While many of us think we know what our loved ones would have wanted, Beverly Luchfeld of Teaneck knows she knows. She has a written record of her late husband’s dreams.
When she found papers in which he had sketched out plans for future projects, she learned that he already was working on detailed plans “to give back to the town and promote sustainability,” she said. “He was afraid of the critical damage we’re doing to our water and air.” A staunch supporter of education, he also wanted to introduce Israel in a different light, as a country that shares and helps others.
Nor were these mere pipe dreams. As a trained physicist, he had solid ideas for addressing these issues.
In a memorial project launched two years ago, Ms. Luchfeld picked up on her husband’s idea — based on an Israeli initiative — of collecting run-off rain to use for a variety of purposes. Partnering with the Teaneck Creek Conservancy and with Hawthorne Elementary School, she secured 10 large plastic barrels from Israel that were fitted with spigots to drain sediment. Students learned important lessons about water preservation and participated in hands-on projects to reuse the water.
Ms. Luchfeld also has turned her own home into a model of water-preservation. It’s really not surprising. Each of her three grown children is engaged in some line of work, from biophysics to air purification, related to sustainability.
This year’s memorial, addressing the issue of crisis intervention, pays tribute to Mr. Flamholz’s passion for education and his desire that the world recognize Israel’s contribution to humanity. In inviting IsraAID to address the community, “I would like to promote an organization that he believed in,” Ms. Luchfeld said.
The aim of the program is to inspire professionals to volunteer, encourage attendees to support the organization, and — in presenting case studies of crisis intervention — to get students more involved in the issue, visualizing the provision of aid.
“It’s been done widely in high schools across America,” Ms. Luchfeld said. “We want kids to appreciate what they have, that this world is theirs, and that they must save it in every way possible.”
Ms. Luchfeld, whose business is manufacturing Shabbes robes, said she is making every effort to ensure that the September 22 program at Rinat is communitywide, and that synagogues and schools have been very helpful in spreading the word among their members. She also hopes to involve Fairleigh Dickinson University in the project.