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Speaking From the Heart

Eileen Weisman Supports Holocaust Museum Houston

Eileen Weisman

In the Memorial Room at Holocaust Museum Houston, standing by the Wall of Hope, Eileen Weisman holds her in-laws’ handwritten Ketubah, their Jewish marriage contract. Sophie and Moses Weisman were married in Stuttgart, Germany, in a displaced persons camp by a rabbi who was also a Holocaust Survivor.

Holocaust Museum Houston is launching the Create a Legacy program this summer, which helps to structure, operate and secure planned gifts that help HMH sustain its mission for the long term. The Create a Legacy program is a community-wide program managed by the Houston Jewish Community Foundation and funded by a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Our Museum is proud to be part of this community effort, which supports and will further membership into the Museum's Generation to Generation Legacy Society.

Former Museum Board Chair Eileen Weisman is thrilled to see HMH participate in this program. Since her time as chair, she has advocated the need to secure and sustain the future of HMH through legacy gifts, such as gifts in wills and living trusts. Eileen says, "Giving a legacy gift allows us to support HMH beyond our lifetime and ensure our Museum's doors stay open to continue teaching the values of respect and compassion."

Having always referred to HMH as "the Museum with a heart," Eileen chose to be the voice of HMH for her in-laws, Holocaust Survivors who found it difficult to speak of their experience. Beginning as a docent and moving within the organization through various leadership positions, she was able to see the many ways that HMH's outreach programs touched people within and beyond our community.

Speaking from her heart, Eileen says, "Our impact is evident as you hear students' comments after a tour or you view the overwhelming support for the Museum's annual events such as the Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award Dinner and the Guardian of the Human Spirit Luncheon. I want this enthusiasm for our mission to continue beyond my lifetime. If I can give even just a small amount to help HMH sustain its future, I believe I have given a very special gift to my Museum with a heart."

Eileen attributes HMH's feel as a "Museum with a heart" to its founders and local survivors. As she shares her passion for HMH, she says, "Their constant presence, whether sharing their stories, artifacts or wisdom gives inspiration to all. And as our survivors age, their voices are not as strong, and many are no longer with us. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to ensure we keep their stories alive in some way. Legacy giving gives me the opportunity to show them how much I respect them and what they represent in the way of inspiration for living."

HMH is proud to bring Eileen's plan full-circle with the launch of Create a Legacy, which is made possible by the help and dedication of volunteers and patrons like Eileen. Legacy giving better positions HMH to educate the community, preserve the lessons of the Holocaust and instruct the community on how to act as upstanders well into the future. Please consider creating your legacy with HMH today.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information on planned giving at Holocaust Museum Houston, please contact Stephanie Dugan, CAP® at 713-527-1629 or

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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.

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