Category Archive: Donations

Hurricane Irma

hurricane-irma-satellite-noaa-ht-jc-170905_12x5_992Hurricane Irma Update: Irma has left many Central Floridians without the most basic of needs: food, water and shelter. JFS Orlando has addressed those exact needs for nearly 40 years and we continue to open our doors and outstretch our hands to lift up those in need. After a natural disaster, it is amazing to see a community band together and help neighbors in need. Now that we have begun to pick up the pieces, many of you are asking how you can help. We have listed our most urgent Agency needs below and appreciate your support!

1. DONATE NON-PERISHABLE FOOD. Our Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry is expecting numbers to continue to rise as power is restored and citizens are able to replenish their food that spoiled. Donations can be dropped off at our building located at The George Wolly Center 2100 Lee Rd., Winter Park, FL 32789.
2. MONETARY DONATIONS. Much of the food we give out through the pantry is purchased from a local food bank. Every dollar donated turns into $6 worth of purchasing power to supplement what we do not get donated from the community. Donations can be made online at or by calling Amanda Benedit at 407-644-7593 ext. 227
3. VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME. Our food pantry is staffed by a wonderful core group of volunteers, however, with increased numbers of clients we will likely extend our pantry hours and need your help to distribute food to those in need. You can apply to become a volunteer by calling Amanda Benedit 407-644-7593 ext. 227.

For additional information on how you can help with Hurricane Irma Relief, please visit or call 407-644-7593.

JFS Orlando receives $50,000 for FSP!

Check presentationJFS Orlando recently received a $50,000 grant from the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund. The grant will support JFS Orlando’s Family Stabilization Program.

The Family Stabilization Program is designed to help family’s improve overall stability and self-sufficiency. This program assists clients with budgeting, individual financial counseling, mental health counseling and providing case management to help improve their educational and/or employment status. 

“We are more than grateful for the generous support that the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund has provided JFS Orlando over the past 15 years,” says JFS Orlando Executive Director Eric Geboff. “The Family Stabilization Program continues to grow every year, and the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund has helped expand our services to assist more families in need.”

In 2016, JFS Orlando assisted 101 families through the Family Stabilization Program and had a 96% success rate. The success rate is determined by the completion of the 6-month program and improvement to their overall stability and self-sufficiency.

$585,000 was distributed to 13 nonprofit organizations in Central Florida through the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund in this grant cycle.

NOW & LATER: Supporting JFS – sweet as candy!

Do you remember the candy called “NOW and LATER”? It was a combination of Laffy Taffy and Starburst and their slogan was “Eat some NOW and save some for LATER.” This is a great concept for candy, but you might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando?

We all think about the future of the Jewish community. When speaking with JFS supporters and community members I reflect often on what JFS needs today – and what it will need three, five, and ten years from now. I always try to look at the big picture. While the Annual Campaign is what supports us today and will provide JFS with our operating funds in 2017, bequests and legacy gifts are what will sustain JFS in the future.LIFE-LEGACY-LOGO

I recently spoke with a member of our community regarding our Life & Legacy Program. She wanted to know the best way to leave a gift to sustain JFS into the future. We discussed the simplest method which is a notation in her will designating funds, life insurance, an IRA or some other asset to JFS upon her passing. We also discussed a Charitable Gift Annuity, which would provide her income now, with the remainder of her donation being left to JFS upon her death. To accomplish this, all she has to do is consult with me and her attorney and fill out a declaration of intent form advising us that she has left a legacy gift.  

Please consider speaking with your estate attorney, financial planner or me about the many ways you can leave a legacy to Jewish Family Services. We would love to add your name to those of our other Life & Legacy donors, and know that your legacy gift can be at any amount that is meaningful to you…there is no amount that is too small or too large when it comes to sustaining JFS. Speaking from experience, participating in the Life & Legacy Program is a positive and uplifting thing to do, for you, your family and JFS. It’s as sweet as candy to support JFS, NOW and LATER.

