Empowered Women to Leave Gift to Sustain Jewish Traditions, Community

Tags: Federation, Women

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Article reprinted with permission from Cleveland Jewish News.

Lisa Hacker

Guided by Jewish tradition of tzedakah, meaning righteousness or charity, and tikkun olam, meaning repairing the world, women who give gifts in their names increase control and responsibility as decision makers and leaders in their community. A woman’s charitable gift exhibits power to make a difference, confirming women are accountable in the family, the community and the Jewish people. By giving as individuals, women can stand up and truly be counted.

Our lives often are rooted by Jewish experiences that connect us to the Jewish community in meaningful ways. The future well being of the global Jewish community is closely connected to the power of women’s philanthropy, the fastest growing phenomenon in fundraising today. Trends in women’s giving in the 21st-century support the belief that women feel more empowered when they are philanthropic in their own name.

Now more than ever, women are motivated to use their financial means to effect change. Research shows: Women inherit twice, both from parents and spouse; women outlive men; women will control as much as two-thirds of wealth in the United States by 2030; women amount to 45 percent of American millionaires; 60 percent of high-net worth women made their own fortunes; women control 48 percent of estates worth $5 million or more; family satisfaction peaks when a woman is involved in charitable decisions

With great reason, women today are effectively putting their passions into action. How can we ensure, though, that our traditions and institutions continue to thrive for future generations? Women can strengthen the impact of their giving by making a legacy commitment to preserve the values that inspire personal commitment. A planned gift becomes a lasting reminder for future generations. There are several ways to create an endowment, many of which do not have to be funded during a donor’s lifetime, yet that will secure the donor’s values and charitable activities live on forever.

Women advocate, collaborate and invest. We have the power to carry on the significance of sustaining and building community, leave more than memories, and continue to empower each other. May we go from strength to strength; l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.

Lisa Hacker is the director of women’s philanthropy and a development officer at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland in Beachwood.

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