Danielle Minson — How You Help
Donor Spotlight: Meet Cynthia and Bob Rosen
By Reagan Kuhn, Project Manager, Create Your Jewish Legacy
Meet one couple who are doing their part, and more, to ensure a vibrant Jewish community in Cincinnati for the next generation. They volunteer, serve on boards, give annually, and have made generous legacy commitments to the organizations they support and hold dear.
Who: the Rosens
Residents of Amberley, Cynthia and Bob Rosen are long-time donors to and volunteers with various organizations within the Cincinnati Jewish community. They have made legacy commitments despite the fact that their children and grandchildren don’t live here.
“Our kids and grandkids don’t live in Cincinnati. The Jewish community is our family. It has supported us in many ways, and we want to do our part so it can stay strong,” said Cynthia.
Why They’re Involved: Living a Purposeful Life
On the day of this interview, Cynthia was going home to roast chickens so an Israeli family with a child being treated at Children’s Hospital could have a homemade kosher Shabbat dinner. A couple of years ago, they lent their extra car for several months to another family that was here from Israel for medical reasons. Their insurance agent was so moved that he took the idea to his church.
“If we can, we’d like to make somebody’s life a little easier,” Bob said.
These acts of kindness and generosity give their lives purpose, they say. They both came from modest backgrounds and were always aware of needs around them.
Having been fortunate in their careers, they feel they were given this opportunity to help others—which they do in their volunteer work and annual gifts. They also have found great meaning in leaving a legacy gift to the causes they care most deeply about.
“We hope that with this gift, the world will be a better place,” said Cynthia.
What They Support and How They Do It
Ever since the Mayerson JCC opened, they both have come to work out. Cynthia was struck at the sense of community she found, and how the J helps people at risk. Her involvement started there. She is now on the board and leads the Create Your Jewish Legacy team at the JCC. Once a facilitator of one of Dr. Gary Zola’s community classes on Judaism at the Hebrew Union College, Cynthia led discussions on Jewish thought and practice, and she draws on those values in the way she seeks to “repair the world.”
Bob was once asked to sit on a Jewish organization’s board, and then another, and his involvement ballooned from there. Bob is actively involved with Cincinnati Hebrew Day School—even though their children didn’t, and their grandchildren don’t, go there—because they believe it is crucial that the community have Jewish education. They have both volunteered at Cedar Village, where Bob is also on the board, because they care deeply about taking care of the aging population. They participate in various activities at their synagogues to help others, and to share what they can, of their time and resources.
Bob now sits in more committee meetings than he likes, he says, grinning. But he also gives critical perspective and makes things happen for the organizations he is involved with, including Create Your Jewish Legacy.
Asked about his motivations for legacy giving, Bob told the story of Honi and the carob tree: When Honi saw a man planting the seed for a carob tree, he asked the man if he believed he would ever see the fruit from this tree, which wouldn’t bear fruit for 70 years. The man said probably not, but reminded Honi that when he was born into this world, there were many carob trees planted for him. He was planting trees so his children and grandchildren could one day eat the fruit.
Advice for Others
When asked about advice for others in the Jewish community, Bob said: “Broaden your network. We are one big Jewish community and we need to help each other. Everybody has something to contribute. Our community is rich in human resources: points of view, passion, expertise. Everybody can help in some way.”
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