Atlanta Jewish Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation held their second annual Grow a Legacy event celebrating Atlanta’s collective culture of giving and Jewish endowment building. Atlanta’s legendary Home Depot co-founder and philanthropist Bernie Marcus delighted the audience in a lively Q&A with Dr. Catherine Lewis on their new book, Kick up Some Dust. Bernie shared how his mother inspired his philanthropy and why giving has been his true life’s work.

“Never retire from life!” the 93-year-old implored. “I started out with nothing, but I gave things my energy and time. Forty years ago, I established the Marcus Autism Center. Today we take care of more kids with autism every year by a multiple of 8 compared to our closest competitor. The Center is a savior for kids and parents, and we’re still making breakthroughs. Staying with the organizations you support is everything. I promise you, the results from what you give are better than anything you‘ve done before.” Autism is one of the hundreds of causes The Marcus Foundation helps support, and they have been especially active with Jewish causes, veterans, and medical philanthropy in the last decades.

Another highlight of the evening was the announcement of the second Atlanta cohort of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s LIFE & LEGACY® program led locally by the Atlanta Jewish Foundation. It will engage 5 new organizations in securing endowments that will ensure their longevity. The new cohort includes Ahavath Achim Synagogue, Jewish Fertility Foundation, Temple Sinai, The Breman Museum, and Temple Kehillat Chaim. This means that there are now 24 LIFE & LEGACY organizations in Atlanta. To date, 585 Atlanta donors have signed LIFE & LEGACY letters of intent, pledging future endowments of $37.1 million to support our Jewish community. They are laying an incredible foundation for Atlanta’s future organizational sustainability.

The Jewish Future Pledge™ is a worldwide Jewish initiative that actually took shape in Atlanta, thanks to Mike Leven and Mark Silberman. It calls on all Jews to make a moral commitment to sustain our people by pledging that from the funds they leave to charity at their passing, at least half will be earmarked to support the Jewish people and/or the State of Israel.

No matter your age or your net worth, you can commit today to a thriving Jewish Atlanta. Make your commitment to the Jewish organizations you care about today, don’t wait. You can contact the organization directly, or reach out to the Atlanta Jewish Foundation and our team will help you make an impactful and lasting legacy commitment to your Jewish community.