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The Jewish Community Foundation of the West is delighted to be a recipient of a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to launch the LIFE & LEGACY Program in the Sacramento area.

What is LIFE & LEGACY?

This proven program brings training, resources, accountability, and cash incentives to our area to help participating organizations grow and maintain planned giving programs, with a focus on after-lifetime gifts. Eight Sacramento-area community organizations have dedicated themselves to this process:

  • Congregation B’nai Israel
  • Congregation Bet Haverim
  • Congregation Beth Shalom
  • Hillel at Davis and Sacramento
  • Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region
  • Mosaic Law Congregation
  • Shalom School
  • Temple Or Rishon

How Can You Take Part?

Creating a Legacy Gift is a process that every person can undertake. Consider leaving a percentage of your estate to your favorite charities through a will or trust. Assign a charity as the beneficiary of a portion of your retirement fund or life insurance policy. There is no expectation of payment while you are living, and your heirs can benefit from the lesson of philanthropy just as much as from a cash inheritance.

You can let your favorite charities know that you intend to leave them a gift by filling out this Letter of Intent and returning it to the JCFW Offices. Or, if you prefer, you can contact your charities directly to discuss the ways you can be a part of building Legacy Giving.

Once you've finalized the paperwork to provide for your gift in your estate plan, please let us know what arrangements you have made by completing the Legacy Gift Confirmation. Or contact Pam Herman, Executive Director at

Donor Profile: Jana and Brian Uslan

The building where Congregation Beth Shalom currently resides has a long history. Brian Uslan recalls the day when the church that previously sat at that location closed down and the building re-opened its doors as a synagogue. When he went to go check it out, the warm smell inside reminded him of his grandmother's kitchen. That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship between the Uslan family and Congregation Beth Shalom.

Since that first sniff many years ago, Jana and Brian Uslan have been active members of the Sacramento Jewish community. They built strong bonds and a deep connection to their congregation from the beginning. "We loved the way it felt," Jana shared. "People were instantly warm and welcoming. They asked us to sit with them, help them do things, be part of this and that, be connected. It didn't take much to feel like family."

Jana, Past President of the Board of Directors and now the Vice President of Education, felt strongly about taking part in the LIFE & LEGACY Program through the Jewish Community Foundation of the West. "We want CBS to be around forever and that will take money and legacy gifts to make that happen."

Their suggestion to anyone else considering making a Legacy Gift? "Do it now! It doesn't have to be much, just get it done." And there's great wisdom in that advice. It doesn't take much to leave a legacy gift, and all of us can leave some portion of our estate. Working together, we can secure a solid financial future for all of our Jewish community organizations.

For more information about the LIFE & LEGACY Program and how you can make an impact with your treasured organizations, please click here or contact Pam Herman, Executive Director at