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“This community is my Jewish Family. I want to do all I can to ensure that it will be here in the future to be a welcoming place for others the way it was for me.”  – Beverly Blatt

Our Foundation

“Judaism’s rich tradition and strong sense of community is very important to both of us.  Temple Israel has been a supportive place to explore our connections to our traditions.  Like those who came before us, we believe it is vitally important that Temple Israel be here for the next generations.”  – Sandy and Howard Sidorsky

All members are warmly invited to contribute by remembering the Temple with a gift in their will, trust, retirement account, or life insurance policy. For more information contact Beverly Blatt or Kimberlee MacVicar.  A gift to the Temple Israel Foundation, through the Life & Legacy Program, provides long-term financial support for the Temple so that it will endure and grow as a Jewish presence in Alameda long beyond its first 100 years. 

Foundation FAQs

The Foundation was established in 1995 with a $10,000 bequest from Diana Garfinkle, a founding member of Temple Israel.  The family requested that an endowment fund be established with a tax ID and Board of Directors separate from Temple Israel.  The goal of the new Foundation was to provide long-term financial support to Temple Israel.  The money was not to be used to make up deficits which had happened previously with capital funds.

The assets of the Foundation grew from:

  • bequests
  • donations from the Sisterhood when it was active
  • transfer of funds from TI Investment club when it disbanded
  • donations of appreciated stock by congregants
  • donation of real estate by a congregant
  • donations from adult B’nai mitvah classes who asked friends and families to donate in lieu of gifts
  • investment growth in good years for the stock market, up to 22 percent
  • transfer of restricted funds from TI portfolio to Foundation with consent of donor families.

By 2002, the Foundation’s assets were sufficient to begin giving an annual grant to Temple Israel.  In that year, the grant was $7,500.  The amount increased every year thereafter, reaching $22,000 in 2012.  The total remitted in those 10 years was $152,000.

In 2013, the situation became more complicated than simply giving a guideline of five percent of total assets.  The Temple transferred its special funds (Children’s Fund, Kofman Campership Fund, Kofman Perpetual Fund, and the Gunter and Gretel Gates Memorial Fund) to the Foundation.  The percentage of total assets represented by these restricted funds was calculated on transfer.  Those percentages are used to calculate the percentage of each year’s grant allocated to the restricted uses.  The Children’s Fund and the Campership Fund were combined for this purpose and represented 21 percent of total assets; the Kofman Perpetual Fund was six percent and used for building maintenance; the Gates fund was two-and-four-tenths percent and used for programming in consultation with Gates family.

In late 2013, The Foundation received a gift of $40,000 from a congregant who wanted to support hiring a cantor and a full-time office manager.  We also received a letter from the TI Board of Directors asking for assistance from the Foundation with an estimated a deficit for the fiscal year of $50,000 to pay the staff salaries.

The Foundation Board agreed that if the Temple membership were to grow, an investment in personnel needs should be made.  The Foundation decided to match the $40,000 donation in 2013-2014 and to increase its unrestricted 2014-2015 grant from $25,750 to $66,000 because investment growth in 2013 was higher than expected.  The Foundation also agreed to solicit more gifts from congregants to help with the deficit.  The resultant grants and pass through donations from the Foundation to TI in 2013-2014 were $90,345; 2014-2015, $153,331; 2015-2016, $82,283.  In addition, the Foundation paid arrears of property taxes in the amount of $64,321.36.  A total of $24,869.02 of that amount has been reimbursed from the county after submission of documentation to show overpayment.

All this was made possible by a substantial bequest from the Schwartz family received in late 2015 and early 2016.  There are also restrictions on the bequest funds:  $100,000 to replenish the Capital Building Fund, $100,000 for kitchen renovation, and $35,000 for marketing.  Dr. Mel Schwartz was on the founding Foundation Board and served until his death.  He had set up a Charitable Remainder Trust which supported his widow, Josie, until her death in December 2015.  The Foundation received what was left in that Trust, $409,126.05.  Josie left an additional bequest ($300,000) in her will which we received in January 2016.

Our Foundation follows a common foundation guideline of making annual grants of 5 percent of assets each year.  The Foundation Board, however, has the responsibility and the obligation to moderate that grant amount in periods of turmoil in the markets.

The Foundation’s fiscal year (the calendar year) is offset six months from TI’s fiscal year.  The Foundation Board meets in January or February after year-end financial reports are received from brokerage houses.  The total assets are calculated, and generally 5 percent is computed from that figure for the total grant.

