Donor Spotlight

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Leona Aronoff-Sadacca
Member, Western Region Board of Advisors

Leona Aronoff-Sadacca

How did you get connected with HUC?

I was introduced to HUC by my Rabbi and good friend, Rabbi Hillel Cohn. He invited me to come to HUC and introduced me to HUC’s work. HUC has been an important part of my life for at least 20 years.

Describe your connection to HUC.

I got involved with HUC because of the stories my parents told me about the past. I was born in France before the war. My father was in the French Underground and it was hard to keep track of where he was. During a most difficult time, the only information that one could get as to where the French Underground was, was to check with the nearest Temple. On such an occasion, my mother, my brother who was 5, and myself, at the time an infant, went to the nearest temple to get information on my father. The Rabbi told my mother that it was Shabbos and he could not talk to her until Shabbos was over. My mother said to him “I have no place to stay and I have my sick infant with me.” He said that there was a park across the street where she could stay until Shabbos was over. This particular story left a lasting impression on me. I realized that not all rabbis are created equally and have the understanding of their priorities and I wanted to make sure this kind of behavior would never happen again. It’s one thing knowing text like our Rabbis do; but they must be mensches and adapt to any circumstance that they encounter. I wanted to be sure my childhood experience would not happen again. HUC rabbis are teachers, and they are committed to bringing comfort and compassion to their communities. They are the Rabbis who will lead our next generation.

What inspired you to create a Planned Gift to HUC?

Our responsibility is to make sure HUC is here for future generations and to be the role model for our children and grandchildren. We want to give them the same opportunities that we had. Our synagogues’ leaders are a product of HUC and they connect us to our community. Now more than ever, it is important to be connected.