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Paying it Forward for the Generations: Temkin Family Makes Commitment to Jewish Community

Gayle and Steven Temkin of West Hartford with their daughters, Alyssa and Lily, and Gayle’s parents – Bonnie and Abby z”l Weiner. Photo credit: Robin Smith, Bird’s Eye Photography

The Temkin family of West Hartford promises first commitment to the LIFE & LEGACY program.


Gayle and Steve Temkin of West Hartford don’t remember a time when Jewish community wasn’t central to their lives. Judaism wasn’t just about religion and values; they felt part of a global Jewish community, which came with a deep sense of responsibility to be active participants in all aspects of that community.

Today, one might see their teenagers, Alyssa and Lily, actively participating in Jewish life at the Mandell JCC, Solomon Schechter Day School, Beth El Temple, JTConnect, Friendship Circle, and more. The Temkins’ commitment to Jewish life, however, extends far beyond today. Jewish community runs through generations – dating back to Gayle’s participation in United Synagogue Youth as a girl, and her professional career with State of Israel Bonds in Rockland County and, later, the UJA Federation of New York in Westchester.

A quote from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, z”l, demonstrates their philosophy: “To be a leader, you do not need a crown or robes of office. All you need to do is to write your chapter in the story, do deeds that heal some of the pain of this world, and act so that others become a little better for having known you.”

“We try to live by these words, not just for today but for our future,” says Gayle. “We’ve chosen this community to plant our family’s roots – so that our children, and our children’s children, and everyone who comes after will have not only a strong community, but one that will always remember those who came before them.”

That’s why they have promised an after-lifetime gift of $1 million to Greater Hartford’s Jewish community. Their generous act officially launched LIFE & LEGACY for Greater Hartford, a four-year partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that promotes after-lifetime giving to build endowments that will help provide financial stability to 14 local Jewish organizations.

“We want Alyssa and Lily to understand the importance of paying it forward, and want to help our community organizations remain vital and vibrant,” added Steve. “A legacy gift will let us make a difference – far beyond the measure of one lifetime – and offer a joyous Jewish life for all.”

In addition to the Temkins’ commitment, 63 after-lifetime commitments from 50 Legacy donors have been made to Greater Hartford’s LIFE & LEGACY program in just two months.

Anyone can help provide long-term financial stability for their favorite Jewish organizations by leaving an after-lifetime gift in their will, trust, retirement account or life insurance policy. Once funded, these Legacy gifts are placed in an individual or collective endowment fund at the Jewish Community Foundation, which invests and manages them to yield a consistent source of income for Jewish organizations for generations to come.

For more information, please contact Kathryn Gonnerman, VP of Philanthropy at the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford at [email protected].

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