L’Dor V’Dor, and Pass the Turkey!

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 8:49am

1517 Next week American Jews will celebrate the infamous hybrid holiday, Thanksgivukkah. My husband, Eliot, and I, along with the rest of my immediate family, will be altering our Thanksgiving plans this year. Next week we will traverse the overcrowded airports during the most frenzied travel week of the year; we will fly to Florida, to gather with over 50 of my family members.  Every few years my mom and her many first cousins gather all of the children and grandchildren together for a Thanksgiving/family reunion weekend. This year we are doing just that—but this year we have even more to celebrate, and even more to be thankful for.  The family reunion is spurred by the 90th birthday of my great-aunt Rene, who is an Auschwitz survivor, and the only remaining family member of my grandparent’s generation. As a giant, raucous, crazy family, we will celebrate Thanksgiving, light the Chanukah menorah, and light the candles on Aunt Rene’s (surprise) birthday cake. Thanksgivukkah 5774 will be special, indeed.
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The Story of Thanksgivukkah

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 4:41pm

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater


1507 The story of Thanksgivukkah will become American Jewish lore as two holidays, one Jewish and one secular, overlap into the most delicious celebration you will ever experience. This year, for the first time, the first day of Chanukah will fall on Thanksgiving Day. This once-in-a-lifetime holiday, dubbed Thanksgivukkah, will not occur again until the year 79,811!
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How-To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah in Tidewater

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 3:41pm

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

1506 The stories of Chanukah and Thanksgiving are not so different.  Both tell the tale of a people who, despite all odds, survived and continued to live for generations based on their belief systems, history, and traditions. Both holidays evoke a kindness in our hearts of charity, family, and togetherness. At Thanksgiving, we offer gratitude to those who have assisted and supported us as we recall the surprising bond formed between two strange cultures. During Chanukah, we recognize the great sacrifices made by our ancestors as they fought to preserve our shared culture and traditions. As we recite the stories of the first successful harvest in a new land and the wondrous miracle of the burning oil, it is easy to be overcome with hope for the future.

Thanksgivukkah will become American Jewish lore as two holidays, one Jewish and one secular, overlap into the most delicious celebration you will ever experience. This year, for the first time, the first day of Chanukah will fall on Thanksgiving Day. This once-in-a-lifetime holiday, dubbed Thanksgivukkah, will not occur again until the year 79,811!

So, as you plan your menu (turkey or brisket?), send out invitations, and gather the necessary supplies, ask yourself … how can you celebrate Thanksgivukkah in Tidewater?
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Jews Are Twice as Likely to Leave Bequests Than Non-Jews

Mon, 11/04/2013 - 10:25am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1501 By Alex Daniels, posted at www.philanthropy.com on October 10, 2013

Twenty-three percent of American Jews have provided for charities in their wills, nearly twice as many as people who don’t follow that faith, according to a study released today.

Jews were also more likely to have wills—74 percent of them do, compared with 60 percent of non-Jews.

What’s more, the study found that the people most likely to leave a bequest to any kind of charity, not just Jewish nonprofits, were Jews who are connected to their tradition—such as those who attend synagogue, take part in Jewish civic organizations, or travel to Israel.

Forty-five percent of Jews who belong to Jewish organizations make planned gifts, the study found, compared with 15 percent of Jews who don’t belong to a faith-based group.
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U.S. Trust Study Reveals Disconnects in Philanthropic Conversations Between HNW Individuals and Professional Advisors

Mon, 11/04/2013 - 10:09am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1502 Originally posted October 9, 2013 by Melody Griffin on the Planned Giving Design Center website, pgdc.com.

This is a must-read for advisors currently working with or wanting to work with HNW families, couples or individuals. Advisors are missing the boat according to the new study just released by The Philanthropic Initiative and commissioned by U.S. Trust. Learn when clients want you to start the philanthropic conversation, what they want to discuss, and what percentage of HNW individuals indicate they would be more likely to choose an advisor who is knowledgeable about charitable giving!

