Some little girls go door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies. Lorraine Rothstein, however, remembers knocking on neighborhood doors with a different mission.
"My young friends and I were raising money for Israel," she recalls. "The form had an outline of a tree, and every time a neighbor gave us a nickel, that would put a leaf on the tree."
Supporting Israel was a topic Lorraine heard a lot about at home. As a child of a recent immigrant, events in Europe were much on their minds. "My father's sisters hid in the woods through the war," Lorraine says. "At that time, I didn't understand what Nazism was."
Rather than remain passive, her family acted however they could; for them, that meant supporting Hadassah's work. "The name Hadassah appeared in the conversation at the dinner table with some frequency," Lorraine says. "My mother was very proactive with regard to the birth of the state of Israel."
An Emotional Trip
As for Lorraine's husband, Paul, it wasn't until the pair visited Israel in the 1970's that he fully appreciated what role the state of Israel plays for the Jewish people—and what role Hadassah plays in supporting it. "That was an extraordinarily emotional trip for me personally," Paul says. "I realized that Israel guarantees the existence of Judaism in the world."
For the Rothsteins, nothing better exemplifies Jewish values than the outreach of Hadassah. "The work Hadassah does to care for whoever needs it—without regard to any conditions of race or religion—makes it such a marvelous example of what Israel stands for," Paul says. "When Lorraine suggested that we make a commitment to Hadassah, I was in total favor."
The Rothsteins set up a charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT), a gift that they see as providing commitment and flexibility. "This CLAT provides a steady flow of money to Hadassah over 18 years," explains Lorraine, "and then offers our children the opportunity to decide independently whether they wanted to continue on that path."
Lorraine and Paul have also established a charitable gift annuity with Hadassah, which allows them to increase their support of Hadassah while receiving fixed payments for life. They are grateful to be able to make such a commitment to a cause that means so much to both of them.
Lorraine, especially, remembers her days of collecting nickels and shakes her head in disbelief. "It never crossed my mind that I'd ever be able to help in the way we're helping," she says. "It was just unimaginable. We're so proud that we're able to do this."
You Can Help
Contact Planned Giving & Estates at (800) 428-8884 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss ways that you can make a long-term impact on Hadassah's lifesaving and life-enhancing work.