To commemorate their first year of marriage, Mark Sklarz gave his wife, Judy, stock certificates. After all it was the paper anniversary. Years later that gesture of love would transform into a gift from the couple to their beloved synagogue. Over time the stock certificates appreciated significantly, but the Sklarz never sold them. Instead they used their good fortune to establish the Sklarz Family Fund for the Rabbi Herbert N. Brockman Rabbinic Endowment , a permanent endowment at the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven for the benefit of  their synagogue, Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden and to honor the remarkable work and cherished leadership of their revered Rabbi.

Mishkan Israel, one of the oldest Reform Congregations in the United States, was established in 1840 in New Haven, above a furniture store, and has a rich tradition of dedication and service from members.  Mark and his parents joined Mishkan Israel in 1952 and Mark became a Bar Mitzvah in the magnificent sanctuary on Orange Street in 1958 under the tutelage of Rabbi Robert E. Goldberg.  Rabbi Goldberg, a close friend and confident of Doctor Martin Luther King, was a major and instrumental participant in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.  In Mark’s words, “Rabbi Goldberg taught us as youngsters that bigotry and prejudice of any form was intolerable and it was our affirmative responsibility to eradicate bias of any kind.  It was our earliest and most lasting lesson of Tikun Olam.”  Each of the Sklarz children, Jeffrey and Rick, became a Bar Mitzvah at Mishkan Israel and had the great fortune to benefit from the guidance of Rabbi Brockman.  As both Judy and Mark commented, “Rabbi Brockman is  truly an extraordinary man; a spiritual and moral leader of unparalleled intellect, morality, ethics and conscience.  To have had the privilege of being inspired by two such great teachers as Rabbi Goldberg and Rabbi Brockman has been one of the great fortunes of our lives.  

The Sklarz Family has sought to honor and perpetuate that legacy with their creation of the Fund. Rabbi Herbert Brockman talked about the gift and the couple. “I am sort of the new kid on the block at Congregation Mishkan Israel, but it was clear from day one that this was a special place and Mark and Judy a special couple. They immediately made me feel like I was joining a family. With their gift, the Sklarz are a great example of what selflessness and dedication are all about.”

Mark and Judy have a long history of supporting Jewish organizations in the greater New Haven area. In addition to establishing the endowment for Mishkan Israel, they have served their community in a number of ways. Mark is a past President of Congregation Mishkan Israel as well as a past Chair of the Jewish Foundation, past President and current Chair of the Jewish Federation, past President of the JCC and past Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council. Judy is a Lion of Judah and has been a volunteer of many organizational committees and events including serving as a director of the Jewish Community Center, a tutor of the Jewish Literacy Program and a long time member of the Planning and Allocations Committee of the Jewish Federation. Their granddaughters, Lauren and Alexa live in Woodbridge with Judy’s and Mark’s daughter-in-law Karen and son, Jeffrey.  Their son Rick and his wife Cambra reside in Los Angeles, California.

Judy and Mark have also established a PACE (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) Fund for the benefit of the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign as well as a family Philanthropic Fund.  By using appreciated stock to establish the Sklarz Family Fund for the Herbert N. Brockman Rabbinic Endowment Fund, the Sklarz were able to claim a charitable income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock without having to recognize any capital gains tax.


Type of Fund/Area of Need: Funds for Synagogues

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The Jewish Foundation can help you explore charitable opportunities that work for you. 

The Jewish Foundation is a trusted and expert resource for charitable gift planning and endowments and serves as a partner and resource for synagogues, local Jewish agencies, professional advisors and donors.

When you make a current gift or leave a bequest to the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, you not only benefit our community, but you can also support the causes that are important to you.  You can designate that your gift be used to provide unrestricted funds to help meet community needs now and in the future or to endow a permanent fund to aid identified programs, your synagogue, agencies, organizations, or initiatives (Jewish or not Jewish, in Greater New Haven, Israel or beyond) that are of particular interest to you and your family.

Lisa Stanger, Esq., Executive Director
Tiberius Halai, Grants and Gift Manager
Beth Kupcho, Scholarship and Philanthropy Manager
Stephanie Licsak, Controller

Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven
360 Amity Road
Woodbridge, CT 06525
203-387-2424, ext. 382
203-387-1818 (fax)

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With the Jewish Foundation, you can establish a named Restricted/Designated Fund for your synagogue, for Jewish education, for the needy, for Israel, for the arts, or for any charitable program or organization that is important to you.

