Volunteering and community support has always been part of my life. Beginning with my childhood in Evanston, Illinois, I remember how my parents took an early and active role in our public schools, Girl Scouts, United Way, school board caucuses, Women’s American ORT, and much more. As a young adult I continued as a volunteer in that community.

My husband and I have continued this commitment throughout our married life in San Diego, and we are proud that our sons consider tikkun olam an important part of their lives, too. Our older son is just completing his second year as a volunteer with AmeriCorps*NCCC, having served in many projects, such as helping senior citizens and students in public housing in Queens, NY; fighting wildfires in Montana; delivering food and supplies to victims of Hurricane Isabel. Our younger son, an Eagle Scout, has volunteered in San Diego and Chicago for numerous projects, and years ago, he even donated a portion of his Bar Mitzvah gift money to helping the Jewish community of Argentina rebuild after the terrible bombing there.

Thus, my decision to include the Jewish community as part of my estate planning was not based about any concern about my children’s values. I trust their instincts and our tradition of philanthropy. Rather, I felt compelled to make a legacy gift to the American Jewish Committee because this one organization best represents the confluence of my identity as a woman, as a Jew, and as an American. I strongly support its mission and its prodigious accomplishments of strengthening democracy and pluralism so that we as Jews, and indeed, so that all people, can flourish. AJC’s work underlies and makes possible the very existence of all the other organizations and projects that I value – public education, justice and civil rights, Jewish continuity, the State of Israel — and I therefore wanted to ensure its future.