Gaining Wisdom from Those Who Came Before Us

Posted on Apr 06, 2022

In 1675, Sir Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” We are who we are because of those who came before us. We learn and expand our knowledge by heeding the wisdom of our parents, teachers, colleagues.  Each time we recite the Shema, we are reminded ושננתם לבניך v’shinantem l’vanechah to teach the words of Torah to our children. We are obligated to learn and to teach. Each of us is a mentor to another. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and others will stand on our shoulders.

Torah Fund has raised $106 million since 1942 because of the efforts of our volunteers. One supportive volunteer is Blanche Meisel a role model to many of us, and on whose shoulders we stand.  In this issue we include an article about Blanche’s efforts to encourage others to donate to Torah Fund.

In the last issue of Chadashot, we introduced a long-time affiliate/sisterhood volunteer, Clara Creditor. In this issue, we feature an interview with Clara’s granddaughter-in-law, Neshama Carlebach. We are sad to inform you that recently Clara passed away. May her memory be a blessing for all of us.

Those who come after us will stand on our shoulders. You can read more in this edition about leaving your legacy to future Conservative/Masorti Jewish leaders, and learn about our family legacy Pesach recipes that we share with you.

I stand on many shoulders as the International Torah Fund Chair. I have learned so much during the first half of my term. Since 1942, there have been twenty Torah Fund chairs. The titles changed over the years, but the responsibilities remained the same—working with our Region Torah Fund Vice Presidents and our affiliate/sisterhood Torah Fund chairs to raise funds to enhance the education of students at the institutions of higher Jewish education that Torah Fund supports. I am honored to “introduce” you to the women whose wisdom I value:

1942–1948 Harriet Weisberg, National Torah Fund Chairman

1948–1950 Henriette Sverdlik, National Torah Fund Chairman

1950–1952 Dora Schatz, National Torah Fund Chairman

1952–1954 Florence Rogers, National Torah Fund Chairman

1954–1958 Marion Siner, National Torah Fund Chairman

1956–1960 Florence Rogers, Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall Campaign

1960–1962 Jessica Alexander, Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall Campaign

1960–1962 Pearl Kraus, Combined Campaign–Torah Fund and Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall Campaign

1963–1970 Syd Rossman, Combined Campaign

1970–1978 Evelyn Henkind, Combined Campaign

1978–1986 Evelyn Aurbach, Combined Campaign

1986–1990 Phyllis Haas, Combined Campaign

1990–1994 Evelyn Seelig, Combined Campaign

1994–1998 Phyllis Haas, Torah Fund Chair

1998–2002 Gloria Cohen, Torah Fund Chair

2002–2006 Cory Schneider, Torah Fund Chair

2006–2010 Rita Wertlieb, Torah Fund Chair

2010–2014 Lauren Wishnew, Torah Fund Chair

2014–2017 Debra Kaner Goldich, Torah Fund Chair

2017–2020 Randy Schwartz, Torah Fund Chair

Thank you to all the women on whose shoulders we stand. I wish hatzlachah—much success—to each of you, as we continue the tradition of raising funds to educate the future leaders of Conservative/Masorti Judaism.

Have a happy and healthy Pesach,


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