Life and Legacy

Your Life. Your Legacy. Our Future.

Join us as we come together to strengthen our roots through the Life & Legacy program. By creating your Jewish legacy, you ensure that our community will flourish for generations to come. 

What is LIFE & LEGACY?

• LIFE & LEGACY is a collaborative effort of Partner organizations, including the synagogues and

Jewish communal agencies, working together to sustain our Jewish institutions through afterlifetime

gifts and the growth of endowment funds.

• The ultimate goal is to build robust endowment funds for each Partner that, at some point in

the future, will spin off interest creating a line of income to provide funds for special projects

and initiatives or support for annual budgets, thus ensuring a future for our vital Jewish

communal organizations.


Who should make a LIFE & LEGACY Promise?

• Have you been a member of a congregation, celebrated simchas with friends and received

support during difficult times?

• Have you volunteered at a Jewish communal agency, camp or synagogue?

• Have you observed first-hand how our Jewish organizations have helped those in need, cared

for the elderly, taught Jewish values to children, and provided connection and community?

• If you want to sustain these efforts so that future generations can benefit too, you may want

to consider making a LIFE & LEGACY Promise, or legacy gift commitment.


Why make a Promise?

By making a Promise, you can

  • Perpetuate the Jewish traditions and values you cherish

  • Preserve the programs and institutions that support Jewish life in our area

  • Plan your family’s philanthropic priorities and enjoy tax advantages

Expressing Your Intent

It’s easy to create your own personal legacy. Start by signing a simple letter of intent, a non-binding promise to leave a gift in the future to the organization(s) of your choice. With a legacy gift you can still take care of your family while also leaving something to preserve the programs and organizations that you care about. Most legacy gifts are simple designations in a will, retirement account or life insurance policy. Consult your financial adviser regarding these or other planned gifts.

Confirming Your Gift

Legacy gifts have increasingly become part of future planning when individuals and families meet with their financial, insurance and legal advisers. This is often done through vehicles such as gift annuities, donor advised funds, bonds, cash, etc. Let us know if you have already worked with a financial adviser to include supporting us or any of our partner organizations in your plans.


Join us as we plant the seed for tomorrow in partnership with...

Chabad of Greater Somerset County

Basking Ridge, NJ



Congregation Kehilat Shalom

Belle Mead, NJ


Flemington Jewish Community Center

Flemington, NJ


JCC Camp Ruach

Bridgewater, NJ


Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

Washington, NJ

Jewish Legacy Fund

We are pleased to establish the Jewish Legacy Fund of West-Central NJ, to be administered by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer. All funds established by organizations and individuals in our Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties region will be part of the Jewish Legacy Fund. It’s our goal to use this fund to encourage the growth of endowments and legacy giving, which together will help to ensure a secure future for our Jewish community. If you would like more information about opening a fund as part of the Jewish Legacy Fund of West-Central NJ, please contact 609-240-9511 or


Frequently Asked Questions


What is a legacy gift?

It is a gift of an asset after you pass away.

Who should sign up?

Everyone. This is not just for the wealthy or seniors. There is no minimum gift required, and no expectation of payment while you are living.

Why wouldn’t I leave all of my estate to my children?

Legacy gifts are usually only a percentage of your estate and demonstrate to your heirs your commitment to Jewish values.

Does the gift have to be money or can other things be given?

Legacy gifts can take many forms: stocks, bonds, real estate, retirement assets, cash, life insurance proceeds, etc.

How much should I bequeath?

There is no correct amount – it varies from person to person – and must be what is right for you. Any amount is appreciated. Some people will choose to give a set dollar amount, some will specify a percentage of their estate, or all or part of a particular asset.

Can I change my gift later?

Yes - if your circumstances change you can adjust the amount of your gift.

What are the ways I can leave a legacy gift?

There are many ways, including making a bequest in a will or trust; naming the organization of your choice as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, IRA, or pension fund; giving a gift of cash or assets; setting up a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust: Opening a Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer. Please consult your professional advisor to determine which method of giving is best for you.

Why is it important to leave a legacy gift?

The long-term future of the Jewish community requires adequate financial resources. Recent studies show organizations will need to generate 20%-25% of their operating budget from endowed funds in 20 years in order to meet their obligations. By leaving a legacy gift, you help ensure that the values and services of Jewish organizations you care about will be part of our community long into the future.

I don’t have any money to give now. Can I still participate?

The advantage of legacy giving is that no money is paid now. The gift is paid after your passing, from what is left in your estate.

How can I give without spending money on a will or trust?

One option is to name the organization of your choice as a beneficiary of an account you already have. You might also consider a life insurance policy, with that organization as a beneficiary.

Where does the money go?

The intention of LIFE & LEGACY is to grow endowment funds in order to provide long-term financial security for each community organization. Unless otherwise designated, all realized Promises will be invested in an endowment fund.

Who invests the money in the Endowment Fund?

The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer manages the endowment funds for the organizations in our community. They have been managing endowment funds for many years and have an excellent performance record.

What rate of return does the fund average annually?

Average returns have been 4-5% annually.

How do I sign up?

The first step is to complete a letter of intent. For questions, contact Robin Freedman-Kramer by e-mail or phone 908.758.2001.

Contact Us For More Information

If you have any questions about making your gift, please contact Robin Freedman-Kramer, Executive Director via email or at 908.758.2001