It’s Important to Leave a Legacy Gift for the Future


For as long as he can remember, retired orthopedist and Associated legacy donor Dr. Robert Keehn has placed a high premium on learning.

“I think my father, and other Jewish parents of his generation, wanted their children to get education — the education they didn’t have,” says Dr. Keehn. “He [my father] always said you should learn something every day.”

It’s a message that the doctor has tried to impress upon his own children, his patients, his friends and those with whom he comes in contact through his many Jewish communal activities. For example, after retiring, Dr. Keehn took it upon himself to set up a group e-letter called “Intelligencia,” that alerted recipients to educational events such as lectures going on around town. “The email list grew from four or five names to about 65,” says Dr. Keehn, who also attends Jewish educational programs at his synagogue Beth El Congregation, at the Associated’s Edward A. Myerberg Senior Center and elsewhere in the Jewish and secular communities.

For more than a decade, Dr. Keehn has been a member of the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s Board of Directors. Currently he serves as the museum’s president. Dr. Keehn chooses to support the JMM because of its educational mission.

“I think that’s the place to educate children since we have a lot of kids who come from the inner-city schools,” says Dr. Keehn. “It’s probably the first time many of them have heard Judaism mentioned, or have even met a Jewish person. We also have programs outside of the museum where [staff and volunteers] go into the schools.”

Dr. Keehn is proud that visitors to the JMM also learn from the museum’s exhibitions. “Last year we had the Houdini exhibit which brought in record crowds. Right now, we have two exhibitions about fashion — “Stitching History” and “Fashion Statement” and in the fall, we’ll have an exhibit on scrap metal and the many prominent Baltimore families in that business.”

Dr. Keehn is convinced that the JMM “has a profound impact” on visitors. Therefore, he’s arranged to support the museum through a legacy gift that will benefit the museum after he’s gone.

“By attending Life and Legacy meetings, I’ve learned that it’s important to leave a legacy gift for the future,” says Dr. Keehn. “If you’re going to give x dollars every year, sometime in the future when you’re deceased, that money continues to grow.”

In addition to teaching him to value education, Dr. Keehn’s father also inspired him to be philanthropic. “My father was a toy wholesaler on the Lower East Side [of Manhattan]. When I went away to camp, every visiting day, he would bring a toy for every kid in the bunk. Or if it was a birthday party at school, he’d bring a toy for every kid in the class. I saw that from my parents, and I just thought that was the thing to do.”

To learn more about leaving your legacy for future generations, visit our LIFE & LEGACY™ page.

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