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Legacy Giving

You can lead by example – and demonstrate your love and connection to Kehillat Beth Israel

Living during the time of COVID-19 we’re reminded that we can rely on our connection to the Jewish people and the profound love of our KBI congregation and clergy. Even when we can’t be together physically, our sacred community connects us spiritually – and these days, virtually – to pray and to learn, to celebrate and be celebrated, to comfort and be comforted.

This global pandemic has prompted private action. For many of us that means ensuring our Wills are in order and up to date. We also learn about the opportunity to make a legacy gift – an after-lifetime gift – that can be included as part of a Will or estate plan.

We invite you to include KBI in your Will as a beautiful way to demonstrate your dedication and connection to our community, and to our future.

Leaving a gift in your Will

Leaving a gift to KBI in your Will is one of the most valuable and lasting ways you can support our Kehillah. It costs nothing during your lifetime, but it will have a powerful impact on the community that you are part of for years to come.

Legacy donors are kind and caring individuals like you who are making a promise to future generations for a thriving and sustainable Jewish community in Ottawa.

By leaving a legacy gift of any size to our beloved shul, you’re expressing the values instilled in you by parents and grandparents about what it means to live meaningful Jewish lives.

Why Life & Legacy?

KBI is proud to be participating in this community-wide legacy giving initiative that will strengthen and sustain our Jewish community for generations to come. Through the Life & Legacy program, your gift goes into a permanent endowment fund for the benefit of KBI—you can choose to include other cherished organizations as well.

Why consider a legacy gift for KBI?

Leave your community as strong as its roots: A gift in your Will for KBI means your care, compassion and commitment to Jewish traditions carries forward for future generations. Even a gift of 5% will make a real difference to KBI’s programs and services.

Amplify your impact: After your lifetime, it’s possible to make a more significant gift than you might otherwise be able to afford.

Enjoy tax benefits: By including charitable gifts in your estate planning, you may eliminate significant taxes payable after your lifetime.

How do I participate?

All of us, regardless of age, wealth or affiliation, have the ability to leave a legacy. Whether you choose to leave a percentage gift, the residual of an estate, or another vehicle for your legacy gift (See our “Ways of Giving” guide below), you can take care of your loved ones and also ensure that your values will carry on in our community.

It’s simple!

  • Reflect on your Jewish passions.
  • Have a conversation with a member of KBI’s Life & Legacy team
  • Fill out a Letter of Intent form
  • Formalize your commitment. *
  • Complete a bequest provision for the benefit of Kehillat Beth Israel’s Life & Legacy Fund.

*Have a conversation with your lawyer, accountant or other professional advisor to determine how best to achieve your legacy giving goals. (Please note that there was new legislation released in Ontario recently to accommodate signing of Wills while self-isolating. Also keep in mind there are some gifts that don’t require a lawyer. See Legacy myth #3 below.)

If you would like to learn more about the Life and Legacy initiative, or to speak to someone from our Legacy Team, please contact Rena Garshowitz at 613.728.3501 ext. 225 or by email:

If you have chosen to include KBI in your Will, please let us know. We would love to thank you personally.

Your KBI Life & Legacy Team

KBI has established a team comprised of congregants who are passionate about our synagogue and want to ensure that your love and devotion to the community continues to make a difference long into the future.

Howard Cohen is a past president of KBI and the leader for KBI’s Life and Legacy team.

“Throughout my life in Ottawa, Kehillat Beth Israel has been there for me, from celebrating the joyous b’nai mitzvot of my three children to comforting me during the passing of close family members. That’s what our synagogue is all about—people caring for each other. I am making a bequest to the Life and Legacy fund to ensure that the gift of community and comfort continues into the future for all of our grandchildren.”

Norm Ferkin is KBI’s volunteer Gabbai Rishon.

“I have benefited greatly from our community and I get a lot of satisfaction from giving congregants opportunities to participate in our services and enhance their religious experiences. I made a commitment to the KBI Life & Legacy campaign to ensure future generations benefit from belonging to one of the oldest and most vibrant conservative synagogues in the region.”

Bernard Shinder is a tax lawyer who was one of the founders and president of the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation.

