Each person arrives at the decision to leave a planned gift to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in his or her own unique way and for deeply personal reasons.
And so it was for Sara J. Bloomfield.
Sara well understands the institution's solemn mission as a living memorial. She knows the critical role it plays in fighting antisemitism, preventing genocide and developing moral leadership. And she has recognized the urgent need for effective, innovative programs in Holocaust education, scholarship and documentation.
After all, she has been the Museum's director since 1999.
But, as Sara often says, the Holocaust Museum changes lives. It inspires people to look inward. It makes them question their moral responsibility to their fellow human beings and to the world.
And the Museum continues to inspire and change even her.
This year, she decided to mark her 20th anniversary with the Museum by changing her will to leave more than half of her estate to what she calls, "this venerable institution."
"Everything about this institution is about legacy," Sara says. "The legacy of survivors, the legacy of our Museum, the legacy of our supporters. And for me-I, too, have a moral obligation to ask, 'Have I done all I can?'"
Sara says that with the question-"Have I done all I can?"-came a realization.
"Even after 20 years with this institution, I felt like I wanted to do more," she says. "I've worked so hard during my lifetime to secure the Museum's success as it moves into the 21st century, and I wanted to help ensure its success even after my lifetime."
With the Holocaust receding further into history and the number of eyewitnesses becoming fewer and fewer, Sara knows the need to secure the Museum's legacy is urgent. Others understand the urgency and share her commitment.
And because of the legacies they will leave, Sara observes, the Museum will be here to bear witness, to keep changing lives and to carry forth the Holocaust's lessons for humanity to the future generations.
If you would like to join Sara as a member of the Legacy of Light Society by leaving a bequest or some other type of planned gift to the Museum, please contact George E. Hellman, J.D., Director of Planned Giving at 202.314.1748 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.