Posted by JF&CS

Barbara Wasserman and Andrew Pearlstein
For Barbara Wasserman and Andrew Pearlstein, philanthropy felt like the missing link needed to complete their family. "We had a realization years ago that we had worked hard and raised our family, but the one thing we hadn't done enough of was give back," said Andrew. "We've really stepped up our involvement, commitment, and philanthropy the past six years."

With three grown children, Barbara and Andrew found themselves with more time to dedicate to causes they feel passionate about. Barbara and Andrew were first introduced to JF&CS through friends who recognized how their skills could benefit the agency. Barbara served on committees, attended our annual Women’s Breakfast fundraiser, and volunteered to provide supervision to graduate students working towards their social work license at JF&CS. Andrew served on multiple committees and was eventually nominated to the Board of Directors. Now, Andrew is president-elect of the Board.

After getting involved and seeing first-hand what JF&CS accomplishes, they felt a connection to the agency that inspired them to make a legacy gift. They saw just how many services JF&CS provides that can help individuals and families throughout their lifetime. “There are so many needs that JF&CS addresses. When you work with the agency, you have the opportunity to make a direct impact,” shared Barbara.

By naming JF&CS as a beneficiary of their Donor Advised Fund, Barbara and Andrew further strengthened their commitment to JF&CS by making a contribution that will allow us to continue building a foundation of well-being and resilience in the future. “By making a planned gift, we’re making a statement that says the work JF&CS does matters and we’d like it to be available to all in the community,” said Andrew. “Once one becomes connected to an organization, the philanthropy follows naturally. JF&CS makes you want to take part in volunteering as well as giving back.”

Barbara and Andrew consider philanthropy to be part of their Jewish values. “Growing up, it felt like it was an obligation to be philanthropic, but it goes further than that today,” said Andrew. “We want to be a model for our kids. They’re growing up and making their own decisions. It’s not about whether or not they want to give back, it’s about how they want to give back,” said Barbara.

Joining the Tree of Life Society is their way of leaving their mark on a cause they care so much about. “At this stage in our lives, we’ve been around long enough to have worked hard and learned a lot, and now it’s time to leave an impact through our giving,” said Barbara.

“Making a planned gift isn’t difficult or high pressure at all. It’s our way of showing our connection to the cause, and it helped that the process was so easy,” said Andrew. By joining the Tree of Life Society, Barbara and Andrew are helping the future of JF&CS and everyone who comes to us in need. “We’re expressing our commitment to JF&CS by making sure that it continues its work and remains a healthy organization going forward,” said Andrew.

If you would like to learn more about the Tree of Life Society, contact Jill Snider at or 508-208-2341.