Tell me more about the Beth Emet Foundation.
The Beth Emet Foundation was established in 1965. Through a number of endowed funds, the Foundation supports the synagogue in perpetuity and advances its religious, educational and social action programs. The Foundation has been, and continues to be, funded through generous gifts from Beth Emet members and others in the Jewish community. The majority of the Foundation funds provide their income to the synagogue while leaving principal untouched, a key approach to ensuring perpetual support to Beth Emet.
As of June 30, 2018, the Foundation had assets in excess of $3.8 million. The Foundation has experienced significant growth as a result of the T’rumah Capital Campaign. In the past 15 months, more than $1.0 million has been contributed to the Foundation with additional amounts expected to be received over the next few years. The T’rumah Campaign Fund is now the largest foundation fund with a balance in excess of $900k (An additional $170k sits in the T’rumah Liquidity Fund), followed by the Assuring Our Future Fund ($800k+), and the Rabbi Peter and Elaine Knobel Fund (nearly $500k). Income generated from these unrestricted funds now contribute nearly $100k of annual support towards Beth Emet’s operating budget. The remaining assets in the Foundation are contained in over 20 other endowed funds each targeting specific programs or areas of interest originally established by their benefactors. Contributions from these funds have supported programs as varied as camp and Israel scholarships, music programs, the soup kitchen, visiting scholars, and educational programming. The Foundation’s assets are professionally managed by Vanguard through a primarily passive investment strategy overseen by the Foundation’s board.
One of the easiest ways to support the Foundation is through the Dor L’dor Society – that is by including Beth Emet in your estate planning thereby leaving a lasting legacy to Beth Emet. Through the Foundation, we not only give to others, but we give to ourselves. Supporting our house of prayer, our programming and our commitment to tikkun olam strengthens us as a community.
If you would like to learn more about giving opportunities, please contact any member of the Board of The Beth Emet Foundation.
President – Jeff Mann
Vice President – Brad Wynn
Treasurer – Sarah Chavkin
Secretary – Stephen Reiches
Scott Hurwitz, Tony Nocchiero
What amount does the Foundation contribute to Beth Emet’s annual operating expenses?
The Beth Emet Foundation contributes five percent of the three-year average balance of its unrestricted funds toward the annual operating expenses of the synagogue. Prior to additional funds being contributed from the Capital Campaign, the historical amount contributed was approximately $65,000, or about three percent of the synagogue’s total operating budget. In the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, $89,000 was contributed toward the operating expenses of the synagogue. Should the goals of the Campaign be met, the amount available to be contributed is expected to more than double to approximately $140,000 annually.
In addition, outside of the amount contributed to the synagogue’s annual operating budget from the unrestricted funds, four percent of the 3-year average balance of the restricted funds are available each year to support additional synagogue programs and other needs that arise throughout the year (taking into account the specific donor restrictions).
How are the assets of the Foundation invested?
The Foundation works collaboratively with its investment advisor, Vanguard, to invest the Foundation assets in primarily passive (low-cost) index funds based on an asset allocation formula of 60% equities / 40% bonds. Within both the equity and bond allocations, there is a further sub-allocation which provides for both domestic and international exposure. If you would like more information about how the Foundation’s assets are invested, feel free to contact the Foundation’s President, Jeff Mann.
I am thinking about making a gift to the Foundation in addition to my Capital Campaign gift. What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted funds?
Unrestricted gifts offer the synagogue the most flexibility and greatest ability to allocate monies toward the most pressing needs at that particular time. Current events, technology, and congregational needs are always shifting, so what is relevant or a priority one year may not be relevant or a priority the next. If you want your gift to do the most good based on the synagogue’s current needs, an unrestricted gift will have the most impact. Gifts of any amount can be contributed to the Assuring Our Future Fund.
Restricted gifts are used for donors who want their gift to be used exclusively for a specific cause, such as scholarships, programs that focus on music, educational-oriented topics or social causes. To establish a new restricted fund, a minimum contribution of $25,000 is required. You can add donations to an already established restricted fund with no minimum amount. If you are interested in making a restricted gift, please contact Jeff Mann, the Foundation President, who will work with you to make sure your philanthropic desires can be accommodated.