LIFE & LEGACY – It’s a catchy phrase, but what does it mean?

For over 130 years since 1889 Congregation Agudath Sholom(CAS) has been the center of Modern Orthodox Jewish life in our Stamford Jewish community, serving Jews of all ages, backgrounds and commitments and helping each of us to find ways to grow personally, spiritually, intellectually, and socially. CAS is the heart of our community where we gather to share life’s intimate moments and milestones. That’s LIFE!

Our imperative is to make absolutely certain that CAS remains forever strong and vibrant to ensure that our children, grandchildren and future generations will continue to benefit from our special community. That’s LEGACY!

Through the LIFE & LEGACY program we are building an endowment to sustain CAS so that it flourishes long after we are no longer here to support it ourselves.

You can join in this life-affirming, legacy-building process by making a legacy commitment. The best thing is that it won’t cost you a penny today.

You don’t have to be wealthy to make an impact. This program is for everyone. You just have to be passionate and committed to CAS’s future. This is an opportunity for each one of us to become a true philanthropist.

One of our LIFE & LEGACY team members would love to talk to you about how you can participate. Click here and we’ll be in touch to arrange a conversation.


  • How can I make a legacy gift to CAS?
    1. Leave a bequest to CAS in your will or living trust;
    2. Designate CAS as a beneficiary of your retirement account or life insurance policy
    3. Establish a Charitable Gift Annuity or Charitable Remainder Trust.
    Click here to learn more on how to give.
  • Do I need to be rich to leave a legacy gift to CAS?
    No! This program is for everyone. Each and every one of us can leave a legacy. While we hope you will be generous we ask that you leave a minimum legacy gift of just $1,000 (just one half of one year’s membership dues). Even such a modest legacy gift can have a meaningful impact on CAS.
  • Do I need to have a will or trust?
    Most people, especially if they have children, should have at least a simple estate plan. Without one, you may lose control over what happens to your assets when you pass, and you may be subject to unnecessary taxes that decrease the amounts available to your heirs.
  • What if I don’t want to make a will or what if I’ve already made a will and don’t want to change it?
    No problem. You can make a legacy gift from retirement accounts or life insurance policies, as well as from other assets.
  • Isn’t legacy giving for older people?
    It’s true that as we get older we are more likely to think about end of life decisions but it’s never too soon to plan for the future because none of us know what the future holds in store. Planning now will ensure that, no matter what happens, your wish to leave a legacy will be fulfilled.
  • At my current stage of life, it’s hard to know what my and my family’s needs will be in the future. What if things change?
    No worries. Your legacy gift is non-binding which means that if you change your mind you can change your gift at any time.
  • Why should I consider leaving a legacy?
    We plant fruit trees today so that our children will enjoy the fruit later even if we are not around to enjoy them ourselves. If you have ever made a charitable donation of time or money to CAS it’s probably because CAS has made an impact on you and it means something to you and your family. Imagine CAS and our community many years in the future. Would you like to see it thrive in the future? Through your legacy gift, you can help shape the future and be remembered for having done so.
  • OK! I’m in! How do I leave a legacy gift?
    It’s easy! Please click here and fill out a simple Letter of Intent (LOI) to memorialize your intent to make a legacy gift. We ask that you formalize your gift within one year of signing the LOI. Please click here for the form to formalize your legacy gift.  Please click here for information on how to leave a bequest.


Lorraine and David Kweskin
Our Reason: Supporting locally to connect globally

We have a rich, multi-generational connection to the Jewish community and the city of Stamford. LIFE & LEGACY is the obvious choice to nourish Jewish communities and support Jewish organizations locally, as well as worldwide. We have never been people of overwhelming means, however, we do have an overwhelming commitment to the Jewish world.

Both of our families have always been immersed in the Stamford Jewish Community. Our mothers were Hadassah members and Sisterhood Presidents, our fathers bowled for the Jewish Center League, and both families actively supported their synagogues (Agudath and Beth El). We became awakened to the global Jewish community through our involvement with United Jewish Federation, which lead us to visit countries the former Soviet Union, the same countries our grandparents and great grandparents left to escape antisemitism and seek out opportunity. Our Israel missions with the Stamford community sparked deeper connections to our faith and our people. These insights broadened our view of the Jewish world and magnified our involvement with Israel. It is our prayer that by joining Life and Legacy we can keep our commitment alive through financial support while at the same time setting an example for our children and grandchildren. 

Elissa & Philip Klapper
Our Reason: Uniting the Jews of Stamford

The beauty of the Stamford Jewish community is the seemingly organic interaction of Jews that it invites from all streams of Judaism. Central to creating and maintaining this unique warmth are our communal institutions, chief among them the United Jewish Federation. UJF’s Board of Directors represents a wide range of political and religious outlooks. These volunteers do their sacred work while engaging with, and learning from, each other. Federation’s standard of mutual respect and inclusive programming filters into everyday life in Stamford, uniting the community rather than reinforcing boundaries between synagogues, schools, or agencies.

Our hope in leaving one of our LIFE & LEGACY gifts to UJF is that this remarkable community will continue to reflect these values we hold dear, and that the next generation of Jews raised in Stamford will be as committed to Jewish religious observance and Jewish communal responsibility as those who paved the way for us. 

Nancy Mimoun
My Reason: Being there for Jews near and far

Growing up in a “Federation Family”, the Jewish community has always been a big part of my life. I first became involved with Federation out of guilt—I was spending money on renovating my kitchen and felt bad I wasn’t spending enough on charity, so I endowed a Lion of Judah gift. (Before I could afford to be a Lion!) As a member of UJF’s Board of Directors, I fully supported the start of LIFE & LEGACY in Stamford, continue to do so, and made an additional gift to support the program and the community.

Our children will have their own choices to make in their philanthropic giving, but we want to make sure they know where our hearts lie. I want to ensure that whoever wants or needs to make Aliyah can, that Stamford will be a good place for Jews to live for generations, and that if Jews around the world are in danger, they will get help. My legacy gift will help all of that happen. 

Ellen & Richard Weber
Our Reason: Ensuring a thriving Jewish Stamford

We moved to Stamford from central Pennsylvania in 1987 with our little one, Robin. We were looking to relocate for work reasons and Stamford appeared to be a nice Jewish community to raise a family. It has proved to be an outstanding place to be, on all accounts. We were both raised in Jewish communities where our parents were active in our synagogues—Ellen’s mom was in the Bellerose Jewish Center’s Sisterhood and Richard’s dad was a founder of Temple Sholom of Westbury. These communities have changed over the years, and so too have their Jewish institutions. That is something that weighs heavily on our minds regarding the future of our wonderful Jewish community here in Stamford, which is why we became LIFE & LEGACY participants.

We are blessed that our daughter, her husband, Jason, and our 2 grandchildren live in Stamford and are active in so many of the Jewish organizations, including Federation. For the last 20 years Ellen has been involved in a variety of UJF leadership roles and has seen the impact UJF has had on our local Jewish community and on Jews globally first-hand. Our hope is that our gift will help the Stamford Jewish community remain strong and vibrant not only for them but for generations to come. This partnership will have an enormously positive impact on our Jewish community’s future. 

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