The Lion of Judah is perhaps the most successful development vehicle of all time and is a symbol of today’s Jewish woman’s strength, a symbol of her caring about the organized Jewish world and a symbol of her financial commitment of at least $5,000 (in some communities, this threshold annual commitment is somewhat higher) to the Federation Annual Campaign. Almost 17,000 women world-wide are Lions of Judah. Created in 1972 in Miami by Norma Kipnis-Wilson and Toby Friedland (z”l), the Lion of Judah program has brought together women of all ages and from many walks of life in order to play an essential role in creating social justice, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, preserving human dignity and building Jewish identity.
Lion of Judah Endowment (LOJE)
The Lion of Judah Endowment is an endowment component of the Lion of Judah Major Gifts program. A LOJE is created by establishing a minimum fund of $100,000 or more in the donor’s name, ensuring the perpetuation of a donor’s Lion of Judah level annual campaign gift. A LOJE is a permanent restricted fund, a component of the national PACE or Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment program of The Jewish Federations of North America.
The Lion of Judah Endowment or LOJE is powerful statement of a donor’s commitment to tzedakah, providing a legacy for herself, her family and her community. Establishing a LOJE allows women the opportunity to the extra step to endow her gift in perpetuity. A LOJE may also choose to enhance her Lion of Judah pin by adding a flame, known in Hebrew as or l’atid, to recognize this commitment.
How can a Lion of Judah make a LOJE commitment?
Every woman has a unique family and financial situation. In recognition of different estate planning and tax objectives, a LOJE can be easily and positively designed to match an individual’s person circumstances in a beneficial way.
Federation endowment professionals and financial and legal advisors can design a Lion of Judah Endowment that will help donor’s realize their philanthropic visions and, at the same time, meet the required criteria. There are various ways to create endowments, many of which do not have to be funded during a donor’s lifetime.
A LOJE fund is not intended to substitute for any part of a gift to the JFNA/Federation annual campaign. A $100,000 endowment is expected to generate at least the Lion of Judah minimum of $5,000, calculated at a yield of 5%; a $200,000 fund will yield a minimum of $10,000; and a $1 million fund will yield a minimum $50,000 annually. LOJE funds are invested and prudently managed for maximum yield.
The Birmingham Jewish Federation has expanded its Lion of Judah programming. To belong to Lion of Judah a woman must give at least $5000 to the BJF Campaign. The group has grown this year from 50 to 77 thanks to the Paula Kimerling Lion of Judah Initiative which provided matching funds for new members to participate.
The cost of the 14K Lion of Judah pin is dependent upon the current value of gold, and may be purchased by the community or the woman herself, according to community policy. Each year that a woman sustains or increases her minimum $5,000* gift, she is eligible to have a small diamond set into the pin.
The right to wear the pin at the appropriate level is contingent upon a woman’s individual contribution to her Federation’s Annual Campaign.
Taking it to a New Level
Lion of Judah- Diamond $5,000*
Ruby Lion of Judah – $10,000
Sapphire Lion of Judah – $18,000
Emerald Lion of Judah – $25,000
Double Chai Lion of Judah – Amethyst Diamond – $36,000
Zahav Lion of Judah – Canary Diamond – $50,000
Sabra Lion of Judah – Cognac Diamond – $75,000
PMC Lion of Judah – White Gold with Black Diamond – $100,000ILR Lion of Judah – White Gold Diamond Pave – $250,000