We have been blessed with the ability to give back to our Jewish community; it is both an honor and a privilege to which we are deeply grateful. To that end, we thank OJCF for the opportunity to fulfill, in a small way, our community’s needs.
Life is precious and is endowed with the meaning that one purposely adds into it. Every day, in large and small ways, we attempt to add into our lives the element of charity, Jewish charity in particular, for it is looking beyond oneself that gives life that greater purpose. As parents, one can only hope to guide, to cajole, and to lead by example. Only time will tell if we were successful, but it is vitally important to start that journey, and in that journey, OJCF is an enabler, to which we are thankful.
Although we worry that the Jewish traditions we grew up with are threatened by the strain of 21st century life, we take comfort in knowing that the vital elements that brought us to this day: our Jewish heritage, our parents, our clergy, and our peers, are a perpetual reminder of our link to the past and a bridge to the future. We take comfort in, and trust that there are countless others who will follow and enhance what we so deeply believe to be our sacred obligation.
We both feel strongly that those who have the ability and the resources should support their community and strive to make it better. In 1972 we came to Portland from Seattle, where we had strong Jewish roots and an identity. We wanted to continue that same intensity in our new community, both for our children and others.
We did this by getting involved in various Jewish agencies and in our synagogue. We accomplished this through leadership, action and most importantly by contributing to the various causes they espoused. This tradition of being involved, continually learning and giving is the legacy that we pass along to our family, younger generations and the community at large.
We are optimistic for all!
We are most grateful for our many years together. Our support of organizations that are meaningful to us, including the establishment of scholarships at Portland Jewish Academy and the University of Oregon, is an expression of this gratitude.
We feel strongly about sustaining Jewish institutions in our area; to give back to what has most deeply inspired us in our lives. We hope to not only leave a legacy in this way, but to leave a legacy within our family as well — to encourage the next generation to create their own legacies of giving too.
For decades, our family has been supporters of, and benefitted from, a Portland Jewish community that inspires, teaches, nurtures and cares for the Jewish people. We learned it from our parents and grandparents. We teach it to our children. Our legacy gift is not only our statement of Jewish values, but it helps ensure that future generations of Portland Jews will continue to support and benefit from this Jewish community.
My gift to the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation stems from my gratitude to Jewish Family & Child Service for their support of my family in times of physical and emotional challenges. Equally important is my gratitude to my father, who died in 1959, for instilling in me my love of Judaism, its culture and religious observance, and, to my mother for forging loving relationships with her grandchildren.
For over 60 years of our marriage, the two words important to us and our entire family were mitzvah and tzedakah. We have supported many Jewish organizations in our lives, and in addition we have given of our time and energy, serving on committees, chairing boards and volunteering for the community we love. We have passed on this sense of tzedakah and the need to help others to our children, who now are giving back to their own communities with their time and support, and we know our grandchildren will continue the tradition of reaching out to those in need. We are proud to declare we will leave a legacy gift for those who continue after us.
We have benefitted from belonging to and participating in the Jewish community, with its outreach, help when needed, and sense of home rooted in our Jewish traditions. We want to help to ensure the community’s strengths and opportunities continue for future generations.
I have always felt fortunate to be in the position to give rather than receive and therefore have felt it is my obligation to be charitable. My priority has always been the Jewish community and Israel and I have tried to teach my children to share my love and appreciation for both. I hope that when I am gone they will continue to support the community and Israel, understanding that this is the legacy I am passing onto them.
The best way to thank those who have impacted our lives is to pay it forward in the form of tikkun olam – making the world a better place.