These funds can be established in honor of a family member, or in memory of loved ones, and will provide annual distributions, in perpetuity, to the designated organization(s). The Jewish Foundation will make annual distributions to the designated charitable organization and, in the fund agreement,  you can provide for a contingent beneficiary organization should the designated organization cease to exist, lose its tax-exempt status or substantially alter its mission.  Restricted/Designated Funds can be established with a minimum gift of $10,000.


ENDOWING YOUR JEWISH FEDERATION ANNUAL CAMPAIGN GIFT Designated/Restricted Funds for the benefit of the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign are called “PACE” (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) or “LOJE” (Lion of Judah Endowment).

A PACE fund is a designated/restricted fund which endows a donor’s UJA-Federation annual campaign gift. A LOJE fund is a type of PACE fund which provides a permanent endowment to perpetuate a woman’s annual Lion of Judah campaign gift.

PACE and LOJE funds allow our community, through permanent endowment funds dedicated to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, to insure that we have funds available that will continue to provide for vital programs and services both in Greater New Haven, in Israel and overseas… for present and future generations.

A named PACE fund can be established with a minimum commitment of $10,000 or a LOJE fund with a minimum commitment of $100,000. Commitments of under $10,000 are pooled together in the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven’s Community PACE Fund.


DONOR ADVISED/PHILANTHROPIC FUNDS For individuals and families seeking active involvement in philanthropy, a Philanthropic Fund (also called a donor-advised fund) allows the donor to create a named fund that provides flexibility in charitable giving. A Philanthropic Fund allows the donor to recommend distributions to any qualified tax-exempt organization-think of it as a charitable checking account. The Foundation administers the fund, invests the assets, and the donor receives quarterly statements describing their fund’s activity. These funds are a wonderful way to involve the family in giving---the donor and his/her family can sit around the dinner table and decide to which charitable organizations they want their fund to distribute. These funds can be established with a minimum gift of $10,000.

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The Foundation administers and promotes the Build a Tzedakah program which enables young adults to establish their own Foundation endowment fund and also, in conjunction with the Center for Jewish Life and Learning, includes local programs, classes and projects on philanthropy.

The Build-a-Tzedakah program allows young adults to engage in charitable giving by contributing $600 from their Bar or Bat Mitzvah gifts, with a match of $400 from a community donor. With this, the young adult now has a $1000 named charitable fund at the Jewish Foundation—they, or others, can add to the fund at anytime and in honor of special occasions- and, every December (Hannukah time), they will be given the opportunity to choose to which charity(ies) they want to make a distribution (distributions are based on the Jewish Foundation’s spending policy and must follow IRS regulations which include that they must be charitable and can only be made to US based public charities).


As part of its Build a Tzedakah program, the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven held a Pop-up Jewish teen giving circle. The teens, part of JTE (Jewish Teen Education) program, invited local organizations to present concerning funding needs. The program included discussion of philanthropic values, why people give, and how to give. The Jewish Foundation provided monies to the teens for their allocation process. The teens awarded the following grants: IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) for a teen civil rights travel program this summer; Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven for their Stars of David program providing post-adoption social support to adopted Jewish teens; JCC of Greater New Haven for their Makerspace.


Individuals or families can establish a named Unrestricted Fund at the Jewish Foundation with a minimum donation of $1,000. Unrestricted Funds allow the Foundation to meet the changing needs of the Jewish community through our grants process and community initiatives. Many community members have established such funds in honor of a special anniversary or birthday, or in memory of a loved one.


The Foundation’s professional staff and its centrality to the Jewish Federation insure continuous, permanent, and secure fund management and enhance donor confidence and prestige. In addition, placing endowment assets with the Jewish Foundation can serve to insulate financial management of an organization’s endowment from the vicissitudes that can occur through the organization’s own corporate governance. Many local Jewish organizations have entrusted endowments to the Jewish Foundation for administration and management--these include: The Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater New Haven, Congregation Beth Israel (Wallingford), Beth Israel (Orchard Street Shul)Cemetery Assocation, Congregation Mishkan Israel, Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel, Temple Beth David, Ezra Academy, the JCC, Jewish Family Service, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Congregation Or Shalom, Congregation B’nai Jacob and Temple Beth Tikvah.