December 2015


By making a gift to the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest, you are adding to the richness of our community, the strength of our people, and helping Jewish people across the globe. Please consider making a tribute gift to celebrate a loved one, adding to your Donor Advised Fund, or leaving a bequest to benefit the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ after your lifetime. Or just Donate now to get started.

JCF honored legacy donors at Shorashim Event

For the first time, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ (JCF) brought together donors from all of its legacy societies to celebrate their generosity and commitment to ensuring a strong future for our Jewish community. The inaugural Shorashim Event was held on November 12 at Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael in Springfield.  More than 300 guests came together for a lavish buffet and an inspiring keynote address from Rabbi Steve Leder, author of More Money Than G-d.

JCF President Scott Krieger said, “It was a pleasure to stop in the pre-reception for Create a Jewish Legacy, personally recognize new Lester Society members, and see donors from our five legacy societies greet one another with such camaraderie.” Co-Chair Mimi Heyman said, “What a wonderful sense of community!”

The event honored donors to the Lester Society (for legacy commitments of $100,000 or more to the UJA annual campaign), Lion of Judah Endowments (for commitments of $100,000 or more to Women’s Philanthropy),  MetroWest Tomorrow (for commitments of $100,000 or more to Federation programs or agencies), Herskowitz Society (for commitments of $100,000 or more to Greater MetroWest day schools), and Create a Jewish Legacy (for after-life commitments of any amount to a participating synagogue or agency).

Rabbi Leder reminded us that “The idea that we matter as individuals, that we can change things, that existence is a linear journey toward what can be a better world; the idea that we matter, is a powerful Jewish idea. We are at our best when we know deeply and for certain that we have transcended our own brief and beautiful time on earth. That is the essence of being a Jew. That is the essence of what it means to be truly great: to matter.”

At JCF we could not agree more. You matter. Your voice matters. You can do more, inspire more, educate more, build more, and we are here to help. You matter to your community, to the lives you will save with your legacy gifts. To leave YOUR legacy, contact Daniel Staffenberg at (973) 929-3060.

Click here to view the special event recap in the New Jersey Jewish News. Click here to view event photos on the JCF website.

You Say Chanukah, I Say How-About-a-New-Way-to-Give?

By Gary Botwinick, JCF Board member

Chanukah has come and gone. Now it’s time to reflect on 2015, relish our successes, and give back to the community. While the easiest way may be to write a check, there are alternatives that do more. Here are some ideas for a new way to give.

Give Stock: Let’s say that you’ve done some wise investing in 2015. You want to sell some of your stock while the value is high and lock in your success, but you hate the idea of paying tax on the capital gain. You also want to make a gift to your favorite charity. Why not do both? If you donate appreciated securities to a qualified charity, you may be able to get a charitable deduction for the fair market value of those shares without having to pay tax on the capital gain. Better yet, since the charity is tax-exempt, the charity can sell the securities and also avoid the capital gains tax. What could be better?

Give RMD: If you are over 70 ½ years old, you must take required minimum distributions (RMD) from your IRA, even if you don’t need the money right now. You also must pay income tax on the RMD. But what if you could give the RMD directly to the charity of your choice, avoiding the income tax? In 2014 and in many prior years, U.S. law allowed qualifying individuals to do just that, in amounts of up to $100,000. And while that law expired in 2015, it has expired many times before and been reinstated late in the tax year. Right now a bill is pending in Congress to bring it back in 2015. Keep an eye out for late-breaking news from JCF on this option.

Open a DAF: If you want to give by year end but can’t decide which charities to support, consider establishing a donor-advised fund (DAF) at JCF or another qualified 501(c)(3) organization. The organization that “houses” your DAF will give you a tax receipt when you make deposits into your DAF, and will then send monies to charities you support based upon your recommendations. By using this option, you receive a charitable deduction this year, but there’s no rush to identify the organizations you wish to support today.

For more information about any of these options, contact JCF at (973) 929-3113. 

Gary Botwinick chairs the Taxation/Trusts and Estate Department at Einhorn Harris in Denville NJ, and is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Gary serves on the Boards of JCF and the Grotta Fund, and chairs JCF’s Create a Jewish Legacy program.


Save the date for the JCF Investors Meeting, February 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. Hear Peter Langerman, the event chair, JCF board member, and chair of JCF Investment Committee, and Featured Speaker Kenneth A. Caplan, Senior Managing Director and Global Chief Investment Officer of the Real Estate Group at Blackstone.


December 1 – Mutual Fund transfers must be initiated to be completed by year-end.
December 15 – Donor Advised Fund recommendations are due to Beverly for guaranteed distribution in 2015. (We will continue to process recommendations every day through Dec. 31, but distribution by that time is not guaranteed.)
December 15 – Stock transfers must be initiated to be completed by year-end.
December 30 – Final date for credit card transactions to be processed in 2015.
December 31 – Checks must be postmarked by this date.

If you have any questions, please contact Beverly Kestenbaum at (973) 929-3063 or, or your personal JCF Professional account manager.