B’nai Mitzvah Celebrants Become B’nai Tzedek Philanthropists

Thanks to the Jewish Community of Louisville’s Foundation for Planned Giving, more than 90 seventh and eighth graders have already added another component to their bar/bat mitzvah experience by giving back to the community as philanthropists through the B’nai Tzedek program. They have established charitable endowments in their own names with a minimum donation of $300 (from their bar/bat mitzvah gifts) along with a $200 grant from the Lewis D. Cole B’nai Tzedek Fund.

These endowments increase in value through additional donations as well as investment income. Each year participants have the opportunity to make donations from the available income generated by their funds to charities of their choice in the area.

Deborah Levin’s B’nai Tzedek Fund was established in her name by her aunt and uncle, Beverly and David Weinberg, as a gift for her bat mitzvah. The Weinbergs feel the B’nai Tzedek program provides a wonderful opportunity for our next generation to understand the value of philanthropic giving. As time goes on, Deborah and her relatives and friends can contribute to her fund and help it grow.

“One of the most important lessons of becoming a bat mitzvah is taking on new responsibilities as a member of the Jewish community,” say Elana Wagner’s mother, Sara. “B’nai Tzedek will provide an ongoing opportunity for Elana make her own choices about giving. On a personal note, I am so fortunate to have learned from and worked with Lewis Cole. I know the B’nai Tzedek Fund was begun in his honor and was very important to him. I know he would be thrilled that Elana is participating.”

Henry Strull’s parents, Julie and Greg, feel it is important not only to receive, but to give back. Henry’s bar mitzvah has given them an opportunity to see what can be done to achieve that goal. “The B’nai Tzedek Fund lets the kids decide which organizations are important to them,” says Julie. Henry’s bar mitzvah project is called “Henry Helps Haiti.” He created a B’nai Tzedek Fund and also will be donating some of his money to help the people in Haiti. “We hope Henry learns that it is important to help people that are less fortunate than he is,” says Greg.

For more information about the B’nai Tzedek program or if you are interested in creating an endowment for your child or grandchild or adding to an existing fund, please contact Alan Engel at 451-8830, email aengel@iglou.com.  You can add to an existing fund online by visiting this link.

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