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As we gather to commemorate the sacred holiday of Shavuot, all of us at the Jewish Future Pledge extend our heartfelt wishes to our dear community and to all those joining in this celebration worldwide. On this poignant day, we recall and honor the Torah's profound gift to us as a people, handed down at the foot of Mount Sinai. 

As the sun dips below the horizon this evening, we invite you to immerse yourself in the profound spirit of Shavuot. This festival underscores the deep and enduring bond that unites us as a people, illuminating our shared heritage and values. Let us reflect upon the enduring wisdom and guidance found in the Torah and recommit ourselves to nourishing the future of our cherished Jewish community. 

All of us at the Jewish Future Pledge wish you a heartfelt Chag Sameach. May your Shavuot be filled with blessings, joy, and the warmth of togetherness.

Welcome to the May edition of the Jewish Future Pledge Newsletter!

Pledges to date: The Jewish Future Pledge reached 19,254 pledgers, and the Jewish Youth Pledge now has 14,144 youth Pledgers!

In this edition:

  • Celebrating our 18,000th “Chai” Pledger, Rabbi David Wolpe
  • How an upset retreat attendee changed one pledger’s view of legacy discussions
  • Discovering the power of legacy insurance gifting
  • Everything new and newsworthy at The Jewish Future Pledge

Pledger Spotlight: Amy Berko Iles

Why does the Jewish Future matter to you? 

Our people have an extraordinary past, and we would be remiss if we weren’t cognizant of ensuring we have a future. 

What are you doing to create and have impactful multi-generational conversations about legacy? 

I recently co-hosted a JNF family retreat entitled Your Jewish Roots, Our Jewish Future, which brought a few dozen families together to talk about their values and heritage. One impactful moment occurred when a young woman stood up and voiced her frustration with her Jewish education, her family’s approach to Judaism and even her presence at the event. The room went very quiet but instead of triggering an argument or confrontation, we responded by saying that it was a good thing that she had spoken out and that her comments were all valid and important. 

We all learned together that when we didn’t ostracize this young woman, and instead acknowledged and accepted her interpretation, we allowed everyone to have space to engage in deeper discussions. By the end of the weekend, she was out on the dance floor with the rest of us. Together, we learned the importance of asking young people what they’re interested in, rather than trying to impose our own priorities upon them. 

Why do you love the Jewish Future Pledge? 

The Pledge doesn’t tell you what to do and it doesn’t tell you what not to do. Rather, it asks you to publicly commit to do what you privately were likely already doing, or thinking of doing. It’s so positive and so simple. That’s the beauty of it. 

Amy is the co-sponsor of Your Jewish Roots, Our Jewish Future, a JNF multigenerational family retreat. For additional information about this unique weekend focusing on Jewish values and Jewish continuity, please contact Diane Scar at or 212-879-9305 ext. 840.

How To: Further Your Impact With
Legacy Insurance Gifting

What is legacy insurance gifting? 

In its simplest form, legacy insurance gifting is a wealth transfer tool for sustainable giving. Unlike typical legacy gifts, sustainable giving names a non-profit as the owner and beneficiary of a policy, allowing individuals to protect the longevity of their favorite organization. It is a more affordable way for more individuals to leave a substantial, ongoing legacy for a cause that’s meaningful to them. 

For example, a 30-year-old who wants to make a $100,000 endowment can pay approximately $100 a month for ten years through a legacy insurance gifting program. It would take this same person roughly 200 years to give that same amount in $500 annual donations to that same non-profit. 

Interested or want to learn more? Contact Kradle2, a new platform for leaving sustainable legacy gifts. You can also visit the Jewish Future Pledge’s Resources webpage for more articles, webinars, and information on planning your legacy. For Canadian donors, check out wealth advisor Mark Halpern’s article on strategy philanthropy here.

New and Newsworthy

Renowned Rabbi David Wolpe Becomes 18,000th “Chai Pledge Ambassador” For The Jewish Future Pledge: A Commitment To Preserve Heritage And Traditions

The Jewish Future Pledge proudly announced that the esteemed Rabbi David Wolpe, Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and acclaimed author, has taken on the honored role of JFP's 18,000th “Chai Pledge Ambassador.”

Meet the Next Jewish Leaders. They Guarantee It. – Washington Jewish Week

At age 18, Eli West, of Bethesda, took a pledge to always be an activist for the Jewish people. Every two years he’ll receive a text to remind him of his promise. Every five years, a letter will arrive to nudge him if he needs it. Sam Navarro, 18, of Rockville, wants to be a Jewish leader his whole life and has put his promise in writing. Like West, he will get periodic reminders about what his teenage self wrote to his adult self. The promises are part of an organized movement called the Jewish Youth Pledge.

Jewish Future Pledge Spawns Youth Pledge Initiative – Atlanta Jewish Times

With the official launch of the Jewish Youth Pledge, JFP’s mission is to redefine how Jewish youth and alums connect, engaging them in meaningful conversations and inspiring a renewed dedication to their shared heritage. The effort also strengthens ties between Jewish youth organizations and their alums.

Mike Leven Joins the Israel Daily News Podcast

Jewish Future Pledger Founder Mike Leven joined host Shanna Fuld on a recent episode of the Israel Daily News Podcast, an energetic roundup of the top 5 news stories coming out of Israel.


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