Why do you feel it is important to sustain the Holocaust Center's work?
For two reasons: My feeling has always been that it is a miracle that I'm here. It's not only by the grace of God that I'm here, but because there were good people who helped my mother.
My grandparents and my mom made a plan. They felt that they couldn't leave things to chance and that they had to be prepared to take action if necessary. Thanks to Maria, a childhood friend of my Mom's, and her relatives, my mother was provided a false identity and a hiding place until the war ended. These are the people who have been my role models, so I try to take a similar approach - to be responsible for what goes on in the community and in the world around me. I do my best to pay it forward.
The second reason is that we now understand what compels someone to actively protect someone else as so many rescuers did during the Holocaust. We can now define and examine the personal characteristics that motivate and empower an individual to standup for other people. I want the Center to be able to teach those traits to everyone, especially our children. There are so many ways we are able to connect these lessons to today's current events be it bullying in schools, governments infringing on individual freedoms or a whole group of people being threatened with genocide.
The Center is uniquely positioned to use the strong context of the Holocaust to warn against hate and promote inclusion and diversity, and it's the only organization in town that makes this its focus. This education is essential for our future and could be life changing...for all of us.
What steps did you take to designate the Holocaust Center as a beneficiary in your estate plans?
It was very easy. My husband and I were working with our lawyer to revise our financial plans since our children are grown and successful, and I wanted to include the Holocaust Center in our plans. I told my attorney what I wanted and he wrote it in - very simple.
Is your planned gift earmarked for a specific program or purpose?
No. And I did that intentionally. I've been involved with the Holocaust Center for more than 20 years and I know the needs of the Center will change over time. I want this gift to be used as the leadership sees fit so that the Center can meet the evolving needs of our community. I have full faith in the Center's leadership, the consistent commitment to our mission and longstanding, healthy financial state.
Do you have a message for those thinking about including the Holocaust Center in their estate plans?
Do it! The Center's mission and work are unduplicated in our community and will always be needed. Making a planned gift is a wonderful way to make sure this work will continue to create a better world for my granddaughter and future family, as well as yours.