Hadassah

Roberta Rosenfeld: Finding Her Joy in Judaism

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Growing up in Chicago in the 40's and 50's, Roberta Rosenfeld's home was Jewish—but not at all religious. Roberta ended up receiving much of her Jewish religious education by way of Young Judaea, Hadassah's youth group movement.

In Young Judaea, Roberta made lifelong friendships and learned about Jewish holidays, her cultural background, and the history of the brand-new state of Israel. "I was learning the very basics of Judaism, the ABCs really," she reflects. "But I also gained a great joy from Judaism."

Roberta has many fond memories of her Young Judaea days, but two in particular changed her life forever. Her first is being able to visit Israel when she was 20 thanks to financial support from Hadassah. The second is meeting her husband, Ronald Rosenfeld, another Young Judaean. "I was, what, 14 or 15?" Roberta laughs. The two visited Israel together at least six times, several of them with Hadassah Missions.

Ronald passed away four years ago, and one way Roberta keeps his memory alive is through her continued travels to Israel. "Ron hated traveling but he loved Israel," Roberta says. She considers this a meaningful way to contribute to the organization that gave her so much as a youngster.

Roberta and her family—two sons, a daughter-in-law and three granddaughters—remain vested in Israel and its future, which is why Hadassah continues to be a focus of their Jewish charitable efforts.

Roberta also contributes financially to Hadassah in memory of her late husband. The pair worked modest jobs all their lives—she a Chicago schoolteacher, he an Illinois state employee—and they were always careful with their funds. Now she is equally careful about how she manages her money and allocates her funds in her estate plan.

Roberta has made provisions for a legacy gift to Hadassah and earmarked the funds for medical research in the area of chronic myelogenous leukemia, the disease that took her husband's life. Along with supporting research of the disease, the fact that her legacy will support Hadassah's work is important to Roberta. "Hadassah's work is so close to my heart," she says. "I'm a lifelong Hadassah kid."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Hadassah a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

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able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

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A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Hadassah or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

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Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Hadassah as a lump sum.

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