Announcing the KSDS Gitomer Family Learning Festival Fund


Krieger Schechter Day School (KSDS) is thrilled to announce that Lainie and Lou Gitomer have established the KSDS Gitomer Family Learning Festival Fund to endow the Middle School Learning Festival. This treasured, three-day festival is a highlight of the academic year when students break from their regular curriculum to take a deep dive into a particular topic. Through hands-on workshops and cross-discipline activities, students learn from local experts, many of whom are alumni, alumni parents or current parents.

Helaine (Lainie) and Lou are both Baltimore natives who attended public schools. Lainie is a retired pre-school teacher and Lou is a practicing attorney. They have two biological children, Melanie and Alex, both of whom attended KSDS. The Gitomers hosted over a dozen foreign exchange students (five of whom are Jewish) and one of them, Gui, has become their third child. Melanie is an attorney and lives in Reisterstown with her husband Lorne, a dentist, and their children, Noah and Brady. Alex is an investment banker and lives in New York with his wife Lori, a media executive, and their two children, Zoe and Jack. Gui, a hospital administrator, and his wife Katryn, a phlebotomist, live in Cherry Hill, NJ with their two children, Lucas and Gabi.

When asked why they decided to send their children to Solomon Schechter Day School (SSDS) at Chizuk Amuno in its earliest days, they responded: 

“We wanted our children to be happy, learned, and good people. We recognized that we would do the best we could to instill our values into our children, but we would need help from our extended family and through our children’s education. Schechter fulfilled our wishes by providing Melanie and Alex with an excellent secular education and an ethical Jewish background that has guided them to be the mensches they are today.”

According to the Gitomers, their children’s enrollment at SSDS would have been enough of a reason to continue to support the school. However, their grandchildren (Melanie’s sons) both attended KSDS, following in their mother’s footsteps and obtaining the same valuable education that she received and giving these proud grandparents an added imperative to generously support KSDS.

“KSDS is important to us not only because of what it has done and continues to do for our family, but also because of the opportunity it offers other children: the promise to provide an excellent secular and Jewish educational base while teaching them through study and example to be good people.”

Lou and Lainie remain actively involved in the school. Lainie is an engaged volunteer and both Lou and his daughter, Melanie Yasbin, serve on the KSDS Board. Lou chairs the KSDS Board’s Finance committee. Melanie has been a very involved parent leader in the school having co-chaired the Book Fair and served on the KSDS Development Committee for many years. Last year she was the co-chair of the 36th Anniversary Celebration and this year she is the co-chair of the 2018-2019 Annual Campaign.

We thank the Gitomer family for their incredible investment in our school and for being an inspiration to us all.

If you are interested in joining the Gitomer family in supporting the KSDS Endowment, please contac t Liz Minkin Friedman, our Director of Development, at lminkinfriedman@ksds.edu or 410-824-2050.