BENEFICIARY STORIES

Molly and Bunky Wright

When Molly and Bunky Wright first visited the APJCC Preschool, they were impressed but worried it would be too costly for their family. Their two boys, Declan and Kellen, attended a daycare center in Campbell but the family wanted a better quality program for them. The family had attended an open house at the APJCC…

Sue Anis and Margo Choukrane

Sue Anis and Margo Choukrane are sisters who grew up in the Bronx. Their mother and father were French Jews who were not synagogue people, but who lived in a Jewish neighborhood that provided Sue and Margo with a deep connection to Jewish people and culture. Sue and Margo are living together again, this time…

Eleanor Dickman

Eleanor Dickman is a decades-long member of the South Bay Jewish community. Besides belonging to Congregation Beth David for many years, Eleanor has been a volunteer for a whole host of local Jewish organizations, including the PJ Library Program, Sharone Hadassah, Jewish Family Services, San José Hillel, Yavneh, Jewish Studies Dept. at San Jose State,…

Aurianne and Adam Dorsay

Aurianne and Adam Dorsay consider the APJCC Family Camp weekend in the Redwoods to be the “sweet spot” of what they want for their family – “a confluence of family, community, Jewish values, fun, a chance to meet new friends, as well as the warm family and Jewish memories that come out of it.” APJCC…

Lilia and Vlad Gorshteyn

Lilia’s Jewish upbringing was very different from the completely non-religious upbringing we associate with Russian Jewry – for two reasons. First, is that Lilia grew up in Uzbekistan, which was part of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), but which did not discourage religious practice to the extent that Russia did. Second, is that Lilia grew…

Inna Sigal

“Torah changed my life,” says Inna Sigal. “Now, Torah is my life.” Inna is a rock-steady, enthusiastic participant in Rabbi Ilana Baird’s weekly Russian Torah Study class, which Inna began attending in November 2013. Studying Torah was something Inna could not do as a child in Odessa, Ukraine. Her grandfather had been a shtetl rabbi,…

Nava Bernstein

Nava was born and raised in Israel. Her family observed religious traditions without belonging to any synagogue. When she and Alon, her Israeli husband, came to the Silicon Valley in 1996, they did not look to join a synagogue. They first lived in Sunnyvale, where their oldest child went to public schools and had no…

Lara and Joey Panish

For Lara and Joey Panish, sending their two daughters to the APJCC Preschool was a big step in their journey as an Interfaith couple raising their children as Jews. Lara grew up in a Christian family in a small town in California’s central valley, where there was no Jewish community or presence. But in college…

Lena and Jussi Rajna

Lena and Jussi came to the Bay Area in 1966 from Sweden, where Lena was born and where Jussi came to study engineering at the university level. Jussi was born in Hungary, where he and his family survived the Holocaust. Jussi decided to leave Hungary after the Hungarian Revolution was crushed in 1956. Jussi’s family…

Barbara and Frank Alioto

Barbara and Frank have been charter members of the APJCC since the doors opened on the Levy Family Campus in 2005. Frank comes to work out at the APJCC two to three times a week after work. Barbara, who is retired, originally came to work out and for group fitness classes, but has since expanded…