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Fulfilling the Mission of ORT


Dee Bass, Judy Levin, Alice Kohn and Roz Flegel

Alice Kohn is a member of the Metropolitan Chicago Region of ORT America, and is a member of the Guardian Society and the De Gunzbourg Society. Recently, we asked Alice to tell us why ORT is so important to her.

Alice, how long have you been a member of ORT?
I joined Women's American ORT in the spring of 1982, 32 years ago. What were the things that first drew you to join? I joined the organization because my best friends asked me to. I am also part of an "ORT family." My mom and mother-in-law are longtime members. I enjoyed a long professional career as an educator, so education is in my heart. From the beginning, ORT's important mission of providing an education to Jewish people really resonated with me.

Are those the same reasons that keep you with the organization today?
My reasons for staying committed to ORT remain the same today—to support the mission of educating Jews worldwide. I have served on the Metropolitan Chicago Regional Board (as Treasurer, Major Gifts Chair and Annual Tribute Dinner Chair), was President of the Brittany Chapter and Co-chaired the Design House Project in 1991.

If you had 30 seconds to convince someone to support ORT, what would you say to him or her?
I'd tell them that ORT's mission is essential to the survival and future of the Jewish people. ORT Argentina is just one example of providing education to a Diaspora population. Our schools there are so renowned and cutting-edge that they are the schools of choice for 80 percent of Jewish parents.

Can you tell me about one or two memorable ORT events you attended through the years?
Our Metropolitan Chicago Region used to hold a huge annual tribute dinner. At one of these dinners, our featured speaker was the legendary Israeli diplomat and politician Abba Eban. We were so honored. His speech made a deep impression on me. A current event making an impact is our region's Lunch With a View, which invites authors to come and speak. Lunch With a View is a popular outreach vehicle for us. The event attracts people unfamiliar to ORT and they learn about our mission and education programs and become supporters.

You signed a Declaration of Intent in 1991, which means you have included ORT in your legacy plans. Why?
ORT is an important part of my life. I wanted to find a way to continue supporting the organization so important to me and to ensure that its mission continues after my lifetime.

How easy was it to do and what was the process?
It was so easy. Since my husband and I have a will, we contacted the person who prepared our will and asked him to include a gift to ORT.

Why was it important to provide for ORT in your legacy plans?
In addition to knowing that my planned gift will help ORT keep its mission in the frontlines of Jewish education worldwide, I wanted to provide a lesson for my children, too. Both of my children grew up knowing that ORT was important to me, and my bequest tells them that ORT is a commitment to me past my lifetime.

Why does ORT remain important to you?
Through the years, I have come to realize more and more the importance of our ORT mission to the Jewish people.

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FINANCIAL INFO Privacy Policy Terms Site Map © ORT America, 75 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038
212.505.7700 | 800.519.2678 |

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to ORT America a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to ORT America [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to ORT America or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to ORT America as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to ORT America as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and ORT America where you agree to make a gift to ORT America and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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