Rochelle “Shell” Rubenstein had always had a close relationship with her father, Arthur Stadt. So after Arthur’s passing, Shell was surprised to learn something about him that she had never known: her dad started his business, Pacific Special Messenger Service, with a loan from Hebrew Free Loan.
Going through her father’s papers after his death, Shell found the original contract for the loan of $300. The paperwork was dated Oct. 29, 1939. Arthur had opened his business in the midst of the Great Depression.
The loan was cosigned by S. Rosberg, Herman Misrack, and Harry Perlstein. Shell also found the notebook where her dad carefully kept track of his payments. He paid his loan back at $7.50 a week, until it was completely paid off on Aug. 12, 1940, less than one year later.
In memory of both her parents, and in appreciation of the help her dad was able to receive from Hebrew Free Loan, Shell set up the Arthur and Dorothy Stadt Permanent Named Fund with Hebrew Free Loan. “The agency’s mission is an intrinsic part of my being,” said Shell. “People should be able to get a loan and pay it back rather than have money handed to them. It’s so much more meaningful.”
Shell also set up the Rubenstein Memorial Family Loan Fund at Hebrew Free Loan, with money designated to Hebrew Free Loan by her late husband, Chuck. She is also a member of the Legacy Society: Shell has named Hebrew Free Loan as a beneficiary in her will.
“I don’t have a large amount of money, but I want to leave it where I think it will make the most impact,” she explained. “Tzedakah is an important part of Jewish life, and I want to make sure I am doing my part for generations to come.”