Helen Keller once said, “So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.”
That thought surely encapsulates Janice and Alan Glaubinger’s feelings about their beloved friend, the late Sandra Berman. In order to memorialize Sandy in a meaningful way and also offer friends and family the opportunity to keep her memory alive, the Glaubingers recently established the Sandra K. Berman Shalom Louisville Memorial Fund with the Jewish Foundation of Louisville.
“Sandy was a wonderful person,” says Alan. “She loved Louisville and wanted everyone she met, especially newcomers to the Jewish community, to love the city as much as she did. She and her husband, Harris, have been an important part of our lives for the past 40 years.”
The Glaubingers arrived in Louisville on Erev Yom Kippur 1972. “We had closed on the house and were waiting for the moving truck to bring our things,” Alan recalls. Some 15 minutes later, Sandra showed up at the door with her daughters, Ilene and Sheila, in tow. She invited us to her home for break-the-fast and we never missed being there for every year after that.”
“The guest list grew each year,” said Jan, “because Sandy invited every newcomer to her home so they would have a place to go for the holiday.” Eventually huge crowds attended the legendary event, which provided newcomers and old friends alike the chance to share the unique sense of belonging she provided.
Jan notes the Bermans extended themselves in many other ways as well. “They introduced us to their friends and to Keneseth Israel Congregation and its preschool,” she says. “Our children grew up together and were constantly in and out of each other’s houses. They all live out of town now, but still keep in touch with one another.”
Sandra Berman was a joiner and a doer whose example encouraged the Glaubinger’s to participate in the community as well. Jan is currently a vice president of the National Council of Jewish Women, works with Jewish Family & Career Services’ Janet and Sonny Meyer Food Pantry and their MOSAIC Committee, is a member of the Jewish Community Center’s Jewish Film Festival Committee and sits on the United Way’s Kindergarten Count-Down.
Alan, who was a vice president of Keneseth Israel Congregation, currently serves on the Jewish Foundation of Louisville’s Investment Committee and is a member of The Temple’s board and four Temple committees.
“Sandy was such a positive person – even at the end of her life,” said Alan. “We were so grateful for her friendship, and we wanted to be able to perpetuate her caring in a special way. We knew that deficits caused the JCL to reduce funding for newcomer activities and we felt that creating an endowment in her name would be the perfect way for us and others to help fill that void and honor a cause that was so important to her.”
“Sandra was so enthusiastic about hosting friends and strangers alike,” Harris Berman commented. “She was often the first person to welcome newcomers to Jewish Louisville and I am grateful to the Glaubingers for carrying her spirit forward.”
If you would like to contribute to the Sandra K. Berman Fund, please contact Jewish Foundation Director Stew Bromberg, firstname.lastname@example.org or 238-2755.