From early childhood on, I was taught the meaning of tzedakah. There was a Blue Box for Palestine on the kitchen wall and we brought “Keren Ami” to Sunday school weekly. My parents told me stories of their poverty on the Lower East Side of New York. But these people still knew that charity was inherent to their way of life. Each little synagogue had a Bridal Fund for brides who had no dowries and a Burial Fund for families who could not afford a funeral. A new immigrant who came to a Friday night service could be assured that he would be invited to somebody’s house for a Sabbath dinner.
My parents instilled me with the knowledge that Jews must take care of others and, by their example, be active in the community.
By seeing my philanthropy and community involvement, my children have learned this lesson well and are following in my footsteps. It further gratifies me to see my grandchildren becoming involved with various worthy causes.
I hope that the “Endowment Book of Life” and the Frances Wang Gershon Supporting Foundation will be lasting inspirations for future generations of their Jewish heritage and to “pick up and carry the Torch” in their lifetime.