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Planting a Tree to Honor Anita and Stu Fishman

As the Jewish world celebrates the holiday of Tu BiShvat this month, it is the perfect time to announce a new Federation project: planting a tree in memory of Anita and Stu Fishman to honor them for all they did for our community.

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Although here in South Bend it will be too cold to plant the tree, it is appropriate that we use Tu BiShvat, “the new year of the trees,” to begin the project. The plans are to hold a dedication ceremony in the springtime when we plant the tree in front of the Federation building. We call on members of our community to support this project.

Among their many contributions to our Jewish community, Anita and Stu had been a host family for many of our Federation shlichim including Lea Lehavi, Reut Oz, Raz Revah and Yuval Shaham who brought the idea of the project to us.

Lea Lehavi wrote, “The Fishmans were a pillar in the Shaliach’s life and in all of the Israeli programs and other Federation initiatives. They were an example of excellence to Jewish community life, and I think the idea of planting a tree in their memory is a wonderful way to honor their legacy of Israel, Judaism & community life.”

Yuval Shaham wrote, “They loved our Jewish Community in South Bend and the community loved them back. I fell in love with this community mainly because I saw their dedication to togetherness and Judaism.”

Beyond their role as a host family for Federation shlichim, Anita and Stu were involved in many facets of our community life.

Both Anita and Stu were recipients of Temple Beth-El’s Distinguished Service Award.  Stu was a past president of Temple Beth-El and active in the Temple Brotherhood. Anita was active in Temple Sisterhood and received Temple’s Woman of the Year award in 1972.

Planting a tree to honor the memory of Anita and Stu Fishman will be a fitting reminder to all of us of the importance of service to our community.

Many of us are familiar with the Talmudic story of Honi who encountered a man planting a Carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take to bear fruit?” “About 70 years,” the man replied. “So you think you will live long enough to taste its fruits?” The man explained, “As my forefathers planted them for me, so I plant for my children.”

Through their shining example of service to our Jewish community, Anita and Stu Fishman planted the seeds of a strong Jewish community. The planting of a tree in their memory is both a fitting honor and a reminder for all of us to continue their legacy. If you have any questions, please contact Bob Feferman.

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