Charlotte and Isadore Shafton

What was that little blue box that used to reside on the mirrored mantle of our living room? To us, the children of Isadore and Charlotte Shafton, it was just the piggy bank that would accompany one of us to Sunday School each week, so we could give dimes to “help the children of Israel”. To our parents, though, that little blue box (Keren Ami) stood for much more. It was the bridge to our understanding of charity, taught to us by our mother and father, who met in a Kansas City kindergarten and remained lovers and friends for the rest of their lives. The lessons Isadore and Charlotte Shafton imparted to us were simple: Our father used to say, “The best form of giving is often done anonymously.”. He meant it…and he lived it. And our mother? She simply touched the lives of all she knew, with a word, a kind caress, a small token that said she understood. Keren Ami? You bet!

In 1984 our parents bestowed their final gift of tzedakah to the Jewish Community Foundation in the form of The Isadore and Charlotte Shafton Philanthropic Fund. The lesson for us was obvious. According with their wishes, our parents’ love of the Kansas City Jewish community will be perpetuated throughout time, ultimately continuing forever as part of the Foundation’s Community Legacy Fund.