I’m not sure why I decided to become a doctor. It may have had something to do with seeing Claudette Colbert playing a doctor in the movies. Although they may have had their doubts, my parents were supportive because, by becoming a doctor, I could help fulfill their hopes for a better life in America.
In 1914 my father, Passie, immigrated to the United States from Ukraine. He became a junk peddler in Fond du Lac. He intended to send for my mother, Fradel, and my two oldest siblings, but they were not to be reunited until 1921. WWI broke out, along with the Russian Revolution, and my mother struggled to keep her children fed, clothed and healthy.
After arriving in Wisconsin, she set up a “ready to wear” store in a building with living quarters in the back. I was born five years later. We had little money to spare, and the Great Depression further deprived my parents of opportunities for advancement. Still, tzedakah was part of life. We always had a “Blue Box” in the kitchen for our spare pennies. Our home was a usual stop for wandering Jews because my mother kept kosher and was always willing to provide a meal for strangers.
I went on to become a pediatrician and later a child psychiatrist. In medical school I met my first husband, Marvin Glicklich, with whom I had five children and now 12 grandchildren. Today I am active in several organizations addressing issues from mental health to children at risk.
Like my parents and late husband, Jack Rosenberg, I believe that money is a means to make the world a better place. That is why Jack and I created a trust at the Jewish Community Foundation to help us fulfill our dedication to tikkun olam even after we are no longer here.
Learn more about establishing a charitable trust.