“I’ve been a member of KBI since 1961. I want to ensure that our synagogue and Jewish community continues to be robust well into the future. Giving a gift to KBI in a will is a gift that gives forever.”

Harvey Slack is a member of the KBI Board of Directors.

“As immigrants from Russia, my grandparents, parents and relatives instilled in me the importance of community, worship, learning and caring for those in need.  Now as part of the KBI family, I am leaving a legacy gift so that these things I value are sustained for future generations.”

More Resources:

For more information about the Life & Legacy initiative, explore these resources:

Importance of Professional Advice

We strongly recommend you consult your own lawyer or other professional advisor about the applicability to your situation.

What does my advisor need to know?

Here is some information that may be helpful:

  • Our legal name is Kehillat Beth Israel Congregation
  • Our charitable registration number is: 131168874 RR 0001
  • Our address is 1400 Coldrey Avenue, Ottawa ON K1Z 7P9
  • Any gift left to KBI in a Will becomes part of Life & Legacy fund, unless otherwise specified.

Ways of Giving

How can you plan a gift to KBI to help ensure your lasting legacy in our community while sustaining our synagogue in the future? Naming KBI as a beneficiary of one of your assets, such as your retirement plan or life insurance policy costs nothing during your lifetime but will have a powerful impact for years to come.

You have several options and each one has its own set of unique tax advantages. Here’s a brief overview but please talk to your professional advisor to find out more.

Gift in your Will Whether you give a set amount or a percentage of your estate, you can have an extraordinary, positive impact.

A Will bequest can be as simple as a sentence or two naming KBI in your Will or in a codicil added to your existing Will.

You can leave a share of your assets: It can be a percentage of what is left of your Estate or assets after other gifts (and debts) have been paid—this is known as a “residual gift.”

You can leave a fixed sum of money: This type of gift is known as a “specific gift.”

Retirement Assets Donating a portion of your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is a simple, flexible way to give to KBI while enjoying tax benefits. There are several ways to give a gift of life insurance: You can include KBI in the beneficiary information of the plan document. You can also nominate multiple beneficiaries so that you ensure loved ones are cared for while also providing a donation to KBI. A tax receipt for the value of the investment gifted will be issued to your estate and applied toward the final income tax return.
Gift of Life Insurance Donating your life insurance is one of the easiest ways to make a significant impact on KBI’s future with a relatively small gift today. You can make KBI the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. This option gives you no immediate tax benefits since KBI does not own the policy, but your estate will receive a charitable tax receipt for the death benefits.
Securities Donating the value of stocks, mutual funds and bonds allows you to make a gift without depleting your bank account. When you give appreciated stock, mutual funds or bonds you can avoid capital gains tax and receive a charitable income tax deduction for the full amount of the gift.

TOP 5 Legacy Giving Myths

  1. I already give money annually. Thank you so much! Regular giving is an important part of how non-profits keep their doors open. But what happens to the organization you have supported when you are no longer here to make that gift? A legacy gift can help ensure that your support continues.
  2. Only seniors can leave a legacy gift. Seniors are an important and influential group, but any person—no matter their age—can support the causes and organizations they cherish after they are gone. If you have assets, you’ll want to be the one to decide how they should be divided… at any age.
  3. I will need to hire a lawyer. There are many Legacy gift vehicles that don’t require hiring an attorney. Consider making your favorite non-profit a beneficiary of a portion of your life insurance policy or retirement fund. This change can usually be made with a single phone call and a signature, no attorney necessary.
  4. My children are getting all my money. Every parent wants to make sure their children are financially secure. Consider leaving just a portion of your estate to charitable causes. A gift like this will leave your children with both financial support and an ethical lesson in the importance building a better world.
  5. I have to be a millionaire to leave a legacy. The beauty of legacy giving is that you can make a gift of any amount of your estate. Whether your estate is worth a few shekels or a few billion, your gift is your legacy. And your legacy should live on!

Sustain the synagogue life you treasure with a gift to KBI in your Will, retirement account or life insurance policy.

Please contact Rena Garshowitz at 613.728.3501 ext. 225 or email if you would like to discuss legacy or planned giving.

Tue, 18 June 2024 12 Sivan 5784