When Cindi and Harold Goldfine became friends with Barb and Larry Zweigbaum in the 1970s, little did they know that their children would grow up, fall in love, and get married. Cindi and Harold’s daughter Elly married Barb and Larry’s son Mike in 1997. “We are one big happy family,” said Cindi. “We feel blessed that our daughter married into a family that we already knew and loved.”
The others agree that the family not only gets along well, but loves spending time together, whether it’s around the dinner table, at a sporting event or celebrating a Jewish holiday. They also share the same values, especially when it comes to philanthropy and giving back. So it’s only fitting that Cindi and Harold, Elly and Mike, and Barb and Larry, have been chosen to be this year’s honorees at the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School (HMJDS) Annual Benefit, taking place on Thursday, March 19, 2015, 6pm, at Beth El Synagogue.
The couples will receive the Ner Tamid award, an honor given to those who show exemplary leadership and commitment to HMJDS. Both Elly and Mike credit their parents for being role models when it comes to philanthropy. “It’s not about how much you give,” said Elly, “but that you do give, whether it be time or money.”
Raised in homes that helped them develop strong Jewish identities led Elly and Mike to send their three boys Jacob (14), Adin (12) and Benny (6) to HMJDS. “The school offers an extraordinary education in both Jewish and general studies,” said Mike. “But what really stands out are the core Jewish values that are a part of the curriculum and the leadership skills the school teaches starting as early as Kindergarten.”
All three couples are longtime supporters of the day school as well as many other community organizations. Elly, a former art teacher, loves spending time at HMJDS. She has volunteered as a benefit co-chair, PTO member and room parent. When not spending time at school, Elly is involved with Adath Jeshurun where has she has been active with USY and the Gan Shelanu Preschool, Aish Minnesota, JFCS, Herzl Camp, Pacer, and the Mount Sinai Community Foundation, to name a few.
“It feels good to give back,” said Elly. “I hope to be a good role model for my children as my parents were for me.”
Harold, originally from Duluth, and Cindi, from St. Louis Park, met while attending the University of Minnesota. It was love at first sight said Cindi. The couple, who are now retired, (Harold is the former owner of Alliance Steel Co., and Cindi is a retired pre-school teacher and retail sales associate), have two additional daughters, Marcy (Brian Schway) and Sara (Blake Baratz). It’s with their children in mind that the Goldfines, now married 44 years, devote much of their time and money to helping others. From the Minneapolis Jewish Federation to Sholom, they support several Jewish organizations that, in Harold’s words, “help ensure the continuation of the Jewish community and the perpetuation of our people.”
Supporting HMJDS definitely accomplishes that goal. “At HMJDS, it’s more than just a school, it’s a community,” said Cindi. “Kids receive a quality Jewish education, they learn to speak Hebrew. Being a part of this school helps strengthen their Jewish identities.”
Mike agrees, adding “Jewish values that are taught can be seen through acceptance, good morals, and the creation of Jewish leaders.” Mike, who purchased Alliance Steel Co (now known as Alliance Recycling Group) from his father-in-law in 2005, says that he learned these values from his parents at an early age. He especially learned the importance of giving back and helping others. Mike is involved in the Minneapolis Community Kollel, co-created the J Way Young Adult Division, and is on the Board of the Herzl Camp Foundation.
Barb, who grew up in Winnipeg, met Larry back in the 1960’s while visiting relatives in the Twin Cities. Now married 44 years, the couple also have a daughter Marlee. Barb, once an elementary school teacher who now works as a real estate agent, and Larry, who previously worked in the computer industry and now works at Alliance Recycling Group, like to volunteer their time together. They both sit on the steering committee for the Race for the Cure, volunteer for causes that raise money to support the Jewish community and Israel, and enjoy being involved with their grandchildren’s activities at HMJDS. In fact, Larry has been known to teach a science class or two at HMJDS, which started when his oldest grandson, Jacob, was in third grade.
“The Goldfines and Zweigbaums have been an integral part of HMJDS for over a decade, as parents, grandparents, philanthropists, advocates, and friends,” said Yoni Binus, HMJDS Head of School. “Honoring them at the Annual Benefit provides us the opportunity to show our appreciation for years of dedication to and love of the school.”
Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School Annual Benefit
Thursday, March 19, 2015
6:00 p.m., Beth El Synagogue
“Are You Smarter Than a Day Schooler?” Trivia Game. Test your knowledge and you could be a winner!
Register online at www.hmjds.org or call 952-381-3500 for more information.