PHOTO: Rosemarie and Layton Rosenfeld
Whether they are called bubbe and zayde, grandma and grandpa, or nanny and poppa, it is clear that grandchildren share a special bond with their grandparents. It’s a treasured relationship that presents a wonderful opportunity for grandparents to share their life experiences and personal values with younger generations. In fact, studies of intergenerational philanthropy have shown that the future giving and volunteering practices of children and teens are influenced by the customs of their grandparents.
The members of the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation are preparing for the group’s annual benefit dinner (see below). This year, the theme is Roaring Youth Philanthropy, a nod to the 1920s and the major philanthropists of the time. In the spirit of l’dor v’dor and seeking to learn from preceding generations, three OJCYF board members sat down with their grandparents to learn more about their values and the motivations behind their philanthropy. Excerpts of their conversations are below.
Sam Blauer is in 10th grade at Wilson High School. In addition to OJCYF, Sam is very passionate about BBYO and has represented Oregon at the Maccabi games. Sam interviewed his paternal grandfather, Stan Blauer.
Sam: What are the values that motivate you to be philanthropic?
Stan: I am very thankful for what I have and what I have accomplished in my life. There are a lot of people out there that are not as fortunate as I. It’s a good feeling to help other people who can’t help themselves.
Sam: How are your passions reflected in your giving?
Stan: Whenever I see something that touches me and is a worthwhile cause that could benefit from a contribution, I try to support them if I can. When something gets to you and it makes you feel good about helping them – then that’s what you do.
Sam: What wisdom do you want me, your children and your grandchildren to remember in life?
Stan: Always treat people the way you want to be treated. Respect, caring, empathy … be as good as you can be at whatever you do.
Layton Rosenfeld is in 11th grade at Catlin Gabel. In addition to OJCYF, Layton plays soccer and tennis and is a founding member of Shine, an organization that develops eco-friendly products to meet the basic needs of the houseless. Layton interviewed her paternal grandmother, Rosemarie Rosenfeld.
Layton: What are the values that motivate you to be philanthropic?
Rosemarie: I am following in the footsteps of my father, who was very generous and supported many organizations. After I married, I discovered that my father-in-law was the same kind of person my father had been. My husband was also very generous in giving his time, not just his resources.
Layton: How are your passions reflected in your giving?
Rosemarie: I give to many different organizations. I give to Jewish organizations, organizations that provide food and housing for the homeless, and organizations that support education and literacy. I also give to cultural organizations and environmental groups.
Layton: What wisdom do you want me, your children and your grandchildren to remember in life?
Rosemarie: I most want you to remember to be good. Be kind to people. Follow the precepts of Judaism. When you ski, smile and keep your knees bent.
Jonah Song is in 10th grade at Oregon Episcopal School. In addition to OJCYF, Jonah plays soccer and piano and enjoys photography. He interviewed his maternal grandmother, Esme Segal.
Jonah: What are the values that motivate you to be philanthropic?
Esme: The biggest thing that motivates my giving is considering the underprivileged and realizing how fortunate I am.
Jonah: What wisdom do you want me, your children and your grandchildren to remember in life?
Esme: I want you to remember to always be honest, honorable and proud of who you are. Never forget your Jewish heritage.
Jonah: What would you like your giving legacy to be?
Esme: I would like to be remembered as a decent human being who tried to help wherever she could.
ROARING YOUTH PHILANTHROPY
WHAT: Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation annual benefit dinner and celebration
GUEST SPEAKER: U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici
WHEN: 5:30-8:30 pm, Thursday, May 3
WHERE: Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland
WHY: All proceeds benefit the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation and are granted to community nonprofits by youth foundation members.
TICKETS: $54 per adult and $36 per youth
QUESTIONS: Sonia Marie Leikam at 503-248-9328 or firstname.lastname@example.org