431 East Fayette Street Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13202 Tel: 315.422.9538


Richard Levy

My life was changed forever when I was forced to flee Nazi Germany as a young, Jewish boy. I was rescued through the extraordinary kindness of a British family in 1939.

This experience left an indelible mark on my life. From the very beginning I understood that my life had been saved. Over time, I developed the notion that I was set out to better the world through moral and ethical action. I decided to open a fund at the Community Foundation to provide for the causes that supported me throughout my life.

Human service, music and arts, healthcare, civil rights and refugee services are meaningful causes to me that I also support through my giving.

I feel strongly about supporting Jewish organizations that are dedicated to preserving the memory of the dead - honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors, and Gentiles who selflessly helped to save Jews from genocide, often with great personal courage and personal risk. These organizations now work to keep history from repeating itself.

Additionally, the plight of today's refugee community resonates with my own experience fleeing Nazi Germany. That is why I support organizations that help refugee families reestablish their lives and overcome the barriers to successful integration in their new communities. Many of these organizations provide needed medical care and give children a healthy start in life. They also provide the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

Another meaningful event in my life was my marriage to Betty in 1960. We married at a time when intolerance prevailed against couples like us from different ethnic or racial backgrounds. This opened up a whole new world to me and sensitized me to the problem of racism in the United States. This experience made me passionate about supporting a number of civil rights organizations at the forefront of tackling these problems.

One of the great joys in my life has been listening to and participating in the performance of classical
music. I enjoy volunteering with organizations in Central New York that are dedicated to supporting the performance of classical music. I was first exposed to classical music in my home in Germany. My father played the flute and he and some friends would gather occasionally to play together in our apartment. Later on, it became important to me to support music and arts organizations.

Opening my fund has been an easy way for me to facilitate my annual giving to many of the causes I care about. Leaving a portion of my estate to the Community Foundation will allow this giving to continue even after I’m gone.

It gives me great comfort in knowing that by leaving my legacy to the Community Foundation, my wishes will continue to help future generations facing their own challenges.

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