188 North Prospect Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 864-0218

Planned Giving

Creating a Lasting Legacy with Your Will

Leaving a legacy through your will is one of the most profound and enduring ways to support Ohavi Zedek. Your bequest has the power to transform the future of the Greater Burlington and Vermont Jewish community.

Your Legacy, Our Commitment

When you include a bequest for OZ in your will or trust, your generous gift becomes a cornerstone of our future. 

Investing in Tomorrow

No matter the size of your bequest, it will play a crucial role in ensuring that OZ remains a vibrant and thriving community hub. You have the flexibility to specify a particular purpose, program, or fund, allowing your legacy to align with your values.

The Benefits of Your Bequest

  • Retain Control: You retain control of your assets during your lifetime while securing OZ’s future.
  • Designate a Purpose: Choose how your bequest will make an impact, whether it’s for a specific program, a meaningful cause, or our general endowment.
  • Flexibility: You can adjust your designation at any time to reflect changing circumstances or priorities.
  • Estate Tax Benefits: Bequests to OZ are not subject to estate tax, making it a tax-efficient way to leave a lasting legacy.

More Details

Do you need a will or living trust?

When someone without a will or living trust dies, the laws of their state decide how their estate is divided. Typically, it will be divided by the court among closest living family according to a formula, and none of the estate can go to any charity.

In order to have a say in how your estate is distributed, a will or living trust is necessary. Working with an experienced attorney can help you create a will or living trust to meets your goals.

Ways you can define a charitable gift in your estate plan

There are several ways that you can define the amount of your charitable gift to OZ. They are:

  • A gift of a particular amount of money.  For example, you give $18,000.
  • A gift of a specific item or items.  For example, you give 1,000 shares of Apple stock.
  • A gift that will be made only if one or more conditions are met.  For example, you give $36,000 if your spouse does not survive you.
  • A gift that will be made from the remainder of your estate once all other bequests, debts, and taxes have been paid.  For example, you give 30% of the remainder of your estate. Often called a “residuary bequest,” this approach assures that your family will be taken care of before your estate makes a bequest to us.

Ways to specify how OZ may use your bequest

You have several options for telling OZ how we may use your bequest once we receive it. They are:

  • An unrestricted bequest – This is a gift for our general purposes. This can be the most useful kind of gift because it allows us to put your gift to the best possible use at the time we receive it.
  • A restricted bequest – This is a gift for a specific use, such as a special project or program that is important to you. It is best for you to consult with us before placing restrictions on your bequest to be sure we can carry out your wishes.
  • An endowed bequest – An endowed bequest – This is a large gift ($50,000 or more) whose principal will be permanently placed in our endowment and whose annual accrued interest and returns will insure that your gift benefits our congregation long after you’re gone. An endowed bequest can be restricted or unrestricted.
  • An honorary bequest – This is a gift made in honor of someone else. Any form of bequest can also be an honorary bequest. We would be pleased to recognize the people you wish to honor with your gift.

Make sure we can carry out your wishes

It is very important that your bequest be accurately and clearly described in your estate plan so that we can carry out your wishes as you intended. We are pleased to consult with you regarding the terms of your bequest to make sure that we will be able to carry out your intentions. In order to avoid any possible question that your bequest is to our organization, be sure to include our full legal name and our federal tax identification number in your bequest.

Legal name: Ohavi Zedek Synagogue Corporation.

Address: 188 North Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401

Tax identification number: 03-0181057

We are happy to provide you with sample bequest language to assist you and your attorney.

You have complete flexibility to change your bequest at any time.  If circumstances change in a way that makes you want to revise your gift to us, you can.

Tax benefits

Because your bequest is revocable, you do not receive an income tax charitable deduction when you create it. Rather, your estate will receive an estate tax deduction for the full value of your bequest in the year it is made. Depending on a variety of factors, including the size of your estate and estate tax law at the time your estate is settled, this deduction may or may not save estate taxes.

Bequest alternatives

In addition to adding bequest language to your will, here are a few other ways for you to make a bequest to us:

  • Make OZ a designated beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
  • Make OZ a designated beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement plan.
  • Make OZ a designated beneficiary of savings bonds.
  • Instruct your bank to “pay on death” to OZ some or all of a specific bank account.
  • Instruct your brokerage firm to “transfer on death” to OZ some or all of a specific brokerage or other financial account.

Please let us know if you have included Ohavi Zedek in your estate plans. We would welcome the opportunity to thank you for your thoughtful gift and to confirm that we can carry out your wishes.

Example of a Synagogue Gift

Sheila Siegel, a widow, has been a supporter of the synagogue for many years. She is in good health now, but does not want to be a financial burden to her children should she require expensive care in the future.

OZ is one of two charities to which she has been most dedicated. She would like to make a lasting gift to each of them in memory of her husband. After discussing her options with her estate planning advisor, she decides to create a residuary bequest in her will for each of her two favorite charities. Each charity will receive 50% of the remainder of her estate after all other obligations, such as taxes and bequests to her children and grandchildren, have been taken care of.


  • Sheila’s assets will remain available to her should she need them.
  • The revocable nature of her gift will minimize the possibility that she will ever need financial help from her children.
  • If her estate is worth what she expects when it is settled, she will be able to provide generous legacy gifts to the two charities that have meant the most to her and her late husband.




Let’s Talk

For further information or assistance with your bequest, please contact us and our Executive Director, President or Development Chair will be in touch.


The synagogue has meant so much to my family over the years.  I have included OZ in my estate plan so that I know OZ will be here for our Jewish community in the future – from generation to generation!”

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