A Legacy for Ohef Sholom Temple

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 12:46pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

2199 Etched upon the doorposts of Ohef Sholom is our mission, "My House shall be a House of Prayer for all Peoples." Our open, inclusive community is a mosaic of multigenerational Jews and their families, all connected by a search for spiritual meaning, moral purpose, and a sense of belonging.

We are inspired by high caliber clergy, programming, worship and volunteer opportunities that create fulfilling social networks. Although we are the oldest and largest Jewish organization in Hampton Roads, we have not only adapted but also thrived with changing times by incorporating innovation into all facets of Jewish tradition, education, and life.

Who We Are

Ohef Sholom is a house of worship for all peoples as we are all created in the image of God. We embrace Jewish people of every age, couples, and families, who represent all forms of Jewish practice.

Additionally, we welcome who have traditionally faced closed doors, including special needs communities, LGBTQ individuals, and interfaith couples and families. Membership is open to everyone regardless of ability to pay the full cost.

Together we honor our past, embrace change, and live our values.

What We Do

  • Express pride in our heritage by preserving our Temple and its long history as a house of Reform Jewish continuity with uplifting worship, soulful music, and engaging programming. 
  • Rejoice in lifecycle events. 
  • Encourage Jewish learning with programs for all ages to study Torah and Jewish texts. 
  • Commit ourselves to Israel, by learning about our religious, historical and cultural connections 
  • Look outside of our congregation to see how we can repair and enhance our community. 
  • Connect with our community through outreach to share our faith with both Jewish and non-Jewish communities, and celebrate what we have in common.

What We Need

Prior generations provided us with an exceptional house of worship. Now as our 175th Anniversary approaches, Ohef Sholom has partnered with Tidewater Jewish Foundation and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to ensure our future for generations to come with endowment gifts to our Life & Legacy.

New Legacy donors Mandi and Ross Firoved want people to know that you don’t have to be a millionaire to leave a legacy gift. They leveraged their young age with a TJF program that helps pay insurance premiums that allowed them to leave a substantial legacy gift. “It is our responsibility to leave behind a foundation to continue to teach Jewish traditions and beliefs for our children and our grandchildren. If we don’t support our Jewish institutions, who else will?”

Matthew Fine, chair of OST’s Life & Legacy program, says, “By making a legacy commitment, you can express values instilled in you by your parents and grandparents. You can preserve programs and organizations that support Jewish life. And, you can perpetuate cherished Jewish traditions for future.

For more information about Life & Legacy, please contact Linda Peck at (757) 625-4295.

Ensuring the future of JFS

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 11:37am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Stanley Samuels and his wife Linda are well aware of the ever-growing needs in our community and all that JFS does to help those who need it most. Stanley was president of JFS from 1982-1984 and their daughter, Marcia Samuels, followed in his footsteps when she served as president of the agency more recently, from 2012-2014. Because of their involvement with JFS and other great organizations in our community, the Norfolk residents know first-hand how JFS’ mission of promoting quality of life helps so many. That is why they chose to become JFS Life and Legacy donors.

As Stanley says, “Not everyone is fortunate enough to never need to ask for help. Many of the people JFS helps never thought they’d need the assistance. We are so grateful to be in a position to provide such help and do a mitzvah. We feel it’s so important to keep the legacy and mission of JFS going strong for generations to come.”

“Often our focus is on the short-term - the needs we have in the next week, the next month or the next year,” comments Betty Ann Levin, JFS Executive Director. “The Life and Legacy program is an opportunity to focus on the future and ensure that JFS is in a position to deliver essential services in the long-term.”

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JFS strengthens our community by providing essential services that help people overcome life’s challenges to live fuller, healthier and more meaningful lives. Whether it’s children coping with the loss of a loved one, families facing financial crisis, individuals recovering from surgery, or older adults with a debilitating illness, more than 3,000 individuals benefit from services each year.

JFS provides a continuum of home-based solutions, including home health care, counseling for families and individuals of all ages, care management, acculturation, guardianship, conservatorship, meals on wheels, adoption services, food and financial assistance, transportation to medical appointments and services to the developmentally disabled and chronically mentally ill.

JFS continues to provide unparalleled caring, support and resources to meet the needs of our community and is committed to providing our community with the highest level of care and expertise. Whether in home health care or social services, highly trained staff and volunteers provide a level and consistency of care rarely found in other social service agencies. The agency’s wide range of programs and services for individuals enables JFS to offer integrated services tailored to meet each client’s individual needs regardless of faith, age, ethnic background, and income.               

Lawrence Steingold, JFS immediate past president and legacy program chair states, “We are thrilled with the level of community support we have received thus far for this program.  We know how much community members care about JFS and it is heartening to have these conversations and hear how committed our donors are in ensuring the sustainability of our services into the future.”

For more information on leaving a Life & Legacy gift, call Betty Ann Levin, JFS Executive Director, at 757-321-2222, or Scott Kaplan, Tidewater Jewish Foundation President and CEO, at 757-965-6109.

Happy Chanukkah from the Kaplan Family!

Fri, 12/11/2015 - 2:56pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1985 Dear friends,

Tonight is a special night, as we will light six candles on the Chanukkah menorah, and also light the Shabbat candles. On this Shabbat in particular, we will talk about sharing the joy of Chanukkah with others, and encourage our daughters to choose a worthy organization to give a gift of tzedakah. This season is commonly associated with gift giving, and I have often thought how meaningful Chanukkah could be if every family dedicated one night as a night of giving to those less fortunate as opposed to receiving gifts. We could give our children, our friends and neighbors, our community, the gift of philanthropy! Consider ending the calendar year, or winding down the celebration of Chanukkah, by creating a legacy to benefit our Tidewater Jewish community for generations to come.

