Announcing the KSDS Raffel Family Hebrew Fund
Krieger Schechter Day School is thrilled to announce the establishment of the KSDS Raffel Family Hebrew Fund, generously given by Lorraine & Earl Raffel and Shuli & Gary Raffel.
Lorraine grew up in Washington, DC and met and married Baltimorean Earl Raffel in 1954. They have been married for 65 years. Together since the early 1970’s, they owned and operated multiple nursing homes and were recognized for being the first nursing home to accept an AIDS patient. This facility grew to be a 60-person unit of AIDS patients. Lorraine was also awarded for being the first woman to own one of the largest businesses in Baltimore City.
Not only did they birth the Raffel Healthcare Group, but they have two sons, Gary and Bruce, 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren with one on the way. Gary, a lawyer who eventually joined the family business, married Shuli, who grew up in Israel after her family emigrated from Romania. Shuli was a dedicated and beloved teacher at KSDS for 32 years. With her B.A. in Bible and a Masters degree in Judaic Studies, she taught Judaic subjects exclusively in Hebrew. All three of their children graduated from KSDS. Libby (‘97) lives in Chicago; Elan (‘99) lives in NYC; and Noam (‘04) lives in DC. Bruce was in the long-term care business as well. His son, Jason, lives in Baltimore, his daughter, Melanie lives is Pylesville, MD, and his son, Brandon, lives in Colorado.
Lorraine and Earl have been devoted to KSDS for many years and believe that “Schechter has done an amazing job of preserving and enhancing our Jewish values and ensuring that the next generation of Jews will continue to live our traditions, morals and ethics. We always enjoyed being a part of the community–the plays, Grandparent Day, the exhibits on family history, and so much more!”
Shuli and Gary’s motivation for giving back to KSDS stems from their belief that “raising kids in America–outside of Israel in the Diaspora where Jews are a minority–requires us to be actively engaged. It is essential that we have a community and core group of kids who not only know Judaics, but also speak in Hebrew!” For Shuli, the Hebrew language combined with a love for Israel is the gravitational pull to Judaism. And Conservative Judaism, where women are equal, is where she found a home and encouraged her entire family to join her. Lorraine jokes, “Shuli made us shul-go-ers!”
The Raffel Family Hebrew Fund will support the continuing advancement of Hebrew language education at KSDS, highlighting the importance of Hebrew language learning for every KSDS student. This gift will help support curriculum innovation for best practices in teaching Hebrew language, faculty professional development, and special programs and materials to enhance students’ comfort with, confidence in, and personal connection to the language of their homeland and heritage.
The school will recognize two seventh grade students annually with the Raffel Family Hebrew Award to positively reinforce students speaking Hebrew. Winners will demonstrate growth, development and enthusiasm in Hebrew speaking. Each winner will receive $500 to be used to defray the cost of their class trip to Israel the following year in eighth grade.
We are extremely grateful to the Raffel Family for ensuring that the Hebrew language remains a personally meaningful and high-level academic cornerstone of a KSDS education.
If you are interested in joining Lorraine, Earl, Shuli and Gary in supporting the KSDS Endowment, please contact Liz Minkin Friedman, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-824-2050.