Meet the Engelhart Family

Donni and Liz Engelhart met as counselors at a Jewish overnight camp in Wisconsin. Donni is from Chicago. Liz is from Los Angeles. They landed in Baltimore because of their work and stayed.

“Our children attend day school and we’re active in The Associated through the Planned Giving Round Table (for financial advisors) and volunteerism. Baltimore has become our home,” says Donni.

“We hope to teach our children that giving back is a Jewish value,” explain the Pikesville couple, whose youngest son, Omri, was born in February 2016. Through giving to The Associated, they want to highlight the importance of ensuring a strong, Jewish community and institutions. “Our goal is to make sure our sons understand tzedakah and community service. Everything is a teachable moment,” says Liz.

“My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor, the only one from his family to survive,” says Donni. After marrying in the displaced persons camp, Donni’s grandparents came to America. Donni recalls his grandfather’s stories of jobs in a bakery and factory, working all the time to make a life and create opportunities for his family. He thinks of his grandfather often: “His memory gives me perspective on the value of hard work.”

Liz brings lessons learned as a Teach for America teacher to her giving philosophy. She worked in Baltimore City schools, where she learned firsthand about the value of education and the resilience of children in the face of obstacles. As a child, she remembers her parents instilling in her the importance of taking risks and persevering no matter what happens.

The Engelharts’ long-term philanthropic planning includes establishing a donor-advised impact fund, ideal for young donors who want to grow their giving over time. This approach through The Associated allows younger donors to address issues they care about in a tax-efficient way.

If they could solve any problem in the world? As befits their volunteer and professional experiences, the couple would create access to education and lower barriers to opportunity. And as they guide their children, they are eager to help their children learn about the value of giving.

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