Endowment Book Of Life
Developed by Jewish leaders in the Southwest, the Endowment Book of Life is a mechanism by which Jews from ‘all walks of life’ can leave a legacy of charity that ensures Jewish heritage and culture will be preserved for future generations. The Endowment Book of Life is actually a physical book that contains within its pages the signatures and stories of those individuals who have made a solemn promise to make a future gift or bequest to the Jewish Community.
Individuals who sign the Book of Life are making a commitment to the next generation that the Greater Prescott Jewish Community will be here for them, for their children, and for their children’s children. The Endowment Book of Life knows no bounds of age, wealth, or affiliation. It belongs to all of us, and to future generations. The Endowment Book of Life is a wonderful way for each of us to serve as guardians of our Jewish heritage, and protectors of the future of Jewish life here in Prescott.
The Endowment Book of Life provides a mechanism by which a family can insure the financial, cultural, and religious security of future Jewish generations in Greater Prescott. The Endowment Book of Life process consists of four steps.
The first step is the “Promise”: This is when a family makes the decision it wishes to leave something to the Jewish community. At this step, the family has probably not yet decided how it will fund this promise, nor precisely which causes or organizations will be the beneficiaries of its gift. At this first step, the family “signs” The Endowment Book of Life.
The second step is to “Honor”: This is when the family shares a personal statement about themselves, their history, and their hopes for the future. This statement is then permanently recorded into the Endowment Book of Life for future generations to read.
The third step is to “Formalize”: This is when the family decides how it will fund its promise to leave something to the Jewish community. It may be through a gift while the members of the family are still alive, a bequest in the family will, a beneficiary designation of an IRA, or by establishing a life income plan. Only after a family formalizes its plan can they be assured that their wishes will truly happen.
The fourth step is to “Fund”: This is when a family’s gift to the Jewish community becomes a reality, for most this will be upon the death of the last surviving member of the family. The gift will then go to the causes and beneficiaries the family has designated. The promise the family made now becomes a reality and the Jewish community becomes stronger and more secure.