For more information, contact Carol Wolf at cwolf@jcfcleve.org or 216-593-2805.

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