Tzedakah has been an important and integral part of our family values for as long as we can remember. The importance of passing on our traditions and heritage to the next generation was modeled through our grandparents, parents, and now our commitment to our children. Our families emphasized the importance of being Jewish, and continuing to pass on our traditions and heritage to future generations.

As young children in Bergen County, New Jersey, we remember experiencing prejudice and unkind remarks from neighbors and classmates because we were Jewish. As we reached our teen years, the climate of acceptance and respect had greatly improved, as the Jewish population in the area increased.

When we were married, as it says in the Shema, we made a commitment to honor each other while passing down Jewish traditions to our children. As career opportunities brought our family to different regions of the country, both of our children attended Hebrew School, were Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and continued their formal education through Hebrew High School. We celebrated holidays with the traditions, which were important to us from our own childhoods.

We relocated to San Diego in 2003, and were fortunate that our daughter decided to move to San Diego in 2007, where she met and married her wonderful husband. We now have a new generation in our family to share the joys, traditions, and heritage of the Jewish people. Our grandson, although not quite two years old, already demonstrates his love of Shabbat and the holidays as he sings (in the tone of candle lighting prayers) whenever he passes by any lit candles, and (in the tone of Hamotzei) when we cut any type of bread. He enjoys going to Shabbat services, and is enjoying the food, songs, and traditions of each holiday as we celebrate together. We look forward to having him share his knowledge with his, soon to join the family, new brother or sister. Our son and his wife, who are traveling abroad, hold strong commitments and live the values, which are so much a part of our Jewish culture.

We are fortunate that we can share and pass down our traditions and experiences personally with our family. Through our Legacy Gift, we are proud to give the opportunity to others to continue to share the rich traditions, which are important to all of us as Jewish people.