-Eric Geboff, MSW, Executive Director

For more information on the JFS Orlando Life & Legacy Program, please contact Eric Geboff, Executive Director, 2100 Lee Rd. Winter Park, FL 32789 or or 407-644-7593 x 238.

Life & Legacy Giving and Capital Needs

LIFE-LEGACY-LOGOOver the past two years, we have written numerous articles on legacy giving as a gift planning tool for charitable giving.  Most of those articles addressed different vehicles that all donors can use to support their charities of choice during or after their lifetime, all of which may financially benefit their estates.  JFS Orlando is currently renovating its offices as a result of a generous grant from Orange County Government; however, those funds are not sufficient to address all of the capital needs of the Agency.

Projects that are not funded at this time include an updated security system (estimated cost – $15,000.00); new roof gutters (estimated cost $5,000.00); exterior building painting (estimated cost $5,000.00); exterior signage (estimated cost $5,000.00); building roof insulation replacement (estimated cost $2,500.00); AC ceiling diffusers (estimated cost $4,500.00); and parking lot resurfacing (estimated cost $10,000.00).

As such, we thought that we would use this timely opportunity to address the issue of legacy giving in support of capital projects.  

While donors can use one of many different vehicles to make a legacy gift to JFS Orlando, most legacy gifts for capital projects are bequests –  gifts of personal property, such as money, stock, bonds, or jewelry, owned by a decedent at the time of death which is directed by the provisions of the decedent’s will to a charity.  A portion of an irrevocable bequest will be credited to the capital campaign during the lifetime of the donor and 100% of the bequest will be credited to the capital campaign upon the death of the donor.  What a great legacy to leave to JFS Orlando – a donation that will enhance the facility that provides continual service to people in need in Central Florida!

Any assets transferred to JFS Orlando during the lifetime of donors may be considered charitable contributions and tax deductible to the extent provided by IRS regulations.  Donors should check with their tax professionals to determine the specific tax deductibility of their donations.

Capital donations made via legacy or a lifetime gift can immediately help JFS Orlando.  Improvements to JFS’ facility save operating funds and the purchase of needed equipment allows JFS Orlando to use its annually budgeted funds for programs and provide direct services to people in need.

For more information about legacy and capital giving, please contact JFS Executive Director, Eric Geboff at 407-644-7593 extension 238 or via e-mail at

JFS Orlando receives $150,000+ grant!


JFS Orlando received a grant for over $150,000, the largest grant this year, through the Orange County Community Development Block (CDBG) grant program. The funds will be used to assist with much needed agency renovations including replacing air conditioning units, installing new sewer lines, creating a new lobby space and upgrading the building entry to be ADA accessible.

Check out our article in The Heritage

  • Eric Geboff, JFS Orlando Executive Director; Mitchell L. Glasser, Manager, Orange County Housing & Community Development Division; Rob Smith, Manager/Owner, E2 Homes; Matt Cox, Construction Director, E2 Homes

Build a Strong Future for the Next Generation


LIFE-LEGACY-LOGOThroughout the history of the Jewish people, the mandate to repair the world has been a unique characteristic of our culture. Our children are taught to embrace the concept of tzedakah through the examples of their parents and grandparents, volunteering, giving and caring for those unable to care for themselves.

Thanks in part to those who came before us, Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando has been able to have the human and financial resources to care for those in need, meet unexpected challenges and plan for the future. But ensuring that we will be able to do so in the future requires continued vision, commitment and a willingness to be part of a community. The choices we make today will have an enormous impact on the ability of Jewish Family Services to thrive for generations to come. This is the time to ensure our collective Jewish future by building a strong, secure and permanent JFS Orlando endowment through the Life & Legacy Program.

Doing so will allow JFS to continue to care for the most vulnerable in our community – the young, hungry and poor. Dignified and compassionate care for our seniors with limited means will be assured. A legacy gift will make eternal your commitment to all who walk through our doors in need of care.

Chances are, you already support Jewish Family Services. Have you considered including JFS in your estate plan, so you can continue making a difference for generations to come? You can express your values, honor your heritage and do something lasting and significant for the community. Through the JFS Life & Legacy Program, you can establish a legacy to enhance the future of Jewish Family Services and perpetuate the values you cherish.

