The generosity of a few can impact the lives of generations to come. Case in point—the Stein family, which is helping Jewish students from throughout Hampton Roads fulfill their dreams of a quality college education.
Five years ago, the family established the Stein Family College Scholarship through the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. The Scholarship was renewed annually, and ensured that each year a deserving college student would receive $10,000 to help offset tuition and other expenses; students could continue to receive the scholarship throughout their college careers by maintaining a level of academic excellence.
In August, the Stein family—patriarch Gerald (Jerry) Stein, sons Steve and Craig, daughters Lisa Delevie and Debra Levy, grandchildren, spouses and partners— gathered in a Virginia Beach restaurant to quietly make a big announcement: the family was ready to make the fund permanent, by contributing $1 million to TJF to endow the Stein Family College Scholarship Fund.
“The reason we’re doing this is really about the 10 Commandments,” says Craig Stein. “To honor thy father and thy mother.”
“The idea for this scholarship originally came from our mother, Arlene Stein (*of blessed memory). Both she and my father went to fine colleges—my mother went to the University of Miami and dad went to the University of Maryland—and both had to drop out after one year for financial reasons,” says Craig.
“My mother felt that helping others get the education she couldn’t was very important—and that this Stein Family Scholarship would mean that students will be able to go to college and enjoy this wonderful time in their lives.”
As he signed his name to the oversized $1 million check during lunch, Jerry Stein smiled broadly.
“This is what I want, and this is what Arlene wanted,” he says. “I’ve been blessed that all four of my children are college graduates and all of my grandchildren are college graduates.”
“Being able to make this contribution is so gratifying. Words can’t express how happy I am that these Stein Scholars will be able to go to school and get an education. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Among those gathered at the restaurant were three recipients of the Stein Family Scholarship: Dinar Yusufov, Avi Malkin and Eric Smith.
“I am so happy to meet the Stein family, and Jerry, to be able to talk to them and thank them personally,” says Smith, the 2010 Scholarship recipient. “This scholarship helped take the financial burden off of my family and has given me the opportunity to do what I love—which is to learn and attend the University of Virginia.”
“I think getting this scholarship really hit home with me, that sticking true to my Jewish roots is important. It shows that people care, that people are willing to help. That they care about the future and are investing in education and this community. To have community leaders, like the Stein family, make that commitment—really means a lot.”
To find out more about the Stein Family College Scholarship, visit www.jewishva.org/tjf-stein. To learn more about Creating a Jewish Legacy for generations to come, visit www.jewishva.org/create-a-jewish-legacy.