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When ICJA parent Sam Gorenstein a”h passed away, his wife, Adele, and children decided to honor his memory with a gift to the Academy. The family dedicated resources to the Acaemy for an Israel scholarship. In addition, they thought  Academy students could benefit from an Israel advocacy class and brought the idea to Rabbi Matanky.  At the time, many Academy juniors and seniors had joined JUF’s Write On For Israel, but a class exclusive to Academy students, for Academy credit, would have a much wider impact.

“My kids all said that when they were in college they didn’t know how to respond to ‘the other side,'” says Adele. Rabbi Myers, whose breadth of knowledge on history and Israel and whose passion for Israel is unparalleled, was an obvious choice for the instructor. “His enthusiasm and love of Israel has added such an amazing dimension to the class,” says Adele.

Recently, the Gorenstein family had the opportunity to discover the direct impact of their tzedekah dollars at work. Adele writes:

I was in one of the Jewish book stores talking to a friend of Joel’s.  The sales lady heard him call me Mrs. Gorenstein.  After I completed my conversation and proceeded with my transaction she told me she had a son in Israel just beginning law school, I believe at IDC.  She also told me he went there after ICJA to study in yeshiva and also enlisted in the army and ultimately made Aliyah.  

Then she said: “He would never have had the opportunity to go to Israel if he had not gotten your most generous scholarship in memory of your husband.”

It was so heartwarming to hear that we made a difference in his life.  
Then today I read the story about Josh Cooper and for the second time in a couple of weeks I cried, and it became so clear that we have accomplished our goal (both with the original scholarship and the Israel advocacy class).    
I am sharing these two stories with you as we come upon the 11th yahrtzeit of Sam’s passing.  He would have been so very proud of our decisions and proud to hear that the kids benefitting from the scholarship and the class are making a difference in this chaotic world.  

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to also make a difference. 
For information on becoming a benefactor of scholarships or Academy opportunities, contact Deva Zwelling.

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