For more information, please contact JFS Orlando Executive Director Eric Geboff at 407-644-7593 or or go to the JFS website at

Gifts of IRAs to JFS Orlando

Jewish Family Services, in conjunction with the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Foundation (TOP) and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, joined together to create the Life & Legacy Program. The goal of the Life & Legacy Program is to encourage legacy giving to Jewish Family Services so that it can generate adequate funding to continue the programs and services that it offers to the community into the future. The following is the 7th article in a continuing series.

Having more retirement money than you need is a great problem to have, and one that’s now easier to solve.LIFE-LEGACY-LOGO

In 2015, the US Congress passed the PATH Act, which renewed and made permanent the Charitable IRA provision of 2006, making it easier for Americans to support charities like JFS Orlando.  This provision has the power to help supporters roll over up to $100,000 annually from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to charities without being federally taxed.

Millions of Americans continue to save pre-tax dollars in their IRAs. The law allows taxpayers 70½ and older to share their wealth by giving retirement savings directly to charities—and bypassing income tax.

This law is important to charitable organizations like JFS Orlando as operating agents of philanthropy in order to continue to build community and improve social service programs that benefit people every day.

Thanks to decades of deliberate saving, some of today’s retirees have more money in their IRAs than they need for daily living expenses and long-term care. Charitable individuals and couples have expressed an interest in giving the funds to charities, but income tax must be paid on all withdrawals, which reduces the value of the gift. Others are concerned about designating their children as IRA beneficiaries, since that may draw unintended tax consequences.

For larger estates, a good portion of IRA wealth goes to estate taxes and income taxes of beneficiaries.  Experts estimate heirs may receive less than 50% of IRA assets that pass through estates. A provision in the federal law extends this special option: transferring IRA assets directly to charity. By going directly to a qualified public charity such as JFS Orlando, the money is not included in the IRA owner’s income and—most important—is not taxed, preserving the full amount for charitable purposes.

Annually, holders of traditional IRAs who are at least 70½ years old can make direct charitable transfers up to $100,000. Individuals may exclude the amount distributed directly to an eligible charity from their gross income. JFS Orlando can help donors execute the transfers of their IRAs.  

This really is a powerful opportunity for individuals to establish a permanent legacy at JFS Orlando and a chance of a lifetime to make the gift of a lifetime.

For more information, please contact JFS Orlando Executive Director, Eric Geboff, at 407-644-7593 or

Why Create a Jewish Legacy?

Jewish Family Services, in conjunction with the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Foundation (TOP) and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation,  joined together to create the Life & Legacy Program.  The goal of the Life & Legacy Program is to encourage legacy giving to Jewish Family Services so that it can generate adequate funding to continue the programs and services that it offers to the community into the future. 


Why Create a Jewish Legacy?
LIFE-LEGACY-LOGOJewish tradition teaches that one of our key duties is to make the world a better place for future generations.  The simple truth is without bequests and planned giving we will not be prepared for the future needs of Jewish Family Services.  It is essential we plan ahead to keep Jewish Family Services strong for generations to come.

Securing your gift now will ensure that the poor in our community are fed, housed and provided with clothing.  Our tradition insists that our elderly are always cared for, that they shouldn’t need to decide between food and medicine and that they can be transported to medical appointments and essential shopping.  We help those struggling with life’s challenges regardless of their age or place in life.  Jewish Family Services provides a way for each of us to be a part of helping those in need at any time and at any place. For nearly 40 years, Jewish Family Services has supported the community in times of need and with your help, we plan to do the same for another 40 years.


Chances are you already donate generously to Jewish Family Services.  But have you considered including Jewish Family Services in your will, so you can continue to make a difference for generations to come?

Whether you use a will or other estate planning vehicle, your generosity can do a world of good. An estate planning professional can help you start this rewarding process.

Your legacy can reflect everything that is most important and meaningful to you. The legacy planning process can engender heartfelt conversations with your family and build bonds with Jewish Family Services.

