Family Honors Husband and Father Through Gift to HSL Hospice Care

Marilyn Goldman and Vivian SchaarA. Leon Goldman was a religious man.

“For years, we hosted the Seders for our family. Our children, grandchildren and now a great-grandchild came from all over the country,” recalls Leon’s wife, Marilyn. But in 2007, Passover was different for the Goldman family. Leon was seriously ill and needed hospice care.

“There was no hospice in Boston focused on serving the Jewish community like there is in many metropolitan areas,” Marilyn continues. “While we found a wonderful hospice provider who tried to understand Jewish values and customs, it just wasn’t what it could have been.”

Marilyn lives at NewBridge on the Charles. “I’ve seen in person what HSL’s services and healing mean for seniors,” she says. After Leon passed away, Marilyn began talking with HSL staff about what it would take to create a hospice based in Jewish values. This led Marilyn to make a leadership gift to HSL that provided the funds to start such a program.

Because of Marilyn’s support, Hebrew SeniorLife Hospice Care will launched in 2013. The Goldmans’ daughter, Vivian Schaar, also became philanthropically involved. “Even though I live in Texas, I see what HSL has meant for my mother and for others,” she says. “It’s important to me to see this Jewish experience available for anyone who wants it.”

Marilyn and Vivian hope that others in the community will now join what they have begun. Marilyn notes, “End of life is a time of trial and tribulation. Patients and families need spiritual comfort. What greater gift could there be?”