L’Dor Va’Dor, from generation to generation: Your ongoing commitment to our MLRT community is a blessing to our vibrant Jewish community and our future generations. There are many ways in which to contribute to MLRT to provide ongoing support to our congregation and its future including:
- a gift to support a specific program, or to honor or memorialize a loved one
- an endowment gift to support MLRT’s future generations
- a planned gift
Your generosity, through gifts of any amount, will help to make certain that our vibrant Jewish community will sustain for generations to come.
Our story at Main Line Reform Temple starts 40 years ago when my parents, Elliott and Thelma Settle moved to Bryn Mawr from New York’s Long Island looking for the right place for my brother, Daniel and I to continue our Reform Jewish education that we had received at our old temple, North Shore Synagogue. MLRT was a welcoming place with a new, young dynamic Rabbi, also from New York—Rabbi Max Hausen, z”l. As Rabbi Hausen loved to point out, I was one of his “early Bar Mitzvahs kids.” This was to be the beginning of a lifetime of life-cycle events for myself, my wife Robin and our sons Adam and Alex and our family. Four confirmations, four MaLTY officers, three generations of trustees (my father, myself and Alex as MaLTY President) an aufruf for Robin and I, another three B’nai Mitzvah (Daniel, Alex and most recently his grandmother, Marcy Hoffman), countless High Holy Day and Shabbat services and, sadly, a funeral for my dad in 2011. MLRT has been our family’s spiritual home and place of great support through joy and sadness.
And yet, when I joined the Board of Trustees in 2011, I was shocked to learn that despite this long history of success as a congregation, we had no endowment to support and enhance our Temple as we moved forward into our next 60 years. I knew that at the time of the capital campaign when our building was modernized while preserving our unique architecture, it was the hope of the leadership to both renovate the physical space and create a permanent endowment. Unfortunately, the cost of that project left little savings so it is up to the next generation of leaders–with the help of those who served before–to complete the mission to ensure that MLRT has the resources necessary to continue to be the leading Reform congregation in Southeastern Pennsylvania. We must endeavor to ensure our future, while also enhancing what we can do for our congregation and the community, of which we have become an integral part.
When the opportunity presented itself to take a leadership role in the L’Dor Va’Dor endowment campaign, I was happy to lend my personal and professional experience to the effort as a member of the L’Dor Va’Dor Committee and to be personally supportive in a way that was appropriate for us at this time in our lives.
Planned giving, which is the focus of L’Dor Va’Dor, takes different forms. From a bequest in a will to a simple (and free) change in a designation form for an IRA or 401k, to the purchase of life insurance to benefit the Temple, each of these are ways to ensure that after we are gone we have a left a legacy, small or large, to benefit our MLRT community.
Robin and I had established a donor advised fund at the Jewish Federation to support a number of charitable interests both secular and religious. We have designated that at the end of our lifetimes, 50% of the remaining balance will be given to MLRT to support what I hope by then is a large and growing endowment.
I recognize that planning for a time when we are no longer here can be difficult for some, but our hope is that as many congregants as possible will find a way to be supportive that makes them feel most comfortable so that it can be said of each generation that the world was a better place because we were here for a just a short time. I hope you will join us in the MLRT L’Dor Va’Dor Society.
The Settle Family: Eric, Robin, Daniel and Alex