I will always be grateful to my parents for their strong connection to Judaism. Although my maternal grandfather was a socialist with strong ties to the Workmen’s Circle, my grandmother was more traditional in her practice of Judaism. My father’s parents were more closely affiliated with synagogue life.
From their early married lives, even with building a business and raising a family, my parents were closely connected to their Massachusetts Jewish community. They showed my sister and I the importance of philanthropy and participation in Jewish communal life. I have vivid memories of my mother lobbying for the establishment of the state of Israel. She called one elected official and government leader after another to urge their support of a homeland for the Jews. As I recall, it was the first time I heard about the Holocaust and I will never forget the fear I experienced when I realized that people like my family were being tortured and murdered. It was a defining moment in my young life.
Giving my money and time to the Federation and other Jewish agencies is my way of honoring my parents. It also enables me to serve as a role model for my children and grandchildren -- as my parents did for me.