The Teverow Fund: A gift that keeps on giving


The Joseph Teverow and Jacqueline Teverow Memorial Fund, an endowment fund established 40 years ago with the then Bureau of Jewish Education, continues to sponsor lectures and other educational programs important to the Jewish community.

The Jewish Federation Foundation (JFF) recently interviewed Joshua Teverow, of Providence, about the fund (now part of the JFF), its origins and future.  The following Q-and-A has been lightly edited for clarity.

Tell us about Joseph and Jacqueline Teverow and how they were involved in the community.

My father’s real passion was not work, but rather his family life and Jewish life. He was active at Temple Emanu-El [in Providence], served as a gabbai [assisting with Torah readings], and helped run the Bar Mitzvah Brotherhood program [minyans and breakfasts for young people]. My mother was active in Pioneer Women [now Na’amat], which often met at our house. Both of my parents were Labor Zionists, and during the 1950s, the Habonim youth group also met in our home.

What is the origin of the Joseph and Jacqueline Teverow Memorial Fund?

The Joseph Teverow Memorial Fund was established in memory of my father upon his death in 1983. The fund was designated to support programs of adult Jewish education because my father was a big advocate of such programs. He had served as the president of the Bureau of Jewish Education, and my mother was also active in adult Jewish education efforts. Her name was added to the fund name when she died, in 2012.

How is the fund used today?

The fund sponsors lectures and other educational programs. My three siblings and I would like the fund to be able to do this in perpetuity, so we make frequent tribute and memorial contributions to the fund to keep it growing.

How did your parents’ involvement in the Jewish community affect you? Did they actively teach you about philanthropy or did you learn by their example?

My siblings and I followed my parents’ example in serving the Jewish community. I became involved in the Jewish community as a young professional. I served the Jewish Federation in many capacities and was on the boards of Jewish Family Service [now Jewish Collaborative Services], Brown RISD Hillel and others. But my siblings and I all wish we could have done even half of what our parents did for the Rhode Island Jewish community.

But you have included the Jewish Federation Foundation in your estate planning, a significant way to provide for the community!

Many years ago, I donated a life insurance policy to the foundation, and I pay the annual premiums. I see that insurance policy as ultimately a substantial cash gift to the Teverow Fund. Later, I also established a substantial separate bequest in my estate planning to benefit the Teverow Fund.

What would you say to other community members to encourage them to make such a gift?

You don’t have to be wealthy to make provisions to support the Jewish community, especially when you do so with your estate planning. I would suggest that community members talk to their estate-planning professionals about how to leave a family legacy that benefits our Jewish community for years to come.

For more information about using a life insurance policy as a planned gift or establishing a designated endowment fund with the Jewish Federation Foundation, email or call 401-421-4111.

CLAIRE UZIEL is Endowment/Campaign Operations Manager at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island. She was assisted in this article by  Larry Katz, director of Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

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