Borrower Stories

Honoring One’s Parents: George’s Story

When George Taylor came to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union as an adult, he had to say good-bye to his beloved parents, who chose to stay behind. He helped them out by sending money every month, even while he retrained for a new career as a phlebotomist, since he could no longer practice law. But it was hard to get started in a new country, and he faced some health challenges. When George’s mother needed surgery and his father had a stroke, he wouldn’t have been able to help them and take care of himself, without the assistance of...

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The Greatest Gift: Leah’s Story

Leah Rosenthal-Kambic worked her way up over many years, starting as a teacher’s aide at Kid Time preschool in Walnut Creek and eventually becoming the Director. She’s always loved the job — helping children grow and forging lifelong bonds in an environment where family and community mean everything. But her dream was to buy the business and expand it, when the founder was ready to retire. She had a dream of moving the school to a larger site, where she could serve many more families. Yet the expansion process was much more expensive...

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With Help from Hebrew Free Loan: StudySoup CEO Sieva Kozinsky named in Forbes 30 Under 30

by Katy Tripses,  StudySoup Head of Growth Last Tuesday, Forbes released its sixth annual “30 Under 30” list, made up of 600 entrepreneurs and leaders who are disrupting the ordinary, innovating new solutions, and inspiring change. The list recognizes 30 leaders, each under 30 years old, across 20 different industries who are “challenging the conventional wisdom and rewriting the rules for the next generation,” according to Forbes. This year’s list is made up of recognizable names like YouTube star Tyler Oakley, White House...

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A Modern-Day Version Of An Old Dream: Greg’s Story

Greg considers himself lucky to have the opportunity to get up at 3 AM, seven days a week, to start a work day that will easily last for 16 hours. That’s what it takes to make sure the Bay Area’s only Philz Coffee Truck is onsite by 6 AM, ready to supply workers in San Francisco’s Financial District with their daily coffee. The truck operates on Sansome between Bush and California during the week and at the Marina Green on weekends. Greg had been a manager at Philz Coffee since the early days, and although he loved his job, he dreamed...

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Family Ties: April and Michael’s Story

Noah just turned two, and he’s a smiling little boy full of joy and a zest for life. “But,” say April and Michael, “there’s no way he would be here with us today without the help of Hebrew Free Loan.” For almost two years the couple had tried without success to start a family, and they were running out of money for expensive fertility treatments. Hebrew Free Loan helped cover the costs of one more round, and the result was their beloved Noah. “The loan wasn’t just a financial transaction, where we got a check in the mail,”...

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The Legacy of a Petaluma Chicken Rancher: Debbie’s Story

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...

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Making a Life in Music: Benjie’s Story

Benjie Kushins first learned of Hebrew Free Loan when he was in middle school, longing for his first drum set. His grandfather said that if Benjie couldn’t earn the money, he would co-sign an interest-free loan for him. Benjie managed to earn enough to get his drums, so he didn’t need a Hebrew Free Loan then, but he never forgot his grandfather’s lesson: Work for what you want, and people will help make your dreams a reality. Later, when Benjie was accepted to Berklee College of Music, he turned to Hebrew Free Loan for help with the...

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A Medical School Dream Realized: Sergey’s Story

Sergey Bondarev always knew he wanted to become a doctor—how he was going to get there was a little more challenging. “I was the first child in my family to go to college, and my family was having difficulty coming up with the funds to pay for my tuition and housing; it was a hefty expense.” Sergey was first introduced to Hebrew Free Loan when he attended a college fair at his high school, Jewish Community High School of the Bay. Though he had only skimmed through the Hebrew Free Loan brochure and spoken briefly with a Hebrew Free Loan...

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Funding a Pipe Dream: Amy’s story

As cliche as it sounds, the second I turned 35, I began to hear my biological clock ticking. As a single, middle-class woman I was not yet ready to start my own family, but when the right time came, I wanted to be prepared. Many of my friends were on their second or third pregnancies, and some were struggling emotionally with infertility. I was also feeling hyper-aware of the challenges of conception from the many headlines plastered across the covers of women’s magazines catered to pregnancy “issues.” It was at this time that I decided...

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Sarah Perna’s Story

Sarah received two interest-free loans from Hebrew Free Loan: a debt consolidation loan and a life-cycle loan to help her pay for her wedding. Learn about why Hebrew Free Loan is important to her. Hear her story here.

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