JewishColumbus lay leader Sally Weisman, left, Bobby Covitz, director of LIFE & LEGACY at JewishColumbus, and lay leader Josh Barkan attend the 2019 LIFE & LEGACY Gathering in May in Springfield, Mass.

JewishColumbus was chosen as one of four new communities to join 58 others participating in the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s LIFE & LEGACY program, which aims to provide Jewish communities with tools to capitalize on today’s philanthropy opportunities.

The organization will be part of LIFE & LEGACY’s eighth cohort. The program works to promote after-lifetime giving to build endowments for the next generation of Jewish communal life, according to its website.

Over the course of four years, a cohort of local Jewish agencies and synagogues will receive coaching from and participate in community trainings with a LIFE & LEGACY community consultant who will provide tailored support to each organization on developing and implementing a planned giving initiative that fits that organization, according to a news release.

“Our acceptance into LIFE & LEGACY is a huge win for future generations of Columbus Jews,” said JewishColumbus CEO Joel Marcovitch in the release. “Our ability to respond to the future needs of the community depends on our ability to plan today. We want to celebrate those who are our partners in planning to secure the future. Each member of our community who becomes part of this program has become a beacon that will light our future.”

The program reflects on the knowledge that the United States is in the midst of a $59 trillion intergenerational transfer of wealth, according to the release, which provides ample opportunity for donations to Jewish organizations. Since 2012, donors via LIFE & LEGACY have committed almost $930 million to Jewish organizations, day schools and synagogues across North America.

Planned gifts can come in many forms, including but not limited to an IRA or retirement plan designation, life insurance policies and a bequest to an organization.

JewishColumbus launched LIFE & LEGACY through a $60,000 grant from the Columbus Jewish Foundation Legacy Board and will also receive annual financial support from Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Jim Bowman, past president of the Columbus Jewish Foundation and the chair of the LIFE & LEGACY steering committee, helped bring LIFE & LEGACY to Columbus.

“We have been analyzing LIFE & LEGACY for a number of years,” he said in the release. “The formation of JewishColumbus gave us the perfect window to move forward with this critical initiative. LIFE & LEGACY will help build endowments that will help JewishColumbus’ partners build financial stability, as well as integrate planned giving into the philanthropic culture of the Columbus Jewish community. LIFE & LEGACY will help us secure a strong Jewish future in Columbus.”

Bobby Covitz, director of LIFE & LEGACY at JewishColumbus, has attended the annual LIFE & LEGACY gathering for the past two years and developed relationships with his counterparts in other communities.

“The feedback that I received time and again was unanimous: LIFE & LEGACY is a community building initiative as much as a planned giving initiative,” he said in the release. “I am excited for the impact that this program will have on our already great community.”

The program will officially begin this fall with the first community training session. After, the cohort of Jewish organizations and synagogues will be finalized.

To learn more, visit or call Covitz at 614-559-3212.

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