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Welcome to the June edition of the Jewish Future Pledge Newsletter—we hope you had a chag sameach!

Pledges to date: We’re excited to share that the Jewish Future Pledge and Jewish Youth Pledge have over 10,000 pledgers combined! The Jewish Future Pledge reached 6,180 pledgers, and the Jewish Youth Pledge now has 6,921 youth pledgers!

Click here to take the pledge.

In this edition:

  • Pledger Jennifer Schrutt shares how her connection to Judaism has grown, why she and her family made Aliyah in 2015, and some of the organizations she supports
  • In three simple steps, we break down how to decide which Jewish organizations to donate to
  • Everything new and newsworthy at the Jewish Future Pledge, including an OpEd by Chairman Mark Silberman

Pledger Spotlight: Jennifer Schrutt

What does Judaism contribute to your life and the world? 

I didn’t grow up religious but grew up in a loving, classic American Reform Jewish home, where Judaism meant family time and celebrating the major Jewish holidays. In fact, as a child, I often saw Judaism as an obligatory burden rather than a gift. It wasn't until my early 20’s, during a trip to Israel with Livnot U’Lehibanot, that I truly started understanding Judaism. After experiencing a real Shabbat experience, my perspective completely changed - I saw the history and connected personally to our religion. I now feel extraordinarily blessed and lucky to come from a Jewish lineage and to be part of our nation.

My strong connection to Judaism has given me a positive sense of purpose and responsibility. It is my obligation, as a Jew, to be a light unto nations. Judaism has also provided me with a sense of fulfillment. I live and work in Israel, so Jewish culture is all around me, and this connection with my religion makes me feel whole.

Why was it important to you and your family to make Aliyah?

Living in the United States, I consistently felt like I was living life on the sidelines, and I wanted to be part of the game. I strongly supported Israel, but I didn’t feel right telling the country to stand up and fight from my comfortable home in Denver, Colorado, while mothers in Israel sent their children to fight for their country. I needed to be a part of it. If I wanted to have a say, then I needed to vote, I needed to pay taxes, and I needed to send my kids to the army.

And that is what I did. I am now more involved than I could’ve ever imagined – Judaism and Israel have become my everything. Two of my three children are currently preparing to join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and my third will join when she is old enough. I also work in development for the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) – a non-profit Jewish media outlet that works to provide honest and high-quality reporting, analysis, and news. Now, living in Israel, I eat, breathe, and sleep Judaism, and I couldn’t be happier.

Why is it important to support Jewish institutions?

We must support Jewish institutions for one simple reason – Jewish continuity. With intermarriage, assimilation, anti-Israeli sentiments, and disengagement at an all-time high, we are losing the next generation. Many younger generations cannot imagine a world without Israel, because they’ve never seen it, and I don’t want them to know what that looks like. I don’t support many of the traditional Jewish organizations that my grandparents supported. Instead, I support Jewish organizations that think outside the box – those who challenge the status quo, even when it is not politically correct to do so. We need more pro-Israel social media influencers, Zionist youth organizations, and high-quality positive news outlets to battle the tsunami of fake news. We need to support non-profits in Israel who physically build Judea, Samaria, and all of Israel without apology. We need to go on offense and stop playing defense. Outside of Jewish organizations, I also support organizations close to my heart. For example, my children suffer from Celiac disease, so I donate to the Celiac Association in Israel.

I want Jewish institutions and the State of Israel to be there for my children, grandchildren, and future Jewish generations. I can’t imagine a Jewish future where these things don’t exist.

Jennifer, a diehard Florida Gator alumnus, her husband Max (whom she met on Livnot in 1997), their three kids and a dog left the Garden of Eden (Denver, Colorado) to make Aliyah in 2015. After nearly two decades in the pharmaceutical industry, Jennifer gave up selling drugs…for selling the Jewish people and Israel. Feel free to contact Jennifer at and she will be happy to share with you which was easier to sell.

How To: Decide Which Jewish Organizations to Donate To

Fortunately, there are a multitude of Jewish and Israeli organizations working to support the Jewish people. Unfortunately, the plethora of high-quality organizations complicates the decision of where to donate funds during your time on this earth and upon your passing. To aid in this decision, we have created 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Think about the organizations that have impacted you throughout your life.
Did you travel to Israel for the first time with Birthright? Were you a member of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY)? Did you celebrate the high holidays at a Hillel on your college campus? Meet lifelong friends in AEPi? Plant a tree to honor a loved one or visit Israel with JNF-USA?

Whatever it may be, remember the impact of these organizations and consider supporting them in creating positive experiences for future generations.

Step 2: Think about causes you are passionate about.
Whether you support education, social justice, medical research, environmental causes, or any other causes, there are Jewish or Israeli organizations working to support that mission. For example, AIPAC and the Zionist Organization of America are organizations advocating for a strong relationship between Israel and the United States. Bend the Arc is an American-Jewish organization working to fight for justice and equality, and Tzedek is the UK Jewish community’s response to extreme poverty.
No matter what you are passionate about, there is a Jewish or Israeli organization dedicated to supporting that cause.

Step 3: Select the top organization(s) you would like to support financially.
Now that you have done your research, it’s time to pick the organizations that mean the most to you. When you take the Jewish Future Pledge, you and your descendants have the opportunity to select the Jewish organizations and causes you want your donations to go to. So have a conversation with your family and select a few Jewish or Israeli organizations that align with your interests and values.

New and Newsworthy

What American Jewish Organizations – Need and Value – Today – The Algemeiner

“Hearing the ideas and themes was inspiring. Knowing that an organization has a clear purpose in mind for my donation, makes me want to give. I’m thrilled that, through the Jewish Future Pledge — a worldwide movement working to ensure that money is set aside for future Jewish generations — I’ve earmarked charitable dollars from my estate to help these causes, and I hope that in reading this, others feel the same.”


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