Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation Makes a Plan for Charitable Giving
Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation Committee. Credit: Amelia Baxter
By Allison Teegardin
On Thursday, October 20, 2022, Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation committee members hosted a virtual information session for the community. Led by the Foundation’s committee chair Joel Levine, the session provided an overview of how the Jewish Foundation provides a service to donors to manage their charitable giving. Established in 2014, the Foundation currently has more than 150 funds with an accumulative value of nearly $14 million dollars, not including the $7.5 million dollars that has been granted out into the community.
Foundation committee member Marianne Rochelle presented a high-level overview of donor advised funds (DAFs) at the meeting. Topping the list of benefits discussed, which make them smart investment options were, fewer charitable receipts to keep track of; avoiding capital gains taxes on appreciated securities; fund growth being tax-free; and fundholders having the ability to distribute funds anonymously as well as giving in the name of the Jewish community. Since its inception, DAFs have been providing a way for families to teach children about tzedakah (charitable giving), a base principal value of the Foundation. By adding family members to a fund, it creates a tool for teaching children how to plan for and give to charitable organizations.
Marcia Silverberg, chair of the Donor Relations and Marketing subcommittee, shared about SAJF’s partnership with Austin Community Foundation and the many benefits this partnership offers fundholders. “Austin Community Foundation currently has an asset pool of $435 million dollars,” Silverberg said. “And they have a fundholder portal tool which provides fundholders anytime access to their history of giving, a listing of all the organizations they support, as well as the purpose and amount of all donations.”
It’s been said that the hallmark of a well-established Jewish community in the U.S. is a Jewish Foundation. Diane Radin, one of the founding Foundation members, knew this to be true when she committed to helping see to it that a Foundation would be established in Austin.
Radin and her husband, Charles, have called Austin home since 1976. In 1978, the Radins became a family of three when their daughter was born. Around this time, Radin began volunteering for the Jewish Federation of Austin, which would eventually be known as Shalom Austin. Radin has continued along the journey and volunteered in various capacities ever since. Radin was part of the team that helped bring the Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation to life. “When I helped create the Foundation, I learned about donor advised funds and immediately realized that having one for myself would make life, and tax preparations, much simpler and better organized,” Radin said.
Radin says that in addition to the tax benefits, what really gives her pride as a fundholder is sharing the Jewish values of tzedakah. “I like that the letter sent to the organizations I am making a donation to says that it is from my Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation fund. I want them to know that Jews are supporting the larger Austin community,” Radin said.
The Jewish values Radin learned from her parents through their examples are what make it imperative that she shares what she does to help others and enhance the Austin community. Radin recalls participating in a fundraiser for Israel during the 1967 war when she was a young adult. She said she could see the collective impact of everyone giving together. As only one example of many, Radin’s philanthropic heart continues to give no matter where she lives.
One of Radin’s most notable philanthropic impacts was her role in creating the Prejudice Awareness Summit for area eighth graders. The program she created was eventually taken over by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and transformed into what is now the No Place for Hate Summit. Currently, in addition to her role as a committee member for the SAJF, Radin is a member of Congregation Agudas Achim and the president of Gilbert & Sullivan Austin. “Shalom Austin is very important to me because it serves the community in so many valuable ways,” Radin says. “Congregation Agudas Achim is special to me because it is the center of my Jewish observance. I support Gilbert and Sullivan Austin because Charles and I love the comic operas of G&S and GSA brings their works to a wide range of ages and demographics.”
To learn more about the Shalom Austin Jewish Foundation, visit shalomaustin.org/foundation or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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