Jeff and Linda Needleman


The Franklin Institute thrives on the dedication of donors, members, and volunteers. It is no surprise that the Needleman family is counted among TFI’s closest friends, as they fall into all three of those categories.

Jeff recalls visiting The Franklin Institute as a child, taking the bus from Northeast Philly. He and Linda were happy to share those memories with their children and now their grandchildren. The Needlemans have enjoyed the full variety of TFI experiences: traveling exhibits, member workshops, IMAX films, and Camp-Ins, along with all of the other core programming and exhibit offerings. Jeff recalls fondly the first time he took his oldest grandson through the Giant Heart.

In 2011, Jeff and Linda found themselves looking for a volunteer opportunity to give back to the community. Jeff, a former college teacher and IT professional, found a great position volunteering with TFI’s Information Technology and Membership departments. Linda, who taught history and gifted classes for 29 years, jumped at the chance to join him at The Franklin Institute, a place which mirrors her personal feelings about the importance of education.

Jeff and Linda have been members for more than 25 years and upgraded to the Membership Circles in 2008. Troubled by the way the economic climate affected local cultural organizations, Linda and Jeff were looking for an even bigger way to support The Franklin Institute. They learned about The Benjamin Franklin Legacy Society and decided including the Institute in their estate plan was the way to go. Linda says that it’s the right decision to “leave a little something of us for the museum” when they are gone.



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