Friday, June 8, 2012
Planned gift will bolster Israel travel fund
Bernie Kent, SBA ’71, has seen firsthand the powerful impact that the Bernard and Nina Kent Judaic Studies Endowed Israel Travel Fund has made in the lives of recipients.
That’s why Kent decided to commit to another $90,000 planned gift to the original planned gift he made more than 30 years ago. While reviewing his estate plan, he realized that he was in a position to make a more significant testamentary gift now.
“I felt the larger gift would enlarge the fund significantly and allow more people to travel to Israel,” Kent says. “I thought it was something I should do. Planned gifts expand the scope of gifts made during a lifetime.”
These trips allow students to gain valuable insights into Israeli culture, politics and history first hand. Many are able to experience the excitement of archaeological digs.
Bernie Kent says he and his wife, Nina Kent, especially enjoy meeting with students who’ve traveled to Israel with their help since they established the travel fund. They love hearing the students’ perspectives and witnessing their enthusiasm.
“They return with a new perspective, not just on Israel, but on the Middle East and the world,” Kent says. “Many had never been outside of the country before.”
The fund targets students in OU’s growing Judaic studies minor, which is part of the religious studies program.
A number of students Kent has spoken to were so energized by their initial travel experience that they found a way to make additional trips. One person he spoke to traveled to Israel two more times to participate in archaeological digs.
“It’s just very gratifying to know we helped people have an opportunity they normally wouldn’t have had,” Kent says.
Kent serves as the chairman of Oakland University’s Judaic Studies Community Committee.