For the restricted named funds within the Foundation, the following procedure is used:  The values of the restricted fund assets as a percentage of total Foundation assets is calculated to determine the percentage of the total grant to be restricted to the purpose established by those funds (see above).  For example, in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the total Foundation grant was $54,300, of which $43,000 was unrestricted, $8,000 went into the Children’s Fund (which includes the Kofman Campership Fund), $2,300 was allocated to building maintenance (Kofman Fund), and $1,000 went into the Gates Fund.  The Children’s Fund and Gates Fund have separate money market accounts into which the funds are deposited.

The Create a Jewish Legacy Program began in the East Bay in 2015.  The East Bay program is part of the third cohort of communities selected by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to grow endowments in support of their Jewish organizations (synagogues, schools, social service agencies).  The program in the East Bay is administered by the Jewish Federation of the East Bay in partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation which pays 50 percent of the costs.  The Grinspoon Foundation is known for initiating and supporting projects that provide a strong return on investment for the Jewish Community.  An example that may be familiar to you is the PJ Library program that supplies Jewish themed books to our children and grandchildren.

In January 2015, Temple Israel was invited to a meeting to hear about the program and to submit an application to join the program.  Temple Israel was one of the 15 organizations accepted.  The Grinspoon Foundation provides training for the Legacy committees to explain to their organization’s members and/or supporters the importance of endowment funds, how to make the request, and the many ways a legacy gift can be made.  The Grinspoon Foundation also provides incentive grants of $10,000 to every participating organization which meets the goal of 18 legacy pledges each year of the program.

Temple Israel met its goal in the first two years of the program which ended in March, 2017.   The two $10,000 grants received were used toward current expenses.

We have agreed to continue with years three and four of the program which will emphasize formalization of the Declarations of Commitment in addition to obtaining 5 additional legacy pledges in each year.  The incentive grants for years three and four will be $5,000.

A simple one-page Declaration of Commitment must be completed. This form is not a legal document and is non-binding. It asks participants to check one of two boxes.  The first states “I (we) have already made a legacy provision in my (our) estate plan”; and the second “I (we)  intend to formalize a legacy gift within -12- months of signing this Declaration.”

The rest of the form is contact information, a list of participating organizations for one to check to which their gift is going, and a list of modalities one might use, e.g., bequest in will or trust, life insurance, retirement plans, life income vehicle, real estate etc.  One is also asked if their name may be published or if they wish to remain anonymous.

Here is a template for adding to wills or trusts.

A final form provides Confirmation of the Gift, to be completed after the legacy arrangements have been made.

Several mechanisms are available to you without need for an attorney.  Your insurance agent can change beneficiaries on life insurance policies at no cost. Many of you can change beneficiaries on your employer’s retirement plans online without consulting anyone.  For married people, it may be required to file a Spousal Consent form with the change of beneficiary. The form will be downloadable from the site, but will have to be notarized for submission.

A gift to Temple Israel of one percent, five percent or whatever percent makes sense in your circumstances of your retirement plan or life insurance policy will not greatly affect your heirs.  In some cases, a donation of retirement assets may be the best funds to donate since they would otherwise be taxable to heirs (but not to the Foundation).

At such time as you are establishing or revising your estate plan, adding a legacy provision will not change the total cost of legal preparation significantly.

Thirty-six member families of Temple Israel have made legacy Declarations of Commitment to the Create a Jewish Legacy program.  They represent the breadth of our community —  young families and retired folks, newcomers and native Alamedans —  in making a legacy commitment, in securing a Jewish presence in Alameda; they are preserving our culture and heritage by educating our children and perpetuating our Jewish values. Please join these families in participating in the Create a Jewish Legacy program and maintaining Temple Israel as a Jewish institution in Alameda.


Information necessary to change beneficiary designations and/or inclusion in estate planning documents:

Temple Israel of Alameda Foundation
3183 Mecartney Road
Alameda, CA 94502
Tax ID#  94-3236534


The East Bay Book of Life is a beautiful collection of pages filled with stories, messages, reasons for giving and visions for the future from East Bay Jewish community members to future generations. People who have submitted pages in this book have made the commitment of giving a legacy gift to an East Bay Jewish organization (of any amount). Once you submit your form that you have included Temple Israel in your estate plans, you too can have your own page in this Book of Life.  For more information, visit

The Book of Life

Use these forms to create your legacy gift:
“Declaration of Commitment” now,
“Confirmation of Gift” once you have made the legal arrangements.
Mail forms to Temple Israel of Alameda Foundation,
3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda, CA 94502

Federal Tax Information:
Temple Israel of Alameda Foundation, 3183 Mecartney Road, Alameda, CA 94502.
Tax ID#  94-3236534