The act of creating a legacy empowers you to complete the work of your heart, and to enjoy the peace that it brings.


For more information about the Life & Legacy Program , please contact JFS Executive Director, Eric Geboff , at 407-644-7593 ext. 238 or

Robert G. Petree Memorial Fund

Robert PetreeOn August 25, 2015, long time builder, leader and staunch supporter of Jewish Family Services (JFS Orlando) – Robert Petree – passed away.  A Past President of JFS Orlando and recipient of the coveted George Wolly Community Leadership Award, Bob was involved in every aspect of JFS Orlando’s work in the community.  He was particularly fond of JFS’ policy to care for everyone and anyone in need in the community, regardless of the race, religion, national origin or simply, their place in life.  As President and a Board member, he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the less fortunate in the community.   In light of Bob’s deep dedication, the Board of Directors of JFS Orlando established the Robert G. Petree Memorial Fund.

According to Mike McKee, JFS Orlando President, “Bob was a longtime leader and ardent supporter of JFS Orlando.  He served on the Board for over 30 years in many leadership positions and as JFS’ 11th President from1994-1996.  The Board established this fund in Bob’s memory, in recognition of many his years of dedicated support for the Agency and the thousands of clients that it helps.”

 “Bob’s endless support for the most vulnerable in society drew him to the work of JFS Orlando”, said Eric Geboff, Executive Director.  “During his tenure on the Board and as President, Bob continuously advocated for helping the poor, homeless and aged members in Central Florida through the many programs offered by JFS Orlando.  He truly cared about them and encouraged the Agency to increase services to them during his tenure.”

All donations to the Robert G. Petree Memorial Fund are accepted and once the fund reaches $10,000.00, income will be used to support the many programs that care for people in the community.  Donations may be made with cash, securities and/or real property and should be directed to Eric Geboff, Executive Director, JFS Orlando, 2100 Lee Rd. Winter Park, FL 32789, by calling 407-644-7593 or via e-mail,  All donations to the Fund are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

Creating Your Jewish Legacy


LIFE-LEGACY-LOGO When we talk to our children, we don’t always know if they are listening to us.  I don’t know about you, but I’m always worried it is going in one ear and out the other.

But there is a statement we can make to our children – and grandchildren – and across the generations, a statement we know they will hear.  We do have a way to convey our values, convey what is really important to us.  By participating in the Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando Life & Legacy Campaign, we can speak to our children in a way that is louder and clearer than mere words could ever be.

Remember the story of the man who plants a tree, knowing he will not live to see its fruit?   Jewish tradition reminds us to recount throughout the generations the story of this man who plants selflessly for the generations to come.  When we contribute to Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando Life & Legacy Program, we plant a tree – carrying on a legacy through our children and grandchildren, sustaining our traditions through an uncertain future.

Fortunately, building a nest-egg at Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando and securing a strong financial base for our vital programs and services is within the means of each one of us.

An endowment gift arrangement can be simple or complicated – it all depends on the individual donor, with attention to his or her needs and the needs of family.  If you are not currently prepared to make an outright endowment gift – for example, cash or appreciated securities – consider a bequest, the simplest of charitable gifts.  A charitable bequest may be made in any amount, large or small.

If you already have a will, a bequest to Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando can be made with a simple codicil.   For example, you might mail your attorney your wishes for a codicil to your will that reads something like the following:  “I give, devise, and bequeath to Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando [or the name and address of the congregation, day school, or other charitable organization you most value] the sum of $____________   to be used for its general purposes [or a specific purpose defined by you, the donor].”

Or, to be certain that the financial security of your family and others is adequately arranged after your death, you might ask your attorney to make your gift to Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando Endowment in a residuary bequest, since this type of bequest is used to give a gift from the estate after all debts, taxes, expenses, and other bequests have been paid.

Thanks to your foresight and generosity, Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando will continue to thrive and support the community in their time of need.


To learn more about an endowment gift that meets your budget, or to obtain additional sample language for a codicil to your will, please contact Eric Geboff, Executive Director, Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, 2100 Lee Rd., Winter Park FL 32789;; 407-644-7593 x 238.