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Donor Stories

Meet Sharon and David Wax

Meet Sharon and David Wax

Creating a Jewish Legacy

Why did you use the Jewish Community Foundation to document your after lifetime charitable wishes?

Back in 2004, I was a participant in the launch of the Jewish Community Foundation’s Endowment Leadership Institute (ELI), as a lay leader representing the Lawrence Family JCC (LFJCC), JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS. Initially bringing together 12 local Jewish organizations, synagogues, and day schools, we soon discovered that multiple organizations could successfully collaborate towards the common goal of establishing endowments and planned giving for the long-term viability of our Jewish community.

ELI provided training, consulting, coaching, and marketing as part of a comprehensive, high-quality, results-oriented program for professionals and lay leaders, utilizing nationally recognized educators and industry experts.

I discovered this program to be of vital importance in building the long-term sustainability of the LFJCC and of personal value for our family’s estate planning, although at that time in very early stages.

From our perspective, ELI created the most wonderful asset and investment for our San Diego community. Today, we understand that over 1,300 individuals and families have committed to legacies that will yield an estimated $200 million dollars to ensure a vibrant Jewish future, not to mention the additional future for many other important philanthropic entities.

After a transformational event and transition within our 75 year family-held business back in May of 2020, Sharon and I made our largest philanthropic gifts to several organizations. These generous gifts came to these organizations, just as the COVID pandemic was striking and making impact upon organizational staff and budgets. We considered these important “Chai” contributions that clearly aligned “new life” with need! As the year progressed and continuing forward, we began efforts to update our estate document with our attorney, giving consideration to the long-term, our family, and our giving thoughts. After updating our trust and related documents, we initiated efforts in 2022 with the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) to assist us with our Legacy planning.

And how was the experience of working with JCF?

Meetings were initiated with Sharleen Wollach and Estela Mitrani to review our estate plan, create our own “Create a Jewish Legacy” document, and establish the process for handling our philanthropic considerations after our lifetimes. Both Sharleen and Estela have demonstrated knowledge, courtesy, and respect throughout the process as we finalize our documentation.

ELI’s visionary program has helped create a culture of legacy giving in San Diego and has provided strength and long term viability to our local Jewish organizations. It has strengthened the knowledge base to our professionals and lay leaders as they navigate the future waters of l’dor v’dor.

What began as education for an organization, struck a chord on the personal side and now years later, contributed to our own family’s Create a Jewish Legacy plan. We appreciate the leadership of the Jewish Community Foundation in creating the ELI initiative and providing knowledgeable professionals in Sharleen and Estela to help us and other families craft their own respective Legacy plans.

Sharon and David Wax
Sharon and David Wax