Eldon & Carol Clingan
Ensuring a caring, welcoming, vibrant Jewish community for future generations
Temple Beth Elohim has been our home for almost 30 years
The life of our family since our children were small has centered on this wonderful Jewish community. TBE clergy have helped us observe the b’not mitzvah and marriages of our daughters, celebrate the namings of our grandchildren and mark the deaths of our parents. Not only our children’s Jewish education, but also our own adult learning journeys, have taken place under to the loving guidance of our clergy.
For our children & grandchildren & future generations
As we look to the future and the legacy we will pass on to future generations, we hope our children and grandchildren will experience all the joys and blessings we encountered during our three decades at TBE. It’s important to us that we ensure a caring, welcoming and vibrant Jewish community will be there for future generations.
Supporting the L’Dor V’Dor Legacy Society
We are people who believe in giving back, and we owe more to TBE than we can possibly repay. We have always supported the Annual Fund and building campaigns, but have never been able to be very large donors. So we have devoted our time and efforts to making TBE stronger. But we have made an additional commitment to strengthening our temple’s foundation – we have provided for TBE in our estate plan by establishing a planned gift to benefit TBE through the L’Dor V’Dor Legacy Society.
While TBE hopes not to receive L’Dor D’Vor funds for many years (a hope with which we devoutly concur!), it is through these meaningful gifts that we will ensure that TBE is here to serve the needs of our children and grandchildren.
Valuing the sacred role of Jewish institutions and ethics
I am a new member of TBE and feel as if I have found the “nirvana” of synagogues
From the moment I walked in the door at TBE, I have felt welcomed and stimulated. My first encounter was a couple of years ago, when I attended Friday night services and was welcomed graciously by Susan Karon with whom I had spoken earlier and knew I was attending, and I sat with a few friends who are members. Cantor Sufrin’s singing and chanting, the depth of spirituality and joy, the Shabbat sermon delivered by Rabbi Saphire – they were all wonderful. Prior to joining, I also took a class with Rabbi Sisenwine and found him to be an excellent teacher and my classmates’ participation superb. I renewed my relationship with Rabbi Sherman with whom I had studied at Hebrew College when he was in rabbinic school. And I have enjoyed meeting other clergy and members. I worked with Rabbi Saphire on interfaith dialogue, a passion of mine.
Valuing Jewish traditions & principles
Except for a brief rebellious period between college and age 30, Judaism has been central to my life. I was raised in an extended family with an observant grandmother who lit Shabbat candles and baked challah every Friday until 10 days prior to her death. Reading Elie Wiesel’s short story, First Royalties, brought me back to the sacred role of Jewish traditions and values in my life. Right after, I became a Jewish Big Brother, mentoring a young boy without a dad. My father was killed six months before I was born while serving in the Navy during WWII, and my deep-rooted Jewish values inspired me to help a fatherless boy.
Supporting TBE directly from my IRA
I believe deeply in supporting Jewish institutions to ensure Judaism survives in the Diaspora. My Jewish values have also shaped my commitment to support institutions that feed the hungry and care for animals.
I am older than 70 ½ and have an IRA. Under the new tax law, I am not able to itemize my charitable deductions, so my financial advisor informed me of the advantage of using the qualified charitable deduction. I contribute to TBE directly from my IRA which is a worthy tax benefit.
The Family of Charlotte Sagansky
Welcoming all who want to join TBE, regardless of ability to pay
Charlotte and Albert Sagansky - founding members of Temple Beth Elohim
Our mother, Charlotte Sagansky, had one child and one on the way when she determined that she wanted to live in Wellesley for the school system. In 1954 Wellesley had few Jewish residents and the realtors were very discouraging. But Charlotte persevered. It was a trait that she brought to every facet of her life. When a house on Hunnewell Street finally dropped out of escrow, she and Al bought it. They immediately joined the Jewish Community Group of Wellesley and in 1955 participated in the first High Holy Day services at the Unitarian Church.
In fact, our parents were instrumental in forming the Hebrew School and buying the land on Bethel Road. Al was elected the first President of Temple Beth Elohim in 1957 and for the next two years he and Charlotte led the search for TBE’s first Rabbi, Jacob Lantz, and the fundraising efforts to construct the Temple building, which opened its doors in 1960.
Treasuring family and Jewish community
Our mother’s life revolved around her family and community. She would help organize the annual TBE picnic and would happily volunteer to lead various Sisterhood activities. She believed that raising a strong Jewish family required a vibrant Jewish community and temple. She never was too busy to help. Even after Al died in 2001 and Charlotte moved to Brookline, she returned to TBE every week to participate in and organize senior activities and to attend Shabbat services.
Establishing an endowed fund for dues abatement
Charlotte believed that the TBE should be accessible to all, regardless of ability to pay. To celebrate her legacy, we have set up a fund to help families fully participate in TBE. We are honored to help those who couldn’t otherwise afford to be part of our sacred community.