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For decades Steve Asher, one of Philadelphia’s leading antitrust class action attorneys, actively supported his synagogue, Israel, the Jewish community and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Steve served on the boards of the Perelman Jewish Day School and Akiba Hebrew Academy (now the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy), chaired Philadelphia’s Jewish Law Day event for two years and served on the board of Johns Hopkins University Hillel. He was a member of Lower Merion Synagogue for more than 30 years. “Steve was a very community-oriented person,” said Ina “Louie” Asher, Steve’s wife of more than 35 years.

This deep commitment began much earlier. Steve and Louie started attending Camp Ramah in the Poconos when they were both 12, and they both continued as counselors while they were in college. They later married and became the parents of four children: Simma, Aviva, Jacob, and Rena (and eventually the grandparents of Maia and Nina Kupchan). Louie remembers volunteering at Jewish Federation’s Super Sunday phone-a-thon 20 years ago with their then-young children.

It was not surprising that when Steve purchased a life insurance policy he chose to designate a percentage of the value of the policy to the charity of his choice – the Jewish Federation. Upon Steve’s untimely passing, Louie learned her husband had named the Jewish Federation as a beneficiary.

“I’m glad Steve named the Jewish Federation,” said Louie. “He was a lifelong contributor to the Jewish Federation, and a lifelong advocate for the Jewish Federation and its programs because he saw it as a provider of critical support.”

Life insurance is an advantageous way to fund a gift to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. “It is easy to do, and a ‘painless’ way to support a charity,” said Louie. “It doesn’t take money out of your pocket. People should look into doing it.”

Steve also generously named the Jewish Federation as the beneficiary of a specific bequest in his will, a meaningful way to create a permanent gift that continues to impact the world for years to come. “We count on the Jewish Federation being there,” said Louie. “It’s important to have institutions like the Jewish Federation in place during an emergency, but also for social services and ongoing general support.”

Rachel A. Gross, Director of Planned Giving and Endowments for the Jewish Federation, said that thanks to Steve’s forethought, the Jewish community will benefit from his generosity for many years to come. “We are so grateful that Steve and others like him placed their trust in our ability to anticipate and address our Jewish community’s current and future needs. Steve’s caring and commitment will live on for many, many years.”

For more information on supporting the Jewish community through a life insurance policy, will or other estate planning vehicle, please contact Rachel A. Gross at 215.832.0572 or rgross@jewishphilly.org.