NEW YORK – Professional advisors almost universally agree that philanthropy plays an important role in their high net worth (HNW) clients’ wealth experience, and that engaging clients about their philanthropic ambitions is good for their own business. However, a recent U.S. Trust study reveals several disconnects between HNW individuals and advisors centering on the initiation and substance of philanthropic conversations. For instance, many advisors underestimate their clients’ desire to discuss their charitable goals and passions, and overestimate the importance of tax benefits as a motivation for giving.

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Preparing for another sleepless night….

Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:44am

Posted in: Community Relations Council

1493 From the CRC Director's Desk

After returning from the AIPAC Policy Conference in March, I found myself experiencing one sleepless night after another, eventually stretching into weeks of restless tossing and turning.  Throughout the conference, I learned more disturbing information about Iran’s progress and intentions with regards to their nuclear weapons program than I had ever wanted to know.  Though I attended the AIPAC Policy Conference with concerns focusing on Israel’s safety and how an Iranian nuclear weapon would affect Israeli security, I wound up learning more and more about what that program would mean to us as American citizens and gaining a profound appreciation for just how concerned we should be.  This information embedded itself in my brain only to resurface, without warning, as nightly wake up calls.

I’ll admit that I’m not a good sleeper anyway; often waking up in the middle of the night mentally tallying off all the things I need to accomplish the next day or later that week, worrying about my family, work, or with anxiety concerning events in and around Israel.  Though this happens often, this is the first time I have woken up with worries about America’s safety.  

What is causing me to lose so much sleep?
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Veterans Day Event

Wed, 10/16/2013 - 8:42am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Special Events

1492 Monday, Nov. 11, 11 am

When the nation celebrates Veterans Day, a solemn ceremony will also take place at the Jewish Veterans Memorial on the Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish community.

Now three years old, the memorial was created through significant donations, as well as by the purchase of pavers inscribed with the names of Jewish veterans who served in the past as well as those currently serving in the Armed Forces. Veterans from Russia, Canada and Israel are also honored.
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Stein family endows the Stein Family College Scholarship

Wed, 10/09/2013 - 7:51am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Planned Giving

1486 The generosity of a few can impact the lives of generations to come. Case in point—the Stein family, which is helping Jewish students from throughout Hampton Roads fulfill their dreams of a quality college education.

Five years ago, the family established the Stein Family College Scholarship through the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. The Scholarship was renewed annually, and ensured that each year a deserving college student would receive $10,000 to help offset tuition and other expenses; students could continue to receive the scholarship throughout their college careers by maintaining a level of academic excellence. Read more »

Seven Anxieties about Asking for Money And What to Do about Them

Wed, 08/21/2013 - 8:36am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Planned Giving

1474 It’s been said over and over in a thousand different ways: fundraising is not about money – it’s about relationships.  But still, the vast majority of people who have not earned their Major Gifts Cultivation badge get snagged by various forms of anxiety about money.  If we can name some of those anxieties, maybe we can disempower them, so we can get back to talking about relationships.  Here are seven that I have heard frequently.
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How-To Celebrate the High Holidays 5774/2013 in Tidewater

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 2:31pm

Posted in: Shalom Tidewater

The How-To Live Jewishly in Tidewater blog will feature posts throughout the year with information about Jewish life in Tidewater. Articles will discuss topics such as how-to celebrate the holidays in Tidewater, how-to keep kosher in Tidewater, how-to give back in Tidewater, and more! Feel free to contact Rebecca Bickford, Community Concierge, if there is something specific that you would like more information on.

1473 The High Holidays are a whirlwind of culture, spiritual revival, and community. Preparations begin more than a week ahead of time to ensure that enough food is prepared and enough beds are made. Family and friends travel, sometimes great distances, to reunite with one another for this most holy of times. We congregate as a People, led by our Rabbis, Cantors, and religious leaders, to reconcile ourselves with G-d, rejuvenate our souls, and rekindle our faith. We rise early before the sun to begin our Fast – we suffer through hunger pains as a reminder of our past transgressions. We suffer so that we may not only cleanse ourselves, but to repent for those transgressions with the promise of “never again.” We do this together, as a People, because on this Holiest of days, we must band together under His guidance, support one another, and nurture the delicate future of our children.

Now, dim the lights, sound the shofar, and ask… how can you celebrate the High Holidays in Tidewater?
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