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The Bene Israel Society is Rockdale Temple's way of recognizing our legacy donors. These are members of our community who have pledged to make a gift to our temple that will ensure our continued financial health not only during their lifetime, but also in the years and decades to come. 

Bene Israel Society members are people whose parents and grandparents were members of Rockdale Temple, and those who joined our community in the last few years. They are people with a range of professions, life experiences, and means. They come from every corner of the Rockdale Temple community. They are united in their desire that Rockdale Temple will see not only its Bicentennial in 2024, but its Tricentennial as well.

The Bene Israel Society grew out of Rockdale Temple’s participation in the Create Your Jewish Legacy program of the Grinspoon Foundation and supported by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. We have extended membership in the society to include all legacy donors, including those who participated in earlier legacy campaigns.

How to join the Bene Israel Society

There are two ways to join the Bene Israel Society. The first is to fill out the Create Your Jewish Legacy paperwork. We are in our 8th year of participation in this program and have found it an easy and useful way to track participation and for our members to communicate their plans. There are two parts to the Create Your Jewish Legacy Paperwork:

Option 1:

Letter of Intent: The Letter of Intent states your plan to participate in the Create Your Jewish Legacy program by leaving a gift to Rockdale Temple in your will, life insurance policy, IRA, or by setting up a trust. You can also indicate that you choose to support any other Jewish organization in our community on the same form.

Confirmation of Commitment: This form reaffirms your commitment and states that you have completed the necessary legal paperwork to make the above stated arrangements.

Option 2:

In many cases, we have learned of legacy gifts only as they arrive at Rockdale Temple. We will include the name of any who leave legacy gifts to Rockdale Temple in our recognition for the Bene Israel Society.

Benefits of Joining the Bene Israel Society

Rockdale Temple is deeply grateful to all our legacy donors for their many contributions to our community and their desire to support us well into the future. We demonstrate our gratitude through small gifts during the High Holy Days, listing our Bene Israel Society members in our quarterly Shofar Soundings, celebrating them during a special Shabbat service each year, and recognizing their names on a beautiful piece of artwork that will be dedicated in the spring of 2023. Members who have confirmed their commitment receive a Bene Israel Society mezuzah designed by Elizabeth Goldstein. All Bene Israel Society members are also enrolled in our Perpetual Memory program and will be remembered on their yahrzeit long after they have left our community.

How Do We Use Legacy Gifts

If no other designation is made, all legacy gifts are placed in our Bene Israel Society Fund (named for the Bene Israel Society), a restricted endowment fund to support Rockdale Temple’s rabbinical and educational leadership. Gifts will ensure that our sacred community continues to foster connections through timeless rituals, innovative learning, and forward thinking.

To learn more about this fund, our endowment spending policy, or any other questions you have regarding the Bene Israel Society, or to enroll in the society, please contact our Legacy Chair, Barbara Turner Michaelson, (513) 470-0495, or our Executive Director, Lisa Schneider, (513) 891-9900.

Click on highlighted names below for testimonials.

Our Members:

Steven Altman*
Sylvia (Sukey) Altman*
Leonard Berenfield*
Doris* & Stuart* Berman
Rabbi Erin Binder
Max Joseph Bleich
*Rosemary & *Frank Bloom 
Lynn Chaifetz 
Linda Chatterjee
Anthony & Andrea Checroun
Matthew* & Jean* Chimsky 
Jennifer Clark
John Cobey & Jan Frankel
Max Cobey
Alfred M. Cohen
Barb & O.J. Cohen
Ken & Janet Cohen
Rabbi Matthew Kraus & Rabbi Sigma F. Coran*
Bernie Dave*
Stephanie & Tony De Falco
Bonnie & Darryl Dick
M. James Ellis
Risa & Steven Feagins
Lisa & John* Fox
G. Allan & Sara Frankel
Dr. G. Russell & Renee Frankel
Gail* & Dick Friedman
Robert Frohman
Dr. Barry & Nancy Gibberman
Dolores Goldfinger*
Rabbi Mark & Dr. Meryl* Goldman
Michael G. Hall*
Andy A. & Debbie Heldman
Betty Heldman
Gary & Austine Heldman 
George* & Anne* Heldman
Jim Heldman & Wendy Saunders
Michael Heldman & Beth Franks
Andrea & Dr. Edward Herzig 
Idalynn Herzberg*
Lauren & Aaron Herzig
Babette Hirsch*
Daniel J. Hoffheimer 
Robert Ingberg, M.D.
Johnny “JJ” Jones 
Rabbi Meredith Kahan & Sean Flowers
Kathleen Kellar*
David* & Hildy* Kerman
Nancy & Jerry Klein
Sally & Gerry Korkin
Bennett Kottler & Family

Barrie Kraus
Jamey & Vanessa Kurtzer

Justin Levy & Eira Tansey 
Heinke Lillenstein
Lauren & Jake Lillenstein
Deb & Joe Loewenstein 
Ralph & Fran* Lowenstein 
Helene & Millard Mack 
Erick Madis
Christine & Ramesh Malhotra 
Mara Marnocha 
Karen & Stewart Martin
Sheryl & Scott Mattis
Fay B. May & Robert E. Prescott* 
Lynn Rosenberg Mayfield
Tracy M. McMullen
Lisa & Jonathan Mezibov
Mark Michaelson & 
Barbara Turner-Michaelson

Sharon Lynn Nelson & Kenneth Venick
Dale Rabiner* 
Loretta* & Gary* Rabiner
David* & Marilyn* Reichert
Dani Reiss
James & M. Lori Reidel 
Leslie & Bernard Reiss
Joan & William Roberts
Benjamin M. Rosensweet
Matthew & Renee Rosensweet
Roger Rosenthal
Jack & Mary-Bob Rubenstein 
Judith & Mark Schaengold
Steven & Rachel Schild 
Lisa Schneider
David & Abby Schwartz
Amy & Jason Shaiman 
Joshua & Heather Shapiro
Mark Sheldon 
Joan Schimmel & Neal Jacobs
Andrew & Sally Shott 
Jen & Larry Smilg
David & Jaynie Solomon
Cora & Don Steinberg
Hagit & Jeff Sunberg 
W. E. Blair Tillett* 
Julie & Shachar Torem 
Robert & Loris Ungar
Sarah Weiss & Todd Schild
Dr. Robert Stein*
Edward Wertheimer
Karen & Stuart Zanger
Mitchell* &  Florence Zaret
3 Anonymous Donors 
*Of Blessed Memory

Fri, June 14 2024 8 Sivan 5784