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Jewish Federation Receives $1.3 Million Bequest

Jewish Federation Receives $1.3 Million Bequest

What motivates a person to give? What is it that inspires a couple to plan ahead to truly make a positive impact in their community for many years following their death?

We posed that question to the family of Dr. Charles and Lillian Kaplan, long-time Seattle Jewish community members, philanthropists and leaders who made a bequest of $1.3 million to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

The answer was simple, really. "They gave because there was a need," said Bob Kaplan, their son. "My parents felt strongly that the Jewish community needs support, and if they were in a position to give, they should do so. They believed that being part of a community meant that one should give of their time, energy and their financial resources. They received a call asking them to give, and they responded."

The Kaplan's gift will have an impact for generations to come. According to their wishes, their gift will support the annual Community Campaign that provides funding for a wide variety of Jewish community needs, both here in Seattle and overseas, and it will also provide scholarships for children and teens to attend Jewish overnight summer camps or teens and young adults to visit Israel.

"My father experienced growing up in a community that did not always welcome and support Jewish people, and he knew that he always wanted to provide opportunities for young people to connect with their Jewish heritage and experience what it feels like to be part of a strong Jewish community," said Bob Kaplan.

Jane Kaplan noted that her parents were, "truly committed to sharing their own good fortune. What was most important to them was the continuity of the Jewish community and Jewish education. And my dad had no hesitation about asking others to join him in dedicating financial resources to support the community."

The Kaplans were active members of the Jewish community, helping to found Temple Beth Am and serving in many volunteer capacities for the Federation. Dr. Kaplan was the Board Chair of the Federation from 1978-79. Ron Leibsohn, past Board Chair, remembers the Kaplans for their dedication to the community and for always doing what was right.

"Charles and Lillian Kaplan exemplified all of the positive Jewish values," said Leibsohn. "They lived their lives to the fullest, always choosing to do the right thing, even if it was not always the easiest. They were true role models for all of us in the community, and they would want each of us to follow their example. The best legacy we can give them is that the next generation continues to support and participate fully in the Jewish community to ensure that we have a strong, thriving place for Jewish people to live for generations to come."

Richard Fruchter, a past President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, noted, "This gift will have an enduring impact - Charles and Lillian's perpetual campaign gifts will continue to connect Jewish lives and strengthen our community. In addition, hundreds of young people will be able to experience the thrill of building their Jewish identity at summer camp or by visiting Israel."

The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle is launching a comprehensive planned giving initiative to secure our Jewish community's future. We offer many ways for community members to make a bequest, either through a designation in a will, a trust or endowment, all of which can provide the donor with either immediate or long-term tax benefits. A bequest is an important way for donors to ensure they continue to have a positive impact on the Jewish community for ensuing generations. And now, donors can specifically focus their giving to reflect their passions for a variety of specific community needs.

For information on how to make a bequest of any size, contact Tony Ramsey, J.D., LL.M., Director of Endowment & Planned Giving at 206-774-2252 or tonyr@jewishinseattle.org.