Donor Advised Funds are the New Pushke for Charitable Giving


Bonnie and Pacy Oletsky have maintained a donor advised fund at The Associated for 40 years, during which time the world and the Jewish community have endured war, financial crises, and now an international pandemic. Through all these times of need, their donor advised fund has been a source of support. Their fund and their long history of giving reflects the deep gratitude that Bonnie and Pacy have for the example of tzedakah instilled by their parents. This is their story.

Bonnie and Pacy Oletsky
Bonnie and Pacy Oletsky, longtime donor advised fund holders at The Associated, recently mobilized their fund to respond to emerging needs in our Jewish Community caused by COVID-19.
“When Bonnie and I were approached to provide additional funds to help our Jewish brothers and sisters to provide basic needs to those who have lost their livelihoods, we went to our donor advised fund and were able to respond. Our fund has replaced the pushke.”

My first recollection of tzedakah was when my father held me up to put coins into each of the three metal boxes that hung on our pantry wall. I was told that this money was going to be given to the poor. I remember even though we had little, the charity boxes (pushkes) were always full when the collector came around. I was introduced to The Associated in 1951 when I traveled neighborhoods with my father collecting money on G-Day – a Good Day for Giving. My father was selected to head the 1952 G-Day campaign but sadly passed away a few days before the event. Even after his death the pushkes were filled.

I wanted to participate in this charity work and became a Big Brother after Bonnie and I were married. We were both fortunate to join the Young Leadership Program and be instructed in the operations of The Associated. Bonnie had a strong connection to Judaism and tzedakah as her family was instrumental in collecting and storing provisions for the Exodus back in 1947.

Forty years ago, we established a donor advised fund at The Associated. It was not only an outstanding vehicle for giving gifts to all different charities, but it was also an excellent investment. The Associated’s Investment Management Committee have consistently retained superior money managers that have provided returns exceeding the financial averages. When I became an officer of Chizuk Amuno, I was successful in convincing the board to turn over the management of our funds to The Associated. That continues to be a great relationship.

As Jews we are always going from crisis to crisis. This current pandemic is no exception. We are comforted to know that the first responder to all crises in our Jewish community is The Associated. It’s their job to immediately assess the needs and reach out to the overall community to provide assistance. When Bonnie and I were approached to provide additional funds to help our Jewish brothers and sisters to provide basic needs to those who have lost their livelihoods, we went to our donor advised fund and were able to respond. Our fund has replaced the pushke.

Find out how you can start your lifelong philanthropic journey with a donor advised fund. Contact Jackie Yahr at jyahr@associated.org or call 410-369-9248.

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