Ner Tamid Legacy Giving

Sherri Felt Dratfield and Simon Dratfield are longtime CBST members and Ner Tamid legacy giving donors at CBST. They recently talked with our Development Team about why they’re so glad they discovered a way to be a small cornerstone of CBST’s future. 


We’ve been CBST legacy members for more than 25 years. This community has always been so embracing and accepting of us for who we are. And Ner Tamid legacy giving had a mission that was so important. Nobody’s promised tomorrow. So, we jumped right in to become legacy members. We wanted to make sure that this community—the spiritual, religious, and social action elements—would continue well after we’re gone.


CBST is very important to us. It has brought so much to our lives, in terms of entrée into Judaism, in community, social action—there are so many things. There will come a time when we are not here. And yet, we still want to be as active as we possibly can. Legacy giving is the way we can be still active and contributing, even when we’re not here.


Ner Tamid, to me, is a continuation. It’s a world made up of past, present, and future. It is the engine that enables the world to continue to do good and to repair.


It’s important to us to be a part of Ner Tamid legacy giving because it’s a way of making sure that our contributions continue beyond us. It’s something that’s bigger than us. Bill Hibsher first approached us and told us about this idea of legacy giving, and we hadn’t even thought about it yet. Once he mentioned it, it made so much sense that, you know, you’re part of a community now, but you can be a part of the community in perpetuity, through Ner Tamid.


What I would tell other members who might be thinking of becoming members of Ner Tamid, or non-members, is that we are here as a community, to support each other, to help to repair this world, which we all recognize as broken. And if you care about this—if you have children, if you have people you care about, if you have vision—you will see that this world needs you, even after you’re gone, to continue to contribute and be the goodness that makes everyone believe there is goodness in the world.


I think the main thing I would like everyone to know about Ner Tamid is that it exists. There is a way of doing this, and it’s something worth doing. If you believe in CBST, if you’re contributing now, there is a way of continuing those contributions and being a part of CBST’s future.


There is always a need for community. CBST invites, in perpetuity, everyone who is a human to come with all of their humanity, all of who they are, and be accepted for precisely who they are. And if we can do one thing in this world, it’s to acknowledge that each human being is worthwhile and to support that, and we can even do that through legacy giving.


There’s a whole range of things that CBST does, from pastoral care, to social justice, to education, and all of those needs will continue. And as CBST evolves, there will be new things that CBST undertakes and needs. I want to make sure that CBST has the ability to do what the community feels is right, long into the future.


For me, it’s not how much we give. It’s participating. It’s being a part of the future. The foundation of our community is not big boulders. The foundation is built of small cornerstones. We all have the ability to leave something and be a part of our community’s future.

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Learn more about Ner Tamid legacy giving at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah.

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