January 6, 2021
20 Tevet 5781 

Dear Friends, Partners, Parents and Supporters,

Words are inadequate to express the depth of the loss we feel in the petira (passing) of our esteemed and beloved Executive Director, Dr. Aviva Weisbord. Aviva (as she preferred to be addressed) was passionate about Jewish education and believed that every child, including those struggling to learn, is entitled to an impactful secular and Judaic education with full and unrestricted access. Her personal commitment motivates us to carry on in fulfilling SHEMESH’s founding mission.

The overwhelming outpouring of condolences has been a tremendous source of comfort for the family as well as for our staff and board members. A special dedicated fund will be established in short order to honor the memory of Dr. Weisbord. Until then, donations can be made by going to shemeshbaltimore.org and click on the Support Us link.

The SHEMESH Annual Meeting (scheduled for June 15th) will focus on the life and contributions of Dr. Weisbord while adhering to her desire to avoid fanfare and maintain modesty. A recent article in the Jewish Times captured Aviva’s essential qualities. A link to it and other pertinent information will be posted on the SHEMESH website and Facebook page.

Mrs. Faye (Fayge) Friedman is serving as Interim Executive Director. As many of you are well-aware, Aviva and Fayge have worked hand in hand since SHEMESH’s earliest days. You should always feel free to reach out to Fayge at 410-843-7589 or ffriedman@shemeshbaltimore.org.

Aviva personified the adage from Pirkei Avos (Chapters of our Fathers): Emor M’At V’Asei Harbei which is translated as, “Say Little and Do Much.” I am confident that Aviva shaped the organization in such a way to assure we will continue in successfully providing the educational supports necessary for Jewish children with learning differences to fulfill their intellectual, academic, emotional and social potential in a Jewish setting. In this abiding belief, we rededicate ourselves in her memory.

L’ shalom,

Richard S. Hantgan