25 Years!

2015 is shaping up to be a big year for the Rosenberg Fund for Children. This fall marks both our 25th anniversary and what would have been my grandmother, Ethel Rosenberg’s, 100th birthday. We’re planning to honor these milestones in a variety of ways as 2015 unfolds, culminating in a celebration near our office in western Massachusetts in October or November (we’ll share additional information later this year; in the meantime see "2015 Events" article for highlights).

As part of our anniversary year, we’re asking supporters and beneficiaries to share your RFC memories, photos, etc. with us. And a special request for former grantees: we’d love current photos, especially if you were featured in this newsletter over the years, to use for a “then and now” trip down memory lane. Share your RFC memories, photos, etc. with us by surface mail, email (info@rfc.org) or phone (413-529-0063).

As part of my initial thinking about our 25th anniversary, I found copies of all 47 of our previous newsletters and spent an afternoon reading them. In addition to enjoying reminiscing about the first quarter century of the RFC, I was struck by both how much has changed and what has remained constant:

  • Our first newsletter proudly reported on the two grants we had made that year of $404 each so two children could attend summer camp in Maine. Compare that to our report in this issue that we awarded over 130 grants for almost $360,000 in 2014.
  • In the spring of 1993, our fourth newsletter profiled a program that received our (at that point) largest grant, for a support group for children of torture survi-vors. More than 20 years later, we’re funding a music program for children in the same circumstances run by the same organization (see #30 in this issue's Granting article).
  • The Executive Director’s Report from our Fall 1994 newsletter focused on my father’s trip to Wisconsin to increase our outreach to Native American activist communities. Last summer, the RFC’s Board Chair and a staff member traveled to South Dakota to be part of The Unity Concert for the Black Hills, forging crucial ties to environmental and indigenous rights’ activists and artists from across the country and around the globe.
  • Finally, our very first newsletter announced a daunting goal of raising a $1 million granting fund and encouraged supporters to consider leaving a bequest to the RFC to honor Ethel and Julius’ resistance and ensure our sustainability. Twenty-five years later, we have launched an even more ambitious endowment campaign (see "I'm Finishing What I Started" article) and continue to receive bequests from those who wish to sustain our support for the children of targeted activists.

This is the start of my second full year as the Executive Director of the Rosenberg Fund for Children. I am honored by the trust my father has placed in me to carry forward his and my grandparents’ legacy. And I am grateful for the opportunity to nurture the organization my dad created out of the nightmare he experienced as a child as we celebrate our first 25 years.