When Sue and Ron Panitch recently updated their wills, they began thinking about how they could make an impactful gift to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia that would also serve as a smart financial move. After talking it over with Jewish Federation Endowment Officers, the Panitches came up with a strategic plan that was both tax-wise and reflective of their values. First, they decided to make their endowment gift from their IRA and not from their wills. And then, rather than make their charitable donation part of their inheritance, the Panitches decided to make the gift now so they could see it used during their lifetimes.
“The Jewish Federation was certainly willing to wait, but we both decided the sooner we put the money to work, the better,” says Ron, an intellectual property lawyer and founding partner of Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP.
Sue and Ron’s involvement with the Jewish Federation goes back decades. Sue chose the Jewish Federation as their family’s Jewish charity of choice in part for its model of giving. “Federated giving is important,” says Sue, a former speech therapist. “It covers a wide breadth of people who are in need, and not just whatever charitable organization is popular. One of the things that always impressed me about the Jewish Federation is that a major percentage of the money actually gets to the people in need. The money is well-spent.”
As they thought further about their IRA gift, the Panitches considered where in particular they’d like to see their money spent. Over the years, they had visited Israel nearly two dozen times: with the Jewish Federation missions, with their four children, and with their ten grandchildren. Each visit had made a deep impression, strengthening their connections to Israel and their Jewish identity. So Sue and Ron decided that their charitable gift would go towards funding Israel missions, as an important way to continue sowing Israel engagement, especially among the young. All the more reason not to delay.
Sue and Ron feel great about their gift — and about being givers. “Everyone should be a giver,” says Ron. “We just enjoy knowing that people benefit from it. Doing good is its own reward.”