תודה רבה שבאתם לבית איזי – אדבר הערב באנגלית
Thank you everyone for coming to Beit Issie tonight.
Thanks Jean and the whole Beit Issie Shapiro team for hosting us at this wonderful place.
For those who don’t know, I’m Uri, Gerald’s son.
When I think about my father, the first word that comes to my mind is empathy.
Empathy means the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
My Dad connected with all levels of people. He was concerned about them. He wanted to understand and to know them.
One of my early memories of his desire to help others was from another institution, not far from here.
When I was a kid – I know that some of you think that I still am one –
He volunteered at Beit Loewenstein, right here in Raanana. He was there to help paraplegics and quadriplegics.
There he met Izik Adir and helped him with his recovery from a motorbike accident. Through that experience he formed a lifelong friendship and Izik is actually here tonight.
His empathy bred a desire to teach and mentor. By understanding people he could really affect them in ways that enriched their lives.
He formed his company around teaching business leaders how to read and analyze financial statements. This combined his passion for teaching with helping people understand the language of accounting.
I even attended one of his courses which provided my basis for understanding business financials which I continue to use to this day.
I was lucky to be one of those he empathized with.
Early on, he identified that I was a geek who likes numbers and technology. From our first Apple ][, he exposed me to spreadsheets and technology which ended up playing a huge role in my life, education, career and identity.
By example, he taught me about caring and empathy.
His spirit touched so many others, for example:
- He volunteered to teach kids at Amirim, a neighborhood school in Ramat Hasharon
- He provided career advice to so many on our porch at home.
- He helped his kids with their businesses and life advice
It was only natural that when Naomi started Beit Issie Shapiro he volunteered to help.
Not only did he embrace the opportunity to help and mentor, but he also really believed in the mission of changing the lives of people with disabilities. It fit his personality to a T.
His devotion to Beit Issie was legendary and I am so glad that we are here tonight in his honor.
If there is one thing I want you to take away tonight, it’s that word: empathy.
Please show your empathy with the kids of Beit Issie Shapiro and help my Dad’s legacy by enabling those less fortunate to access these wonderful people and resources.
Thanks again for joining us to remember the amazing person who I miss so much, my Dad, Gerald Blackman.