Brief History of Beth Shalom

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Bequest brochure

The story of Beth Shalom is a story of passion and commitment, at first shared by a few families in their homes; later in the community’s first premises in 1957; steadily growing for more than 50 years to a community of over 200 families whose primary facility is now our home in Manukau Road, Epsom.

It is perhaps to those families, whose vision over 50 years ago planted the seed of today’s community, which we should look back to as we each consider how we can shape and contribute to the future. Families such as the Pezarro and Stern whose foundation gifts and foresight established a spiritual home for their children and their children’s children into the future. We too can be a part of these unbroken commitments to the future of our community.

Beth Shalom is the biggest Progressive community in NZ, and the 3rd biggest in the region. We boast a skilled group of lay leaders, a flourishing Hebrew School and the services of regular Rabbinic leadership. Our community is further enhanced with the support services of the Burial and Benevolent Society (Chevrah Kadishah) and numerous Beth Shalom specialist sub-committees who facilitate a range of T’zedakah, Bikkur Cholim, Education, Community Care and other services for our community and beyond.

Although in New Zealand we are amongst the most remote communities in term of geography, we are strongly linked to our sister communities in Australia and beyond, under the auspices of the Australasian Union for Progressive Judaism.

Your Promise, Our Promise

Beth Shalom can only be there for future generations if we can secure this promise for those that follow us.

Beth Shalom has achieved all that it has from community support. This has enabled many wonderful projects and facilities. However, this support has not been sufficient to provide an adequate endowment for our future. Nor is there adequate means for on-going and sustainable rabbinic leadership, without which our community functions without neshamah.

Financial support in the form of a Bequest will ensure that Beth Shalom can continue to live its vision as: “The spiritual heart of a strong, vibrant community embracing the values and traditions of Progressive Judaism”

So, when you have done all you can to provide for your family, you can make no better gift for future generations than to provide for the future of your people and your community. Your support by way of a bequest will help keep our traditions alive. Indeed, much of our work could not continue were it not for people choosing to remember Beth Shalom in their Wills.

Your contribution makes a difference!

No matter how small or large the bequest you choose to leave (financial gift, property or asset) it will be greatly appreciated. All bequest income will be used prudently and in accordance with your wishes. You may indicate where you would like your bequest to be invested e.g. youth, education, buildings, or you may chose to leave the decision to community leaders so that it is used in ways that would best benefit Beth Shalom at the time.

Making a Will

Making a Will enables you to make your wishes clear and not leave anything to chance, and perhaps do what you cannot in your lifetime. There are several ways to make a bequest in your Will to Beth Shalom:

  • All or part of the residue from your estate, or
  • A nominated percentage of your estate, or
  • A specific gift.

We recommend that you seek advice from your solicitor.

Why do you need a Will or Memorandum of Wishes?

You will need a Will to ensure that your affairs are settled the way that you would like them to be. A Will also means that your estate can be administered quickly and economically, making the process easier for your family and beneficiaries.

It is advisable that you update your Will or your Trust Memorandum of Wishes every five to ten years so that any change in circumstances can be reflected.

Making a Will or Memorandum of Wishes gives you peace of mind that after your death your assets will go to the people and organisations you have chosen. If you do not have a Will, the law decides how to share your estate.

If you already have a Will or Trust and have decided you want to make a gift to a new beneficiary such as Beth Shalom, then changing your Will or Memorandum of Wishes is a simple process achieved by adding a codicil. A codicil is a short legal document which changes your Will or alters your Trust and/or Memorandum of Wishes.

What if I have a Family Trust?

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If you have a Family Trust that holds some of your assets you should leave a written Memorandum (or Letter) of Wishes, which informs your trustees how your prefer them to deal with the assets of your Trust following your death. This can include a gift to an organisation such as Beth Shalom as Beth Shalom is a registered charitable organisation. You would need to ensure that your Family Trust deed lists charities as potential beneficiaries of the Trust. You will need to ask your lawyer to check your Trust deed and advice you how you can go about this.

First Steps

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  1. Your solicitor will ask you prior to making your Will to make a list of your assets.
  2. Decide who you want to benefit, besides family, friends, partner, you could also leave a legacy to Beth Shalom.
  3. Nominate a Trustee and Executor. A Trustee and Executor is a person or people you choose to carry out your wishes. It might be a member of your family, friend, your lawyer or a Trustee organisation such as the Public Trust or New Zealand Guardian Trust.
  4. Making it legal. Your Will needs to be signed and witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries.
  5. Gift Options. If you would like to make a bequest to Beth Shalom, there are a number of different ways. It can be:

A residue gift

After providing for your family, you can nominate that you want to leave part or all of what is left of your estate to Beth Shalom.

A percentage

You can leave a nominated percentage of your estate to Beth Shalom.

A specific gift

You can also choose to leave a specific gift of money, jewelry, real estate, shares or any other gift.

Gifts during your lifetime

Some people like to make charitable gifts during their lifetime. Charitable gifts of any amount to Beth Shalom do not attract a gift duty.

Suggested wording for your Will

“I give and bequeath to Beth Shalom $[a specific dollar amount],
[describe precisely the item of property], free from all duties and charges, for the general purposes of Beth Shalom or for the purpose of
[ ], and the receipt of Beth Shalom shall be sufficient discharge to my Trustees for this gift and from any obligation to see to its proper application.”

If you would like to make a bequest for specific purposes, please contact the office of Beth Shalom so that we can discuss with you what is important to you to allow us to suggest how your gift, pledged through your Will now, can meet Beth Shalom’s future needs.

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