Skip to Content

A Passion for Educating Others About Holocaust Leads to Legacy Gift

Judy Schnitzer Myers

Judy Schnitzer Myers' family was involved in HMH’s founding, and Judy is ensuring that she keeps her family's legacy alive at the museum by including HMH in her estate plan.

A docent for 15 years and Chair of Docent Training for Holocaust Museum Houston, Judy Schnitzer Myers walks her talk and has turned her history into a passion to teach and educate others.

The daughter of Ruth and George Schnitzer, and niece of Otto Schlamme, who were all involved in HMH's founding, Judy seemed destined for the work she is doing.

"My family originally came from Wurzburg, Germany," she explains. "My mother, whose grandfather and great-aunt died in concentration camps, came to the U.S. in 1936, at age 14, where she lived with a foster family in Rochester, New York. My uncle and their parents escaped from Germany the day before Kristallnacht. The Seligman/Cohen family provided the affidavit [that] enabled them to escape, and all four were reunited in Houston in 1938.

"My mother, who was just 16 when she came to Houston, turned 95 in April. She met my father, George, a native Houstonian, in the Beth Israel young adult group, and they were married by Rabbi Robert Kahn. Rabbi Kahn also married my late husband Jim and me, and one of my sons. My parents were founding members of Congregation Emanu El, and I am still an active member."

Judy earned her A.B. in sociology from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.S. in Public Health from the U.T. School of Public Health. For many years, she was a social worker at the Cerebral Palsy Center, and in a change of direction, "with kids in college," passed the strict licensing required to become a certified financial planner. She continued for many years in this field, working for a large corporation and ultimately, as an independent advisor.

Judy has deep roots in Houston, but her sons Jeffrey and Jeremy, and their families, keep her flying to Southern California on a regular basis. "Even though they live across the country, they know how important the history of their grandparents and great-grandparents is, and they have ‘caught it.' They have taken the baton and continue the legacy we have begun with their wives and children. I believe if our families see what we do, it teaches them valuable lessons, by example. My passion for the messages of the Holocaust now matters to them as much as it does me."

Judy takes pride in her family, her docent work and her involvement on the museum's Legacy Committee. She has made arrangements for a planned gift to HMH upon her passing and hopes to serve as another sort of example here as well. She is most excited about the friends she has made at HMH and the diversity among the newest docents.

"In a recent class of 12, half are Jewish and the rest are not, and they are all age ranges. The stories of hatred, bigotry, apathy, cruelty and greed that came from the Holocaust are not just about Jews; they are about humanity as a whole. By seeing the experience through the eyes of all ethnicities and faiths, we will tell a valuable universal message," Judy says.

"As docents, we aspire to teach, to inspire critical thinking and instill hope. It is an exciting time to be working with and for HMH, as it expands its facility and reaches more and more people, of every generation. This is what leaving a legacy is all about."

Leave Your Legacy of Hope

You can follow in Judy's footsteps and ensure that HMH's work to inspire critical thinking and instill hope endures for years to come. Contact Stephanie Dugan, CAP® at or 713-527-1629 to learn more.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

Print Page E-mail Page Sitemap Legal Notice Our Sponsors
Holocaust Museum Houston Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004-6804, Tel: 713-942-8000, E-mail: Powered by Nodus Solutions
Rss Feeds RSS Feeds

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Holocaust Museum Houston a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Holocaust Museum Houston, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to HMH or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to HMH as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to HMH as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and HMH where you agree to make a gift to HMH and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.