My sister Vicki and I grew up in a Canadian community with about 300 Jewish families. We were often the only Jewish students in our class. But we were taught by our parents to be proud of being Jewish and to give to those less fortunate. My late husband Joe grew up in Tunisia and his family was forced to leave their homeland of many generations because they were Jewish. But they continued to be proud Jews.
Our mother was widowed at a young age, but practiced Tzedakah for her entire life. We learned from her. When she could no longer care for her own financial affairs, and asked us for help with her checkbook, we found in that year she had written 90+ checks of $5 or $10 each to Jewish charities. When we told her that we wanted her to use the money for herself, she said, “Didn’t I teach you girls anything? I am using the money for myself”.
I have been blessed to be able to give back to the Jewish community. I have recently been warmly welcomed to the San Diego Jewish community and hope that the gifts made now and after my death will continue to demonstrate my family’s caring about others.
Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote:
The good life is not passive existence
Where you live and let live
It is one of involvement
Where you live and help live.
I am proud to sign San Diego’s Jewish Community Book of Life in honor of my parents and my late husband. I know that the Madden and Sabban families’ tradition of giving back to the community will continue through our future generations.