It is my hope that the warmth and light of the Chanukkah menorah bring you and your loved ones happiness and fulfillment. From my family to yours, Happy Chanukkah!

Warm regards and Shabbat Shalom,
Scott, Erica, Liora and Eden Kaplan

Denise and Jason Hoffman Talk Legacy

Tue, 10/20/2015 - 8:32am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Tradition and custom were a big part of childhood for both Denise and Jason Hoffman. Both experienced structure and ritual—but the juxtaposition was huge. While close geographically, their experiences were worlds apart.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Jason’s family was fairly observant. Weekly Shabbat dinners took place in his kosher home and attended a Solomon Schechter day school. Jason says of his childhood, “Being Jewish was certainly part of who we were.”

Across the water in New Jersey, Denise Vastino was busy living her own life. “We did all of the Catholic things. There was much structure and many rules. However, as I got older I began to stray from that mold,” Denise says of her own upbringing. “Like Jason in the Jewish world, I lived in a very Italian neighborhood. My friends were primarily Italian Catholics. We stuck together.”

Fast forward to 1999, when Jason and Denise meet at a mutual friend’s party. Denise was not feeling well, and Jason offered her his coat. The rest is history. Differences in their faith were not an issue. As their relationship progressed, the issue of faith took on more relevancy. “In my family there was an expectation that you would marry someone Jewish. The fact that I was moving towards not [doing so] was met with disapproval.” Denise and Jason focused on their relationship and what had brought them together: their common values and morals.

Shifting Perspectives: Virginia Tech Student Adam Zelenka and the importance of Hillel

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:59am

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Shifting Perspectives

The Tidewater Jewish Foundation recently partnered with Hillel at Virginia Tech for an event at the home of Brenda and Abbey Horwitz. This was an opportunity for local alumni, donors, parents, students and future students to learn more about what’s going on at Tech, the programs that are available through Hillel, and the importance of these programs to the students—and to ensure they are available for the next generation of Jewish students. One of our local Virginia Tech students, Adam Zelenka (sophomore), shared his feelings about Hillel:


Virginia Tech students Austin Sheffer, Adam Zelenka and Whitley Miller with Tech's Hillel Executive Director, Sue Kurtz

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Shifting Perspectives: Jewish Communal Work at the UJFT

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 2:31pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation, Shifting Perspectives

This article is the first of a continuing series that will spotlight local members of our Jewish community and its communal professionals. The Tidewater Jewish Foundation provides support for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater and all of our local Jewish agencies, plus many of the temples/synagogues.

Hometown: Chadds Ford, PA
Favorite Color: Purple
Occupation: Young Adult Division (YAD) Director of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater

What do you find most fulfilling about your job?

As the YAD Director for the Federation, which is a very communal-based agency, I am in a unique position to be at the forefront of meeting the future leaders of our community, and seeing what they’re all about. I get to find out what’s important to them, and how we can make sure that our mission, our projects and our programs reflect those interests, to keep them engaged.

When you meet people who are interested in getting involved because they have heard how great YAD is, or how much fun their friends are having at YAD events, or how incredible a YAD leadership program is, and to see the same people keep coming back year after year, spreading the message and bringing new people with them—that’s really fulfilling. At a family Shabbat, when you see the same people you’ve been seeing for the last six years—plus ten new families who want to be engaged in the community—that’s really satisfying.
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'I-Am-From-The-IRS' Phone Fraud

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 3:10pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1817 At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 12, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Timothy Camus, explained the growth of an IRS "phone impersonation scam." Camus called the "I-am-from-the-IRS" phone fraud the "largest, most persuasive impersonation scam in the history of our agency."

The scam usually starts with a fraudster using a fake name who calls a victim. The fraudster gives a false "badge number" and claims the victim owes taxes. The scammer frightens the victim by claiming there is criminal liability without an immediate payment.
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IRS "Tax Time Guide" Helps Taxpayers

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 1:11pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1812 With tax filing season now at full speed, the IRS published a "Tax Time Guide" with many tips that will help taxpayers.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen noted, "We are doing everything we can to help taxpayers get the assistance they need this tax season. Our phone lines are extremely busy this year, so this series will offer taxpayers tips on how to get help. There also are important options and issues to keep in mind as the April 15 deadline approaches."

There are many online services on www.irs.gov to assist taxpayers.
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Personal Planner

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 12:39pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1811 Gifts of Stock

What will the market do this year? Perhaps the best answer is, "It will go up and down." Stock returns vary to a significant degree each year. However, long-term stock returns have been reasonably substantial.

Between 1990 and 2010, the average stock return was about 6%. While there was a very substantial increase during 1990-2000 and decreases during 2002 and 2008, the total return over two decades was approximately 6%.

Longer holding periods have generally resulted in higher total returns. The total stock return for seven decades between 1940 and 2010 was in excess of 10%. Returns for long periods of time have paralleled this amount.

Because many stocks have increased in value over time, you may hold stocks with substantial appreciation. If you're considering a major gift or end-of-year gift, a gift of public company stock to charity provides two major benefits. First, there is a charitable deduction for the value of the stock. Second, the charity does not pay tax on the sale of the stock so you bypass the capital gain.
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Do You Need To File A Tax Return in 2015?

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 2:21pm

Posted in: Tidewater Jewish Foundation

1810 What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for retirees this tax season? I didn’t have to file last year, but I picked up a little income from a part-time job in 2014 and I’m wondering whether I need to file this year.

Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year will depend on how much you earned (gross income), the source of that income, your filing status and your age. Your gross income includes all the income you receive that is not exempt from tax, excluding your Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing separately.

Here’s a rundown of the IRS filing requirements for this tax season. You probably won’t have to file if your 2014 gross income is below the threshold for your age and filing status. However, if your gross income is above the threshold then most likely you will.
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