A Change in Leadership in the Torah Fund Legacy Society

Posted on Jun 24, 2021

By Cathy Swerdlow and Gloria Adelson

Edna Schrank, a deeply passionate woman when it comes to Torah Fund, is relinquishing her position as chair of the Torah Fund Legacy Society (TFLS) to serve as chair of Women’s League International Convention 2023. However, Edna’s real love lies with Torah Fund. 

Her interest began when she joined sisterhood in the second synagogue she and her husband joined. Once a sisterhood member, she immediately became a Benefactor. After attending a Central Great Lakes conference, she found her passion.  Edna served as Torah Fund chair in her sisterhood and as Torah Fund vice president at the region level, which led to her becoming president of Central Great Lakes region.

Upon completion of her presidency, Edna was asked if she would revitalize Torah Fund’s planned giving initiative.  She jumped at the opportunity.  Working with Cory Schneider, Edna and Cory began the Torah Fund Legacy Society (TFLS). Edna said that she loves being involved in Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. She loves that everyone works for the benefit of WLCJ and does what is necessary to accomplish the mission, regardless of their position in the organization.  Mazal tov to Edna on her appointment as convention chair.

We’d like to congratulate and welcome Cathy Swerdlow, who now will serve as co-chair of the Torah Fund Legacy Society.  Cathy is completing her term as Florida region president. Previously she served as her sisterhood Torah Fund chair, then as a region Torah Fund vice president. Cathy has taught religious school at synagogues in communities where she has lived. She had been a weekly Torah reader and Shabbat service leader at Temple Israel in Winter Springs, FL prior to the pandemic, and is a member of WLCJ’s Nashim BiK’dushah.

Cathy became a Torah Fund Legacy Society member in 2019 because of her commitment to ensuring the future of Conservative/Masorti Judaism. But it was after the death of her mother, Lillian Tobias, z”l, in 2020 that she gained a renewed passion for the value of legacy gifts. As executor of her mother’s estate, it was her duty to disperse the funds that her mother had designated in her will. “It made me realize what a powerful statement each of those donations made about what was important to my mom.  A legacy gift is the last opportunity to communicate your values to your family. I can think of no greater lesson to leave to my children than that.”

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