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Welcome to the October edition of the Jewish Future Pledge newsletter, covering:

  • AEPi Director David Kirschner on why everyone—regardless of net worth—should take the pledge
  • Jennifer “Jiffy” Page on practical tips for sharing your family legacy through a photo story
  • Everything new and newsworthy at the Jewish Future Pledge, including philanthropist Harold Grinspoon becoming the Jewish Future Pledge’s 2,000th pledger!

Pledger Spotlight: David Kirschner
Judge of the New York City Criminal Court and AEPi Director | Jamaica, New York did you think when you first heard about the Jewish Future Pledge, and why did you sign?

When Mike Leven presented his idea for the Jewish Future Pledge to the AEPi Board, I was skeptical. But I continued listening. And the more I heard, the more intrigued I became. My challenge was: “I have no available funds now and doubt I will in the future.” But I realized I could do something. I realized I could create a plan now to give in the future. The Jewish Future Pledge inspired me to leave my charitable assets to AEPi through a life insurance policy that will become a $100,000 lifetime legacy gift when I am no longer here. It felt like a win-win—planning now for funds then. I signed because I realized I can make a difference too.

Has taking the pledge sparked conversations about your values with your family?

I spoke to my two sons— both of whom are AEPi brothers—about the pledge. We all had an epiphany about JFP’s fundamental purpose: To spark conversations that generate a systematic process of inspiring others to create a better Jewish future. My sons were moved that I would be able to significantly impact AEPi’s future even though I don’t have large sums to set aside. Yes, JFP is about financially supporting our institutions. But it's also so much more. JFP is about each and every Jew participating in transmitting their values. And it’s working.

What is one Jewish value you carry with you in your daily life?

Being a part of the community. At my younger son’s bar mitzvah, my rabbi explained there are two ways to obtain olam ha-ba (heaven). One is entirely on your own meritsexceptionally difficult. The other is through contributing to the communitystill difficult but easierbecause you acquire the group’s merits as well. Anyone who's done work for the community knows how difficult it can be: shouldering heavy burdens, experiencing aggravation, fielding complaints. But we all must step up and lead—it's indispensable to moving forward.

How To: Create and Tell a Photo Story “Jiffy” Page of Pixorium has a wealth of knowledge in preparing and telling your life story through photos. Learn more about leaving a visual legacy with these tips: 

What’s a Photo Story and How Do I Tell One? 

A photo story is the intentional use of pictures and words to tell a story. It’s more than a slide show of your camera images because it starts with the story, not with the photos. Figure out the moment you want to share, or the memory you want to retell. 

Answer these questions: 

What exactly is the story—the who, what, when, where, and why? You need to be clear about what you intend to share and why. 

Who is the audience? Use names so that anyone can understand the story – for example, label a photo “Lilly Cohen” instead of “Grandma,” because Lilly might be “Great-Grandma” to another family member. 

How do I tell this story? It’s typical to tell a story chronologically, but you can also be creative and organize your narrative around events (e.g. celebrations, holidays) or by subject (e.g. food, activities, participants) to make your story more interesting. 

Learn more from Jiffy here!

New and Newsworthy Grinspoon Becomes 2,000th Person to Sign Jewish Future Pledge, Your Daily Phil with eJewish Philanthropy

“Harold Grinspoon, the Jewish philanthropist most known for his support of Jewish day camp and for founding the PJ Library, has become the 2,000th person to sign the Jewish Future Pledge, which commits signers to designating at least 50% of their philanthropic resources to support the Jewish people or the State of Israel, or both.”

Harold Grinspoon Becomes 2,000th Person to Sign Jewish Future Pledge, Arutz Sheva

“More than 2,000 Jews of all backgrounds from around the world have committed to allocate at least half of the charitable giving at their passing to secure the Jewish future. ‘I want future generations to experience a world that allows them to embrace their Jewish roots, find meaning in Jewish living, and stand tall with pride,’ said Harold Grinspoon upon signing the pledge. ‘We must cultivate philanthropic giving to secure the future of the Jewish programs and organizations that are the fabric of our community.’” Hospitality Guru & Jewish Futures Pledge Founder: A Conversation with Mike Leven, ‘Jews You Should Know’ Podcast 

In a recent episode, podcast series ‘Jews You Should Know’ invited Jewish Future Pledge founder Mike Leven for an insightful conversation on what drove him to launch the Jewish Future Pledge. In this episode, Mike discusses everything from his experiences in the hotel sector to his philosophy for effectively integrating tzedakah and business to the important role philanthropy plays in Mike's life. Federations of North America CEO Eric Fingerhut Endorses Jewish Future Pledge

We are honored to partner with the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to support and sustain the Jewish people. Listen to what JFNA President and CEO Eric Fingerhut has to say about this partnership.

The Jewish Future Pledge is a worldwide movement inspiring Jews of all backgrounds to commit that from the charity they leave at their passing, at least half is earmarked to support the Jewish people and/or the State of Israel. Whether that amount will be $10 or $10 million, what matters is that we send a powerful message about the importance of sustaining the Jewish people.

Declare that you care: Take the pledge here.


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