In April 2004, we launched an unprecedented program for the Jewish community – the Endowment Leadership Institute (ELI). Initially bringing together 12 Jewish organizations, synagogues, and day schools, we soon discovered that multiple organizations could successfully collaborate towards the common goal of establishing endowments for the long-term vitality of our Jewish community.
ELI provides training, consulting, coaching and marketing as part of a comprehensive, high-quality, results-oriented program for professionals and lay leaders.
Today, over 1,300 individuals and families have committed to legacies that will yield an estimated $200 million dollars to ensure a vibrant Jewish future.
My organization is interested in participating. How do I learn more?
Legacy Program Manager
Chief Impact Officer
Bringing the Jewish community together to build a culture of legacy giving
Thank you so much for training me to make legacy asks and put a Legacy Society front and center in our Strategic Plan.
ELI is a jewel and an example of the visionary leadership of JCF. It fosters cooperation and presents well-planned programs.
ELI opened up a whole new world of possibilities. A collective power comes from being with other organizations.
To secure bequests from members of the Jewish community that will be used for endowments.
To develop strong leadership and technical skills in securing bequests and building endowments.
To build awareness about the power of bequests and endowments to ensure the long-term stability of our Jewish organizations.
To move our community’s fundraising efforts from a short-term, annual, urgent focus to a long-term, strategic, planned focus.
The ELI curriculum emphasizes the importance of organizations building positive, trusting relationships with donors. These relationships can help donors achieve their charitable goals by providing long-term support for the organizations they love.
ELI is the educational component of the Create a Jewish Legacy program of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego and includes:
The Foundation offers several ELI Workshops each year. Organizations learn with and from each other, in the spirit of cooperation and partnership. JCF engages national consultants and local experts to lead training sessions in the following areas:
Day schools, synagogues, and Jewish agencies are invited to participate in the ELI program. Each organization builds a strong team of professional and lay leaders. Synagogues span the range of denominations, working together to achieve the common goal of a strong and vibrant community.
The Gail Littman Living Legacy Endowment Fund honors the memory of Gail Littman, her vision in creating the ELI program and expanding it to other communities, her leadership at the Jewish Community Foundation, and the incredible impact she made in Jewish legacy giving.
Gail Littman was one of the pioneers of the Jewish community legacy movement. Along with Marjory Kaplan, former CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, and Jane Scher, JCF Board Chair at the time, Gail founded San Diego’s Endowment Leadership Institute. Gail trained and coached professionals and lay leaders in the art of legacy conversations and donor stewardship. In a short time, Gail’s efforts in San Diego gained attention and she was asked to share her success with other communities in what has now become a national model. Following Gail’s untimely passing in 2012, her family and friends established the Gail Littman Living Legacy Endowment Fund to provide support for charitable programs assisting with building, strengthening and sustaining Jewish community.
The Sheila Potiker Endowment Leadership Fund honors the memory of Sheila Potiker and her contributions to the ELI program, her leadership at the Jewish Community Foundation, and the deep and meaningful way she changed the San Diego Jewish community for the better.
In 2014, in conjunction with the relaunch of the Endowment Leadership Institute (ELI) program, the Sheila Potiker Endowment Leadership Fund was created. Established by the Potiker family, this fund supports participating ELI organizations that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to their Create a Jewish Legacy endowment building programs. Annual distributions from the fund have been used for awards and incentive grants designated for professional development, donor recognition, or other endowment building efforts.