Zachary Fisher

Zachary Fisher (1910-1999) was a Jewish philanthropist and generous supporter of the United States Military.

In 1990, Fisher and his wife, Elizabeth, founded the Fisher House Foundation which builds homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.

This amazing program has serviced 335,00 families and has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $400+ million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. There are more than 70 Fisher Houses at military bases and Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers throughout the nation.

Fisher also supported the families of New York City firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Zachary Fisher also founded the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation when his wife developed the disease. The Foundation operates the nation’s largest Alzheimer’s research laboratory at The Rockefeller University in New York.

In 1978, Fisher founded the campaign to save the historic World War II aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CV-11) from the scrapyard. The ship was saved and became the center of New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which hosts approximately one million visitors annually.

Zachary Fisher’s generous legacy continues to give to military personnel in need.



Wells Bring Hope


In West Africa, contaminated water often causes death: tragically, one in seven children dies before the age of five. Additionally, looking for clean water is a job that is often relegated to women, requiring that they walk 4-6 miles a day.

Wells Bring Hope,” a non-profit organization founded by Bel Air resident Barbara Goldberg, brings help and hope to West Africa. This organization funds and drills wells in West Africa. Each well costs $5,600 and serves around 1,000 people.

The organization also educates villagers on well maintenance. Since 2008, Wells Bring Hope has decreased child mortality by 70 percent. In addition, schools with hand washing facilities have increased from 24 to 40 percent.

100 percent of every donation goes towards the drilling of wells.


Technology Mentoring and Networking

conferenceEarlier this month 11 speakers gave presentations in St. Louis on how they started their businesses. Offering advice to would-be entrepreneurs, the event – held at T-Rex Downtown, 911 Washington Ave – was organized via the 2018 St. Louis Jewish Young Adult Technology and Entrepreneurship Summit.

The speakers included: CEO and co-founder of Explority (a web and mobile app providing tools to educators to enhance the student experience through field trip management) Alon Gilboa; co-CEO of Sparo (digital health company) Abby Cohen and co-creators of STL-Style (graphic design/apparel company) Jeff and Randy Vines.

Gilboa explained further about the summit’s goal: “We are gearing this summit to two audiences. One is the audience already involved in entrepreneuships and technology and the other is the audience really interested in them. We’re hoping that both audiences connect with each other. Those interested can have some inspiration and meet people they can aspire to and connect with in a meaningful way. Overall, the idea is to really expand the community and give people here in St. Louis a sense of the opportunities that can exist and grow here.”

The free program – open to both Jews and non-Jews – was sponsored by Next Dor STL, JGrads, Jewish Federation of St. Louis YPD, T-Rex and ITEN.

Sidney Kimmel: Extraordinary Philanthropist and Businessman

Sidney Kimmel is a Jewish philanthropist who focuses on healthcare, education, arts and culture.

Mr. Kimmel donated $150 million to Johns Hopkins in Maryland for cancer research and patient care. Speaking of his gift, Mr. Kimmel said:  “I am blessed. To be able to support one of the leading institutions in the world and build on its momentum gives so much meaning to what we have all done thus far to defeat cancer and provides even more hope for what can now be accomplished.”

Kimmel has also contributed millions of dollars towards other cancer centers, museums and science research centers. The Kimmel Scholars Program, overseen by Sidney Kimmel, supports young cancer scientists nationally.

Kimmel’s path to philanthropy stems from humble beginnings. Born in Philadelphia in 1928, Kimmel is the son of a cab driver. Kimmel went on to become the founder of Jones Apparel Group as well as Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

Kimmel’s goal is to donate 1 billion dollars to charity throughout his lifetime.

Community of Indianapolis

In this short documentary film The Story of the Jews: The Indiana Story, we learn how Jews in Indianapolis have built up their community. As it is explained: “building for the benefit of the community as a way of sharing has been part of the way of life for people of Jewish faith who have been making Indianapolis their home since 1849.” Support for all of this has come from:

1. Paul & Irma Milstein Family,
2. The Polonsky Foundation
3. The Pershing Square Foundation
4. Joseph S. & Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust
5. James & Merryl Tisch
6. Mortimer B. Zuckerman
7. David Berg Foundation
8. Daniel & Joanna S. Rose
9. Lemberg Foundation
10. Corporation for Public Broadcasting
11. PBS

Jon Feltheimer: Helping the World Become a More Tolerant Place

Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles, March 2008. Photo courtesy of Cbl62.

Known as the CEO of Lions Gate Entertainment, Jon Feltheimer is also and active philanthropist who received the highest honor bestowed by the Wiesenthal Center, The Humanitarian Award.

Born in Brooklyn in 1951, Feltheimer earned a BA in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

He became active in the entertainment industry, creating TriStar Television for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He was instrumental in developing such shows as Mad About You, the Nanny, Dawson’s Creek, Party of Five, and The King of Queens. In 2000 he went to Lions Gate, serving as the CEO. While he was presiding there the company earned 25 Oscar nominations, winning seven of them. The film “Crash” won best movie of the year in 2006.

There is also a Lionsgate television network, operating 12 channels.

In 2016 Feltheimer was awarded the coveted Simon Wiesenthal Center humanitarian Award at the organization’s National Tribute Dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The award recognized Feltheimer’s generous and active support of the Wiesenthal Center and its sister organization, the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance.

Feltheimer is a member to the reconstructionist synagogue, Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles.

Inspiration after Tragedy

hurricaneWhen tragedy hits, one has a choice of reaction, as with most situations:  fight or flight.  Give up or not only carry on, but actually be an inspiration to others.  Greater Hartford’s “Hineni” program will be one way of fighting against tragedy.

The community is preparing this program for October 4.  Hineni in Hebrew means “Here I Am” and the idea is, according to VP of Development at the Foundation, Rachel Berezin to: “Tell three stories of disasters and how the federation system is able to support when disaster strikes.” The event will be the kickstart to the foundation’s annual fundraising event.

Tragedies that will be discussed are both manmade and natural, such as those impacted by  Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  mass shooting, as well as efforts being made to resettle Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Harvey displaced families.