This idea started with the conversation, as is often the case. Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation Executive Director Howard Epstein and I were walking out of a Jewish Business Leaders of Omaha Bagels & Business breakfast, back in 2019.
I mentioned my family has benefited from a variety of grants & scholarships from the Federation over the years. As my sons were working their way through college, I wanted to come up with a plan to make sure future generations would have the same benefits. Basically, I wanted to figure out how much our family had received so I could make sure we give at least twice that much back once my kids were out of college.
Over the course of several conversations (delayed, of course, by Covid), Howard and I decided there are probably a lot of people like me; parents or grandparents who are now in position to be on the giving end rather than the receiving end. Even college graduates who benefited growing up through college and are now working and may also be in a position to give back.
So, we created an avenue for people to "Pay It Forward". The idea is for a lot of people to contribute money every month to increase the pool of scholarship money available for current and future generations to receive the same benefits our families have received from the Federation. The “Pay It Forward” Fund will support Omaha’s Jewish youth who want to attend college, Jewish summer camps, the Pennie Z. Davis Early Learning Center, the Friedel Jewish Academy, and to participate in other Jewish experiences.
Simple idea: Create a monthly gift of $18, $36, $72, or any other amount. The Federation Foundation will pool that money and be able to do great things for kids in the Omaha Jewish community. For example: When 100 community members donate $36 a month, we will create an extra $43,200 a year for grants and scholarships, with the potential of increasing that amount as the donors increase in number.
This is not designed to be a solicitation for donations, rather an opportunity for a simple way to “Pay It Forward.”
Many of us have benefited from the generosity of our community. If you're like me and looking for a way to make sure the next generations have the same opportunities, here's your chance.
If you have questions please feel free to contact Dan Marburg at 402-250-2520 or MarburgOmaha@gmail.com. Or you can reach Howard Epstein, Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation Executive Director, at 402-334-6466, email@example.com.