A donor-advised fund is one of the best ways to you involve your children and grandchildren in philanthropy.
Seth Kaplowitz is doing just that.
Mr. Kaplowitz is fascinated by the Jewish people’s ability to survive and protect their rituals for thousands of years. He didn’t always feel this way. After his bar mitzvah, like many young people, Mr. Kaplowitz put aside his Jewish identity. He attributes this to an early Jewish education that focused on religion rather than the Jewish people’s historic place in society and inspiring resiliency.
As an adult, Mr. Kaplowitz came back into the Jewish fold. His parents were active Jews who were involved in federation, their shul and myriad Jewish causes, including B’nai Brith and Israel Bonds. “Children learn by example. If you practice Judaism, your kids see you do it. Hopefully, they pick it up again when they grow up,” explained Mr. Kaplowitz. That’s exactly what he did. In law school, he cooked High Holiday meals for his Jewish and non-Jewish friends. After his father died, Mr. Kaplowitz recited Kaddish, which prompted him to integrate Jewish rituals into his life. When his mother died, he began keeping kosher.
Now, Mr. Kaplowitz makes sure young people stay connected to their Jewish heritage. With the donor-advised fund his father initiated, he supports innovative and creative Jewish education in Central New Jersey. He works with the Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey, where his donor-advised fund is based, to recommend grants to organizations offering education that reinforces Judaism’s strength and vitality. He also actively supports and participates in the planning of the federation’s many education programs.
These days, Mr. Kaplowtiz attempts to be a Jewish role model for his 15-year old daughter, who is not yet “Jewishly” inclined. He still keeps a kosher kitchen. On Friday nights, he lights the shabbos candles and makes sure there is a challah in the house. He invites his daughter to participate in the federation’s education programs. Mr. Kaplowitz is hopeful that as she matures, she will understand her heritage’s beauty.
Mr. Kaplowitz’s donor-advised fund keeps his parents’ memory alive while exciting young people about Jewish values and life and tikkun olam.