I am grateful for my wonderful life. Since I was a child, giving back has always brought me joy. Establishing legacy commitments now will help sustain educational organizations and projects that will benefit my Jewish community after I am gone. The organizations I have chosen to support espouse fostering kindness and empathy for others. It is reassuring to know that I will make a difference for future generations.
I believe in paying it forward to help make the world a better place.
I was raised in a poor Jewish family in Wilmington, North Carolina. We were the have not Jews.
I have come to learn in life that giving and helping others is more important to me than having fancy material possessions.
Many of the nonprofit organizations I have chosen to support help the needy people of my community with basic services. We have hungry poor people in Portland, and yes, even poor Jewish people here in need of housing, food and medical care.
I have named the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation the recipient of my retirement investment accounts to continue my legacy of tikkun olam – making the world a better place.
My early mentor was my grandfather Earl Bean who was instrumental in building the first synagogue in my home town of Olympia, Washington. My husband Tom z”l and I were fortunate to have many other philanthropic role models in our lives, including my parents, Ben and Edie Bean, and from Tom’s family, Tommy and May Georges.
Tom and I were proud to support many of Portland’s Jewish agencies because we believed in a unified Jewish community. I still do. Our estate plans include specific Jewish organizations that mattered the most to us. These legacy gifts will help ensure that these organizations will continue into the future.
Being Jewish and participating in community is both profound, as it connects us to our religion, history and tradition, as well as fun – so many exceptional people, so many good times. We joyfully made our bequests with the intention that the richness of Jewish life, with all its excellence and ridiculousness, piety and irreverence, be carried into future generations. More love, arguments, food, and meshugas!
We are both from families that exemplified the importance of Jewish values and traditions.
As children and then adults, we have been involved in the Jewish community for as long as we can remember, never forgetting that it is an honor to serve your community and help where we can in giving back.
We are so proud that our children and our grandchildren are also involved and carrying on the traditions to serve and to help.
Our legacy gifts honor the tradition of our parents and our goal of modeling community support for our children and grandchildren. We have been privileged to share our time and service with Portland Jewish community organizations and look forward to our continued involvement.
We were blessed to have great examples set by our parents and grandparents. They taught through example the importance of caring for the community and contributing to the community, which has many needs. We want to continue those traditions and also teach them to our children and grandchildren. We are confident that the OJCF will wisely use these resources for the benefit of the Jewish Community from generation to generation.
We are following in the footsteps of our grandparents and parents who gave of themselves both in time and financially for the continued continuity of the Portland and Kansas City Jewish communities. Our hope for our children and grandchildren is that they will love Judaism and support our community as we are trying to accomplish.
We strongly believe in helping to create a strong Jewish community where we live. After growing up in New York, Karen was surprised at the lack of Jewish support and information in our state of Oregon. Schools remain open here for Yom Kippur! We hope Temple Beth Israel will continue to be a growing and diverse community. By supporting it financially, and knowing there is a growing membership with many young families, we are doing our part to help secure a strong future for our synagogue.
I come from a Holocaust family. I grew up on stories of “How Nana saved Opa from the Nazis” and “Our boat was two hours into Brazilian waters when WW2 began or we would have been shipped back.” I have donated to the legacy project in the hope that our Jewish legacy will continue to honor the memories of those who perished and those who survived. It is also my hope that future generations will be taught and understand the importance of history and of fighting to preserve the social and political values that free multicultural societies are built upon.