When Cindy Gruber was a small child, her grandmother kept a tin can in their kitchen. The can, which served as a tzedekah box (away to collect donations for the Jewish community), was a daily reminder of the importance of giving back.
Now, quite a few years later, those values remain strong with Cindy and her husband Rubin. The Grubers' recent support of Jewish Family & Children's Service is already making a difference. Their gift through CJP is helping the Bet Tzedek Legal Services and Emergency Financial Assistance programs flourish.
"The Grubers' gift has been critical in enabling us to expand our capacity in the area of benefits advocacy. Many JF&CS clients are low income and struggle to navigate the complex rules that govern assistance programs," shared Rachel Pemstein, the director of JF&CS Bet Tzedek Legal Services. "As a result of this generous contribution, our benefits advocates are able to focus on the needs of these clients as they seek access to public benefits, primarily SNAP (food stamps). Cindy and Rubin have been crucial partners in these efforts."
The Grubers are no strangers to philanthropy, having given generously to CJP in the past as well as providing scholarships to students in need at the irrespective alma maters. Cindy is also a founding member and former Chair of the Women's Leadership Council at Lahey Health in Burlington, MA, former Board Chair of The Wellness Community, former board member of the Walker School in Needham, MA, a member of the Hestia Fund in Boston, MA, and a member of Women of Impact, a national group of women leaders trying to make an impact on healthcare.
Cindy and Rubin Gruber are also personally familiar with the feeling of need.
Rubin's story starts with humble beginnings and Cindy herself experienced tough financial times when she was young.
As a single mother, Cindy struggled through a difficult child support battle,an experience that resonated with her when she first heard about Bet Tzedek Legal Services. "I know how difficult it can be to keep fighting for your legal rights when you don't have the financial resources." Thanks to the support of her parents, she was able to build a successful career but never forgot her earlier struggles.
The importance of community, and the very real way that JF&CS supports the Jewish community, made the Grubers' very generous gift an easy decision.
Cindy shared that it is important to support "Jewish organizations that lend assistance to the community. These are challenging times for people, and we never know when we're a heartbeat away from needing help—whether it be legal help, an issue with mental or physical health, or financial stress. The one thing that should connect us all is that we care for people in our community.We must look out for each other and show kindness to each other."
While Cindy's Jewish values influenced her decision to give to JF&CS, she was quick to point out that "Jewish values are universal human values that we should all share as citizens of the Earth."