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Harold and Bibby Alfond 2019

Instagram - MaineJewishHistory

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Harold Alfond made his money in the shoe business, but he received awards for what he did with that money. He and his wife Dorothy (Bibby) Levine Alfond gave generously to health care, education and athletics all over the state of Maine. Their philanthropy now touches every newborn in the state, all of whom are eligible for $500 challenge grants to help their parents start to save for college. Their daughter Susan shared her own reflections on her parents - her mother in particular - when they were inducted into the Maine Jewish Hall of Fame. "Being Jewish was a source of identity to our father, to our family. We didn't keep kosher, and the shoe factories didn't take a break on Yom Kippur. But we always observed the high holidays together and celebrated being Jews. For that I give my mom a lot of credit. . .Bibby was a founding member of Beth Israel congregation back in 1902. She was a lifetime member of B'nai B'rith and Hadassah. She encouraged Harold to support the building of a new Beth Israel Congregation in 1957. . .My mom also gave a naming gift to the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. Remember, only a few things have just my mother's name on them. I once asked my mom why she gave the HHRC a naming gift for their auditorium. She looked me straight in the eyes and I'll never forget what she said. 'I remember being picked on as a young girl in Waterville, Maine. I was the youngest daughter of the wealthiest family in town and I was Jewish. Kids would say terrible things to me and they would exclude me from the groups and their games. I remember those experiences. I didn't want anyone else to have the same ones.' Bibby's pride in being Jewish was a foundation for our family." . . . Thank you for recognizing my parents." #alfondfamily #dextershoes #jewishmaine #500forbaby #mainejewishmuseum #hhrcmaine #mainejewishhalloffame #alfond

A post shared by Documenting Maine Jewry (@mainejewishhistory) on

thanks to DMJ for the video


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