A Lion of Judah is an activist and philanthropist. Her passion drives her work and her giving. By endowing her gift, she ensures that her support for the work of Federation continues even after she is gone.
The Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE) is a key part of the Lion of Judah program. Through LOJE, Jewish women strengthen the Jewish community by providing funds to meet needs at home, in Israel and around the world.
A Lion of Judah creates a LOJE by establishing a minimum fund of $100,000 or more in her name, during her lifetime or by putting a bequest in her will. By endowing her gift, she joins a long honor roll of women who have elected to take this step to sustain Jewish life. A LOJE may choose to enhance her Lion of Judah pin by adding a flame, known in Hebrew as or l’atid, to recognize this eternal commitment.
How can a Lion of Judah make a LOJE commitment?
Every woman has a unique family and financial situation. In recognition of different estate planning and tax objectives, a LOJE can be easily designed to match a woman’s personal circumstances in a beneficial way.
Federation endowment professionals and financial and legal advisors can design a Lion of Judah Endowment that will help each donor realize her philanthropic vision while meeting the required criteria. There are various ways to create endowments, many of which do not have to be funded during a donor’s lifetime.
Cash or Appreciated Securities
This is the easiest way to create a LOJE. A LOJE that is created with a current gift of cash or other property may be used to pay an annual gift to the Women’s Campaign. If appreciated securities are donated and held for more than one year, capital gains taxes can be avoided and the donor will receive a tax receipt for the full value of the gift in the current year.
The most common way to create a LOJE is with a bequest . A charitable bequest allows a donor to retain use and control over her assets during her lifetime. An outright charitable bequest is deductible and reduces the amount of the estate subject to federal death taxes.
Here is a sample of language for a bequest:
“I bequeath the sum of [ ] to [the Federation (Federation address)] to establish the “[donor’s name] Lion of Judah Endowment Fund.” Five percent of the value of the fund is to be used on an annual basis to make a gift to the Women’s Campaign of [the Federation].
IRA or Pension Funds
Naming the Federation as the after-death beneficiary of an IRA pension fund can save up to 70% on taxes while perpetuating a woman’s Lion of Judah gift.
Life insurance is an advantageous and inexpensive way to fund a Lion of Judah Endowment, especially for younger women. When a woman purchases a new policy naming her Federation as owner and beneficiary, she receives a tax receipt for the full value of the annual premium payments. She can also transfer an existing policy and name the Federation as owner.
At the time of the transfer, she is entitled to a current deduction equal to the net cash or replacement value of the policy. All future premium payments, when paid, would be current tax deductions.
Charitable Remainder Trust & Charitable Lead Trust
A charitable remainder trust provides life income for one or several income beneficiaries, such as the donor and her spouse, and leaves the remainder interest to the Federation/foundation, which can be used to perpetuate the Lion’s annual gift to the Women’s Campaign.
Depending upon the donor's needs, charitable remainder trusts can be used as a personal retirement plan. They can be structured to pay income immediately or to defer the income. Unlike new restrictions on IRAs or amounts that can be contributed to qualified pension plans, there are no such restrictions on gifts that can be contributed to charitable remainder trusts. All the contributions qualify for a charitable income tax deduction.
Other Funding Vehicles
Other options for creating a LOJE include charitable income plans and gifts of property, art or jewelry. A financial professional or estate planner can help each woman select the one best suited for her individual needs and philanthropic goals.
Note: A LOJE is a permanent restricted fund. It is not intended to substitute for any part of a gift to the Jewish Federation’s annual campaign. A $100,000 endowment is expected to generate at least the Lion of Judah minimum of $5,000, calculated at a yield of 5%; a $200,000 fund will yield a minimum of $10,000; and a $1 million fund will yield a minimum $50,000 annually. LOJE funds are invested and prudently managed for maximum yield.
For further information about making the community-sustaining commitment to LOJE, contact your local Federation..