LIFE & LEGACY® is a four-year partnership program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that assists communities across North America to promote after-lifetime giving to benefit local Jewish day schools, synagogues, social service organizations and other Jewish entities. Temple Beth Emeth is a part of this unique alliance with ten additional organizations in the Ann Arbor Jewish community. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does TBE benefit from participating in LIFE & LEGACY? 
    1. A dedicated, experienced consultant facilitating quarterly training sessions 
    2. Materials and marketing resources 
    3. Incentive dollars for reaching goals of 18 and 25 Letters of Intent
  2. Why are endowment funds important? Philanthropic advisors state: If 20% of your operating budget is not coming from your endowment by 2030, then your organization will be in fiscal crisis. $1 million in our endowment funds would generate approximately $50,000 to our operating budget.  
  3.  What is the difference between endowment funds and expendable funds? 
    1. LIFE & LEGACY gifts are earmarked for TBE’s L’Dor V’Dor Endowment Fund. This fund is invested with the Jewish Community Foundation of Ann Arbor. Each year a percentage, typically 5%, is drawn out to offset TBE operating expenses. The principal remains untouched to grow over time. Income earned over 5% is re-invested in the fund. 
    2. Expendable funds, like the Rabbi and Cantor’s discretionary funds and the Members Helping Members fund are used to support expenses that are not allocated in the budget. The dollars in these funds are not invested and are available immediately to cover expenses.
  4. What are some of the ways I can make a legacy gift to TBE?
    1. Gift (bequest) in will  
    2. Percentage of retirement account – 401k or IRA 
    3. Percentage of life insurance policy

A legacy gift costs nothing now yet gives you the satisfaction of knowing you have provided for Temple Beth Emeth in the future. 

  1. What are the next steps?
    1. Think about what TBE means to you and how you can ensure our financial stability in the future. 
    2. Talk with your financial advisor and/or attorney about the best way for you to make a legacy gift. 
    3. Complete the Letter of Intent form (attached here) and return to Melissa Sigmond at the TBE office: 2309 Packard Street, Ann Arbor 48104 

For More Information

For more information about how you can participate with LIFE & LEGACY, contact Melissa Sigmond (, Margaret Hannon (, Judie Lax (, or Robin Little (

Case Statement 

Since 1966, Temple Beth (TBE) has been the only Reform Jewish congregation in Ann Arbor, serving and supporting members across the life span and the life cycle. Our egalitarian and inclusive congregational family is founded on the values of friendship, openness, belonging, caring, and the sharing of Jewish values, heritage, customs, and traditions. Men and women, Jews by birth and Jews by choice, come together in times of celebration and sorrow, with open arms and loving hearts, when we pray, sing, cry, or mourn.  

We value Jewish religious and cultural education for children and adults; we provide multiple opportunities for the expression of spirituality and belief in God through worship, Torah study, sacred music, and affinity groups. We are committed to the Reform movement and responsive to Jewish and social issues through tikkun olam. This is lived daily in our 45-year Genesis relationship with our partner, St. Clare’s Episcopal Church. We actively engage in partnerships with other Jewish organizations and the broader Ann Arbor community on issues of common concern.  

Since the shutdown of our building in March due to the pandemic, our impact has increased in a variety of unexpected ways. Our members are turning to us as their Jewish center in a world that is unsettled in so many ways. Our online programming includes three to six offerings each day, facilitated by clergy, senior staff, and congregants. These programs include morning and afternoon blessings, Shabbat services, choir rehearsals, study groups, and meditation sessions. We are hearing from congregants how much they value and appreciate these programs that provide them opportunities to interact with others who are also at home.  

We are here for you now when we need one another. Our legacy donors are individuals just like you who want to ensure that future generations, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will have a thriving Jewish community to enrich their lives.  

The Talmud expresses this so well: As my ancestors planted for me, so do I plant for future generations. Please join us!  

Donor List

Life and Legacy Logo

Anonymous (4)
Mae Axelrood
Laurie & Jeff Barnett
Jesse Bernstein
Jack Billi and Sheryl Hirsch
Charles and Irene Butter
Ronald and Stephanie Chervin
Alan and Bette Cotzin
Ann S. Epstein
Annette Frank Fisch
Susan R. Fisher
Judith and Paul Freedman
Bruce Friedman and Hillary Murt
James and Trina Fuller
Nanette Gill
David and Susan Lockett Gitterman
Ed and Mona Goldman
Hillary Handwerger, z”l
Ken Handwerger
Margaret and David Hannon
Susan Harris, z”l
Cantor Regina and Mr. Avishay Hayut
Bobbi and David Heilveil
Ralph Katz and Deborah Scott Katz
Marc L. Kessler
Mark Kolins and Maria Abrahamsen
Ted and Wendy Lawrence
Judie and Jerry Lax
Donald and Julia Levitt
Arthur and Karen Lindenberg
Robin and Rod Little
Marty and Kathy Ludington
Nancy and Phil Margolis
Betsy Yvonne Mark
Jack and Cathy Marshall
Ed Stein and Pat McCune
Newell and Myrna Miller
Bruce and Gayle Moyer
Sharon and Chuck Newman
Marylen S. Oberman, Ph. D.
Mark and Susan Orringer
William and JoAnn Parkus
Robin and Joe Pollak
Sue Rauschl and Elaine Yeglic
Mali Resnik
Steve and Kathy Rhodes
Cantor Annie Rose
Howard and Lisa Saulles
Ronnie L. Shapiro
Rhonda and Stuart Simon
Arthur and Elizabeth Solomon
Eva E. Taylor, z”l
Fredda Unangst
Laura A. Wallace
Martha Weintraub & Peter Smith
Rabbi Josh and Sarah Whinston

*z”l is an abbreviation for a zichronah livracha
which means of blessed memory.