$1 million in funding
for security initiatives each year
$382k raised
to support Ukrainian Jews
120+ Columbus kids
sent to overnight Jewish summer camp

Leaving a Legacy – May 17, 2024 Shabbat Shalom Message

May 17, 2024


As Shabbat approaches, we pause to reflect on a week filled with a whirlwind of emotions. Our community gathered in solemn remembrance for Yom HaZikaron, paying tribute to the fallen Israeli soldiers and victims of terror. The somber mood quickly transformed into a jubilant celebration as 1,500 of us commemorated Israel’s 76th anniversary during Yom Ha’Atzmaut. These poignant moments underscore our community’s resilience—our ability to unite in grief and in joy, bound by our collective history and the pivotal role of Israel in our lives.
This reflection led me to think about the future of Jewish life in Columbus. How will our next generation engage with their Jewish identity? How do we ensure our community remains vibrant, relevant, and strong? Looking back on our achievements fills me with optimism.
Four years ago, JewishColumbus set out on a mission to unite Jewish community organizations and secure our collective future through Life & Legacy, coordinated by Jordan Saks (JewishColumbus’ Planned Giving Program Manager) and generously sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. 
Since then, 18 organizations have secured nearly 900 legacy commitments, with an estimated value surpassing $25 million. This initiative to build community endowments is a clear demonstration of our dedication to ensuring a sustainable future for the coming generations. These investments empower us to continue supporting one another and to ensure a future that is filled with joy, safety, and inclusivity.
Locally, I am so inspired by The Barnetts. Terri and Richard have shared with me this beautiful legacy testimony honoring their love of and commitment to this community, its people, and its institutions. The Jewish community of Central Ohio will continue to thrive thanks to their visionary gift.

Here is what they have shared:

We made Columbus our home by establishing our family, friends, and business here. We soon realized the importance of institutions and the interaction within our Jewish community. Our synagogue is not only a future for our children and grandchildren, but a future for all Jewish families of Columbus who embrace the tradition of Judaism, as part of our Life and Legacy gift. Living a Jewish life in Columbus has been our passion, it has been a vision, it has been a commitment and with the Life and Legacy, we are able to continue to support institutions like our synagogues, Columbus Torah Academy, Jewish Community Center and JewishColumbus for many years to come. 

Terri & Richard Barnett
This story serves as a powerful reminder that we each carry a unique narrative that must be told in order to live on. Legacy giving offers you the chance to share your story, to ensure the continuation of what you hold dear, and to secure a thriving Jewish future for your children, family, neighbors, and community.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the 18 organizations that have joined us on this meaningful journey. The strides we’ve made for JewishColumbus are remarkable. But even more significant is the trust placed in us by the 533 individuals who have shared their stories. We are honored to be the stewards of their legacies, committed to using their contributions to keep our community flourishing.
What legacy do you wish to leave?

We invite you to explore this question with us. Please consider setting aside time to speak with Lori Maier Wishne, our Senior Foundation Director. Lori is available at lori@jewishcolumbus.org to discuss the possibilities of your legacy giving.

Shabbat Shalom,
Julie Tilson Stanley 
JewishColumbus President and CEO