When Marcia Weiner's mother made her a Life Member of Hadassah, it felt like an obvious choice. In fact, it was in keeping with family tradition.
Marcia's grandmother, an early Hadassah organizer, hosted Henrietta Szold in her Gary, Indiana, home, and Marcia's mother frequently gave speeches during travel to the future Jewish state. Marcia's mother also taught her something else: "My mother was widowed when I was 3," Marcia says. "She said it was just as important for a girl to get an education as a boy, because you never know." But Marcia was only 18 when she and her husband, Bernard, married—before either of them had a chance to finish school.
A decade later, Bernard was a physician, and the couple had three young girls. With her mother's voice echoing in her ear, Marcia went back to school part time and then on to law school. Soon she got a job with the Housing and Urban Development office in San Antonio, Texas, as its first female attorney. As the years sped by, Marcia's career kept pace, and she eventually became San Antonio's first female chief counsel.
After retiring, Marcia somehow found herself working even more—again, thanks to her mother. "My mother said we were put on this earth," Marcia recalls, "to make the world a better place however we could." Marcia had noticed that 99 percent of the inmates in the jails started out as truants, so she decided to run for justice of the peace, putting in place counseling programs to help kids stay in school and out of jail.
With all of this, "I didn't have much time to be active [in Hadassah]," she admits. But recently Marcia created a charitable gift annuity with Hadassah, in which she made a gift to Hadassah, and in return she receives regular, fixed payments. After her lifetime, the remainder of the gift will support Hadassah's work, doing her part to make sure that the organization that meant so much to her mother and grandmother will continue to make the world a better place.
After all, Marcia says, "That is the value that shaped my life." And she's made her daughters Life Members, too. Call it a family tradition.
Hadassah's criteria to establish a charitable gift annuity: minimum age: 60; minimum gift: $5,000