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Bequest Reflects a Family Tradition of Philanthropy

Barbara and Jay RosenfieldBarbara and Jay Rosenfield, both in their early 80s, have been residents of NewBridge on the Charles, Hebrew Senior Life’s independent living community in Dedham, for three years.

"We love it here - we're so happy,” Barbara says. “It’s the right place for us. We both grew up in Brookline and we often run into people we know, so it’s like home. We feel so connected to the people here; everyone is friendly, helpful and caring.

By making a bequest, the Rosenfields hope that more seniors will benefit from Hebrew SeniorLife’s resources in the future.

"Hebrew SeniorLife does important work in the community, and we want to help the organization continue that work, like research into aging issues,” explains Barbara. “But even more important, we want to help them continue to provide healthy, satisfying lives for people who may not have had the opportunities that we've had.

At the encouragement of their children, the Rosenfields decided to donate a portion of their NewBridge entrance fee back to Hebrew SeniorLife as part of their estate plan. “We thought this was a worthwhile vision,” she continues. “The funds will come out of our estate, so it doesn’t affect our way of living today – it’s not a hard gift to make, but it’s still a significant contribution.

The parents of five children and 13 grandchildren, the Rosenfields have stressed the importance of philanthropy to their family over the decades. Jay was an engineer who became a businessman, and Barbara was a preschool teacher who later opened a book exchange. From the time their children were young, the Rosenfields involved them in decisions about charitable giving.

"We weren't really affluent, but we've always been philanthropic," she says. "That's part of the Jewish tradition, and we hope to pass it on to future generations.