I want to thank Elaine Durbach for her wonderful article about my father, Jehiel Orenstein (“For ailing rabbi, party is gift for others,” Feb. 23). There is one small correction: The article indicates that I made the suggestion of funding school scholarships, but that idea was entirely my dad’s.
The family, having been apprised that he wished to celebrate his birthday by helping a worthy cause, initially suggested charities that affect him directly. We thought of doing a fundraiser to find a cure for ALS, for example. True to form, my dad insisted, “I want to help children and families,” and he selected scholarships at Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County as his cause. Then he said, “I don’t want it to be about me. Talk about the kids, but no speeches about me.”
I am trying to honor my father in every way, but, given the outpouring of love and support that we have already received, I had to tell him: “We’ll do our best, and good luck with that.”
Thank you to Elaine for so beautifully honoring both my father and the children he wishes to spotlight and support.
Rabbi Debra Orenstein
Congregation B’nai Israel