Ken Chaim Fink, Minnesota/Israel
Why did you sign the Pledge?
It’s so simple and such an easy “yes.” It’s a way for people to engage in a conversation about purpose and legacy in a non-threatening, but powerful way.
You want to look backwards so you can reach forward, and the Pledge helps us tie together our connection to Israel, Judaism, and Jewish causes into the greater conversation about the future of the Jewish people. The past too often hangs on a string, and the pledge lays the groundwork for important discussions with our family and friends.
What is your Jewish story?
I grew up left of Reform Judaism, identifying myself as a Minnesotan hockey player rather than a Jew. I spent my 20s looking for meaning, and ended up learning academically about Judaism before ultimately taking a trip to Israel.
I stayed in Israel for a year, learning about Jewish heritage, history, the Torah, and the miracle of Israel. This was an experience that moved me to my core. I returned to Minneapolis, a city in the 1980s not known for many practicing Jews walking around wearing a kippah and tzitzit, with a new perspective. People saw me, saw I could believe in something, and this showed them they could trust me.
How does your practice help families leave their legacies?
There’s a fundamental need to have an impact and purpose in your life, and most people don’t connect that to their estate planning.
During a monthly sabbatical to Israel many years ago, I became inspired to show people with an interest in Tzedakah how to do so without paying taxes on their contributions. I was able to combine my business model with a personal sense of purpose, and soon had a national practice working with Jewish charitable organizations to help families incorporate charitable giving into their family planning.
25-plus years later, our practice still prioritizes helping families and showing them that you don’t need to be super wealthy to make a difference. I personally believe no gift is too small and no gift is too big, and organize my firm to help everyone leave a meaningful legacy.
Why is legacy giving important?
You have the potential for an additional child, the Jewish people, and can filter that extra “child” of yours to have a big impact on the Jewish organizations you love right now. If you believe in causes today, you know they need fuel for running operations into the future.
Legacy giving is also a teaching tool: for parents to show their kids what’s important to them, and a method to create an intergenerational transfer of ideals and values.
Ken Chaim Fink is the President & CEO at Tamar Fink, a financial security firm helping families plan their charitable giving efforts. To date, Tamar Fink has helped raise over $1.4 billion for charity, with an estimated 50% allocated to Jewish causes. Their goal is to raise $10 billion by 2030, working alongside charities, financial advisors, insurance agents and companies, and others in a collective mission.
A Forbes 2021 & 2022 Top Financial Security Professional, Ken also participated in the Jewish Future Pledge’s webinar, “How To Minimize Taxes and Maximize Tzedekah Dollars.” He and his firm have also created a 12-month legacy master course, launching in April 2023, to teach top-tier finance professionals how to build charitable giving into their already successful practices.
A lifelong Minnesotan, Ken, his wife, and their three children currently split their time between Minnesota and Israel.