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New endowment campaign comes to Montreal

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The Jewish Community Foundation has grown exponentially over the years, as it latest annual report attests.

The Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal (JCF) has been selected by the U.S.-based Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) to join its program that encourages people to establish endowments – so-called after-lifetime giving – for the long-term benefit of their Jewish communities.

Over the next four years, the JCF will be working with synagogues, schools, social service organizations and other Jewish entities and their donors to set up endowments intended to ensure the financial stability of community institutions.

Life & Legacy, as the HGF program is called, assists North American Jewish communities through partnerships with Jewish federations and foundations. The program is the latest initiative of the HGF, which is investing close to US$40 million ($53 million) over a 10-year period to preserve the vibrancy of Jewish life. Montreal and Calgary are the two Canadian cities that have been accepted into the program.

“The Life & Legacy program is making a difference across North America,” stated JCF executive director Kathy Assayag.

“So far, this Jewish legacy giving program is offered in 57 cities and has secured more than 22,500 after-lifetime commitments with an estimated value of more than $1 billion for communities across North America.”

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Life & Legacy was launched just over six years ago.

“JCF’s role will be to provide coaching and training, and assist donors in establishing legacy gifts in the most tax-effective ways,” she said. “We will also offer incentive grants to participating organizations with a goal of ensuring that legacy giving becomes integrated in the philanthropic culture of our community.”

As a participant in Life & Legacy’s 2019-2023 cohort, the JCF will receive a grant from the HGF each year, to provide participating local organizations with “the opportunity to receive unrestricted incentive grants based on meeting legacy commitment benchmarks.”

“The HGF is thrilled to be partnering with the JCF in the hope of establishing a culture of legacy giving in Montreal,” said Arlene Schiff, the national director of Life & Legacy. “We are confident that our legacy program will make the most of the generational transfer of wealth, change the language and landscape of giving and provide generous and forward-thinking members of the Montreal Jewish community with the opportunity to express their passion, purpose and commitment to their most valued Jewish organizations.”

Harold Grinspoon, who founded the HGF in 1991, added that, “Providing Jewish communities with proven tools and training to help them secure their long-term financial goals is absolutely vital. Through the Life & Legacy program, I’m hopeful that we will be able to help sustain vibrant communities that allow future generations to enjoy our rich Jewish culture and heritage.”

Founded in 1971, the JCF currently manages about $1.4 billion in assets and over 2,100 funds.


Interested Jewish community organizations should contact Joshua Rubin at 514-734-1651, or by e-mail at [email protected]