SGF Mourns the Loss of Lillian Alpert, SGF Trustee and Steve’s Grandma

It is with an enormously heavy heart that we note the passing of SGF Trustee (and Steve’s beloved 106 year-old grandma) Lillian Alpert on May 12, 2024.

May 12 was both Mother’s Day as well as Steve’s birthday (he would have turned 36). For many people, the number 18 (and its multiples) signifies the Hebrew word “chai,” which means life, and is associated with vitality, good luck, and blessings. Thus, the “double chai” of Steve turning 36 can symbolize the double blessing of Lillian reconnecting with her grandson as a Mother’s Day gift for her, and Steve reuniting with his grandma as a birthday gift to him.

The SGF family is experiencing a complex set of emotions that we have come to call “grielief” – a mixture of grief over her passing and relief that she is no longer suffering, combined with deep gratitude that this incredible woman graced our lives for so long.

Here is the link to her obituary.

Lillian Alpert’s memory truly is a blessing. May she rest (or celebrate as she sees fit) in peace, joy, and endless love.

2024 Summer Camp Scholarship Update

Thus far, for the 2024 summer camp season, SGF has approved $46,150 in summer camp scholarships to enable 27 children to attend a total of 99 weeks of summer camp at four different camps (42 weeks of which are in overnight camps). We are in the process of reviewing additional applications and will update periodically (most recent update July 1, 2024).

On behalf of our generous donors and especially for these kids, THANK YOU!

2024 Circle of Remembrance Video Recording Now Available

Saturday April 27 was the 23rd anniversary of the Oak Hill Middle School bus crash – the tragedy that took Steve Glidden, Greg Chan, Kayla Rosenberg, and Melissa Leung from their families, friends and futures. Especially in the context of the staggering toll of gun violence and the ongoing horrors in Ukraine, Gaza, and so many other places, 23 years feels, simultaneously, like an eternity and the mere blink of an eye. Eternity or moment, we have grown to value and even depend upon the strength we gain from one another when we come together in community.

This year, the Circle of Remembrance took place virtually only because Elaine’s 106 year-old mom and SGF Trustee Lillian Alpert has been experiencing some significant health challenges that might have required Elaine and Bill to travel to NY on short notice to be with her. The Circle was recorded (thanks to Elaine’s cousin Scott!) and can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/940566807 . The recording was not edited except for removing just a bit of the casual chatter at the very beginning, so please don’t expect it to look professional – but it is certainly heartfelt. Although a few dozen people joined the Zoom, only those who actually spoke (or who made enough noise that made the camera shift to them) are visible in the video.

In addition to thanking Scott, we also want to thank Elaine’s cousin Cantor Ellen Stettner who sang the Mi Shebeirach, and Scott Stettner who served as our Zoom master. Thank you both!

The latest version of the “We Remember” booklet can be accessed by clicking here.

2023 Summer Camp Scholarship Update

For the 2023 summer, SGF approved $61,398.50 in summer camp scholarships to enable 15 children to attend a total of 74 weeks of summer camp at five different camps (34 weeks of which are in overnight camps).

On behalf of our generous donors and especially for these kids, THANK YOU!

Circle of Remembrance – Thursday April 27, 2023 at 6 pm

Thursday April 27 marks the 22nd anniversary of the bus tragedy that took the lives of the four Newton middle school students – Greg Chan, Kayla Rosenberg, Melissa Leung, and Steve Glidden. All are invited to attend and participate in the annual “Circle of Remembrance” on April 27 at 6 pm — live in front of Oak Hill Middle School in Newton and virtually via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85272906597?pwd=Q1VyTjlEZWVRRy9rVGQyL3RLeHk5QT09

Feel free to bring something to sit on, a shoulder to lean on, and a bottle of water if it is hot outside. As in past years, you are welcome to bring along a poem to read, a song to sing, or something to say, should you feel so moved. Bring copies to share if you wish. Please follow reasonable and respectful local and state public health precautions to prevent COVID-19 transmission, including physical distancing and mask wearing as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of others.

Although Steve, Kayla, Melissa and Greg will be specifically remembered on this day, many others in Newton and beyond have lost family and friends at other times and in other tragedies. And of course, our hearts are anguished because of the ongoing horrors in Ukraine, and because of the awful toll of gun violence in the US. The “Circle of Remembrance” will be a time to remember others as well, in the company of those who care.

Here is a link to the We Remember booklet that was created for this event several years ago.

Everyone is welcome.

2022 Summer Camp Final Update

For the Summer 2022 season, SGF approved $43,869.50 in summer camp scholarships to enable 33 children to attend a total of 129 1/2 weeks of summer camp at 6 different camps (69 1/2 of which will be in overnight camp). On behalf of these kids, THANK YOU!

2022 Circle of Remembrance – Wednesday April 27 at 6 pm

Wednesday April 27 was the 21st anniversary of the bus tragedy that took the lives of the four Newton middle school students – Greg Chan, Kayla Rosenberg, Melissa Leung, and Steve Glidden. The annual “Circle of Remembrance” took place on April 27 at 6 pm — live in front of Oak Hill Middle School in Newton and virtually via Zoom.  Please feel free to view a condensed (35-minute) version of the Zoom recording  of the Circle and pass along to others as you see fit. The direct link to the Zoom (safe to click) is https://youtu.be/mIe5RkWqs-0.

2021 Summer Camp Update

COVID continues to break hearts and health systems in many parts of the world, but in the US, summer camps appear to be off to a robust season.  SGF has been receiving new applications almost on a daily basis for children who want little more than a chance to be kids in a safe setting. Thus far (as of July 7), SGF has approved $53,509.30 in summer camp scholarships for 38 children who will be attending 208 weeks of camp, 118 of which will be in overnight camp.  THANK YOU!