Bill Freedman

Bill Freedman, center, was presented a Voices of Giving award June 7. At the presentation were, from left, Jewish Federation professionals Jim Friedman, director of Gift Planning and Endowments; Deb Steinbuch, Planned Giving and Endowment manager; Freedman; Danielle V. Minson, chief development officer; and Reagan Kuhn, project manager for Create Your Jewish Legacy.


Bill Freedman, long-time volunteer and donor to the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, was honored with a Voices of Giving Award. 

The award, presented June 7 by the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council, pays tribute to generosity in making a bequest or planned gift to a charitable organization. Freedman was one of 33 philanthropists recognized this year. 

“I felt – and feel – very honored,” Freedman said.

Freedman was nominated by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. “You have been a passionate, effective and humble leader of our community for decades,” said federation CEO Shep Englander. 

Asked why he did this work, Freedman said, “It’s fun to play a role in sustaining the continuity of our community. I do it by volunteering my time; I do it by making a financial commitment. It’s infused my life and my family’s life with a real sense of identity.”

In recognizing Bill Freedman, the emcee for the evening, John Lomax, said Freedman is a longtime supporter of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati and currently serves as the chair of Create Your Jewish Legacy, which Freedman helped to start. He has been instrumental in leading 23 community agencies and synagogues in starting and/or enhancing endowment programs in their institutions, increasing the community’s overall estimated future endowment dollars to over $83 million. 

For many years, Freedman has been an active solicitor of major gifts for the Jewish Federation’s annual campaign, as well as serving on their Finance and Administration Committee. Throughout the past year, Freedman volunteered more time to the Jewish Federation to help complete a thorough yearlong review of more than 75 restricted and unrestricted endowments, some dating back to the late 1800s. In addition, Freedman has assisted many organizations participating in Create Your Jewish Legacy by supplying organizations with templates for endowment agreements and templates for policies guiding the setup of their institutions endowment program.

For Freedman, making a legacy gift was a simple part of his gift planning. He said he feels strongly that the Jewish Federation is an important organization to support.

“If we don’t pitch in in the long run to make sure there is continuity with our gifts, there will be a gap.” Freedman said. “We need to bridge that gap, and the way to do it is through volunteering and making a legacy commitment.” 

Freedman’s legacy gift will allow the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati to continue to provide programs for the community and funding for partner agencies, 

Asked what he would say to the younger generation about the importance of giving back, Freedman said, “All of us have benefited from the foresight and generosity of others who came before us and who literally invested in us. We simply pass that gift to our successors.”

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