Ner Tamid literally means eternal light. You can see our light at Temple Beth El hanging over the bimah in the sanctuary, as it is in all Jewish houses of worship. It symbolizes that the traditions and values of Judaism continue on forever. As we all know, and don’t like to think about, no individual goes on forever – at least not physically. Our temple, however, has a life that has already extended for three or more generations, and hopefully will continue for many more.
As we are constantly reminded, the lifeblood of a temple, besides its partners (members) is the ability to continue to finance religious services, education, social programs, etc. We, as individuals, certainly do that which we are able to support TBE each year, but these donations always need to be subsidized by annual giving opportunities.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an additional stream of income that could be used, according to a donor’s wishes, to support his/her most cherished temple activity? The good news is that anyone can do that, even if they cannot afford to at the present time, by considering a gift to TBE as part of a program of legacy giving. One example is a bequest in a person’s will for a specific amount to go to TBE earmarked to the donor’s favorite area. We have such a program we call “Ner Tamid”.
Several of our fellow congregants have already informed us of bequests they have made; some to specific areas like the Endowment Fund, a specific tribute fund or just a general contribution to TBE. I made my own bequest several years ago; it was painless. All that was needed was to add a clause to my existing will. By the way, everyone needs to have a will regardless of age. As always, it is recommended that you consult with your financial advisor, attorney or accountant about how legacy giving can be beneficial to you now and to the temple later.
For more information, please contact Marcia Schwalb, Vice President of Finance and Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself, Michael Heiberger at email@example.com.