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Debbie’s grandparents, Anne and Walter Weinstock, on the property that they purchased with their Hebrew Free Loan in the 1950s

Debbie Bauer came to Hebrew Free Loan during a difficult time for her family. Her husband had lost his job, and the new one didn’t pay nearly as much. Debbie was working full time while also finishing a graduate program. Their five-year-old son was still in preschool. The family quickly went through their savings and found themselves with mounting debt, as they struggled to stay afloat.

When it seemed like they would never get out from under the burden of high-interest credit cards, Debbie’s mother reminded her about Hebrew Free Loan. In the early 1950s, an interest-free loan had helped her parents — Debbie’s grandparents, who were Holocaust survivors — buy a ranch and settle into the Petaluma Jewish “chicken community.” While their chicken business is long gone, the family still lives on the land and remembers the role Hebrew Free Loan played in helping them build a new life in the U.S. The agency continues to make a difference in their lives. “Hebrew Free Loan made peace of mind possible. It can feel like there is no way out with high interest credit cards, but now we see an ending in sight. We’re so grateful for the support.”

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