Growing up in Chicago in the 40's and 50's, Roberta Rosenfeld's home was Jewish—but not at all religious. Roberta ended up receiving much of her Jewish religious education by way of Young Judaea, Hadassah's youth group movement.
In Young Judaea, Roberta made lifelong friendships and learned about Jewish holidays, her cultural background, and the history of the brand-new state of Israel. "I was learning the very basics of Judaism, the ABCs really," she reflects. "But I also gained a great joy from Judaism."
Roberta has many fond memories of her Young Judaea days, but two in particular changed her life forever. Her first is being able to visit Israel when she was 20 thanks to financial support from Hadassah. The second is meeting her husband, Ronald Rosenfeld, another Young Judaean. "I was, what, 14 or 15?" Roberta laughs. The two visited Israel together at least six times, several of them with Hadassah Missions.
Ronald passed away four years ago, and one way Roberta keeps his memory alive is through her continued travels to Israel. "Ron hated traveling but he loved Israel," Roberta says. She considers this a meaningful way to contribute to the organization that gave her so much as a youngster.
Roberta and her family—two sons, a daughter-in-law and three granddaughters—remain vested in Israel and its future, which is why Hadassah continues to be a focus of their Jewish charitable efforts.
Roberta also contributes financially to Hadassah in memory of her late husband. The pair worked modest jobs all their lives—she a Chicago schoolteacher, he an Illinois state employee—and they were always careful with their funds. Now she is equally careful about how she manages her money and allocates her funds in her estate plan.
Roberta has made provisions for a legacy gift to Hadassah and earmarked the funds for medical research in the area of chronic myelogenous leukemia, the disease that took her husband's life. Along with supporting research of the disease, the fact that her legacy will support Hadassah's work is important to Roberta. "Hadassah's work is so close to my heart," she says. "I'm a lifelong Hadassah kid."
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