Ed and Mildred Gottfried were never able to visit Israel, nor did they have any children, but they are leaving behind a legacy to assist with humanitarian needs, as well as troubled youths there.
Ed Gottfried was a retired CPA and a World War II veteran who died in June 2018 while living at Ann’s Choice in Warminster. His wife, Mildred, who worked in quality control for a printer for 38 years, died the following March. Both were well into their 90s.
Before their deaths, they were long-time donors to Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s annual campaign and Circle of Partners members — a designation for donors of 25 years or more, according to Jewish Federation Senior Endowment Officer Jennifer Molish Brier.
And before they died, they took steps to help make Israel a better place.
“Back in 2010, after reading an article in our Tapestry newsletter, Ed called me with questions about how to word his will,” Brier said. “I met with Ed and Mildred at their home and helped them crystallize what they wanted to do and to implement their wishes. I spoke with their attorney to provide guidance on the language for the bequest.”
Although specific projects weren’t identified then, Tali Lida, manager of Jewish Federation’s Israel office, later worked to identify suitable projects in Israel with the $3 million bequest.
One project will help pay for the construction of a new building at Amigour’s Beit Canada Complex in Ashdod. Amigour provides affordable housing and social and cultural services for Holocaust survivors, new immigrants and elderly men and women living in Israel. Construction is ongoing there.
On the lower wing’s roof, there will be a social club with a patio and views overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The club will be named in memory of the Gottfrieds and will be the residents’ main meeting place.
The other project will help Orr Shalom, Israel’s largest and leading organization in the field of abused and neglected children and at-risk youth. The Gottfrieds’ contribution will go to buy a new therapeutic family group home in Be’er Sheva. The home buy is yet to be finalized.
The home will be named Beit Gottfried and care for up to 11 children ages 6-18 who have been removed from their homes by the Ministry of Welfare.
In addition, the bequest will establish the Beit Gottfried Maintenance Fund, a permanent endowment fund of the Jewish Federation to provide ongoing support to maintain the Orr Shalom house.
Finally, the remainder of the bequest will be divided into two endowments at Jewish Federation: one for the Edward and Mildred Gottfried Fund for Humanitarian Needs in Israel and the other for the Edward and Mildred Gottfried Fund for Security, Emergency Preparedness and/or Security Needs in Israel.