We were both fortunate to have been raised in families where we learned the value of tzedakah and tikkun olam. Our parents believed strongly in the philosophy that giving back to your community comes back to you ten-fold.
So when our sister/sister-in-law, Melissa, passed away unexpectedly this year, we realized that it was an ideal time to create an endowment for Jewish Family Service in her memory. Although Melissa had not lived in the Hampton Roads area for more than ten years, she always remained interested in our family's community involvement and the work we did at JFS.
All four of our parents utilized JFS during their later years, whether for in - home physical therapy or for more extended home health services. For us, JFS was like family. They were there for us at a time when we needed them most.
But it was really through our mutual involvement as board members of JFS (and Nathan as a past president of the agency) that we both came to completely understand the breadth of services the agency provides for people of all ages and ethnicities.
As active members of the Jewish community in Hampton Roads, we have both served on several boards. Through our professional and lay roles, we've realized how vulnerable all of our Jewish organizations are that rely on fundraising and distributions from agencies such as the United Way or even our Federation. Growing our endowment is the key to a stable and secure Jewish community in Hampton Roads. Our legacy gift is particularly meaningful, as we also know that it will live for generations to come.
We are so proud to continue our family's philanthropic spirit and are honored to create our first endowment in memory of Melissa. It makes us feel good to know that it will benefit an organization like JFS that we both care so deeply about.