An Inspirational Legacy Story
When reflecting on living Jewishly, Michael and Naomi Cohen share a commitment to fulfilling the Jewish teaching of tikkun olam. For them, volunteering and philanthropy have been an obvious way of life, built on the model of acting on one’s values that they learned from their parents — whom they describe as “great teachers.”
The Cohens were both born in Hartford, and together they have lived, worked and raised their three sons in Greater Hartford. “Everything that has brought us joy and good fortune has come to us from within this community,” Michael says, “and we feel it’s not only a responsibility but also a privilege to give back to the community that has given our family so much.”
Michael is a past president of Jewish Family Services, Naomi is the co-founder of the Hartford Jewish Coalition for Literacy (now Children’s Reading Partners), and each has served as a President of Beth El Temple. The next logical step for them, Naomi says, “was to plan giving beyond our lifetime to honor our heritage and to sustain the vibrant and vital Jewish community organizations upon which so many rely so often.”
Through their estate planning, endowment funds at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford will benefit Children’s Reading Partners, Beth El Temple and Jewish Family Services. The Foundation is the custodian of those and many other endowments, both designated for specific organizations and as unrestricted dollars.
“It’s important for us to leave endowments because the Jewish Community Foundation is going to be here long after our lifetimes,” Michael explains. “Just like our parents could have never imagined what the needs of today would be, Michael and I cannot imagine what unmet needs there will be years from now,” Naomi concludes.