Borrower Stories

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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Adopting a Child from Siberia: Esther’s Story

Esther had thought about adopting a child on and off for many years. In the early 90’s, she began volunteering to help Bosnian refugees who had fled their war torn country. Part of her work involved providing labor support for refugee women. Seeing these women and their babies re-ignited her desire to adopt. Esther soon learned, however, that foreign adoption is quite expensive. She borrowed what she could from family but knew that the process could devastate her financially. Years earlier she had received a small business loan from Hebrew...

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A Cookie Tale: David Parker’s Story

Picture a cookie that looks just like your daughter, your parent…or you. That’s right, a personalized cookie crafted in your image. David Parker, founder of Parker’s Crazy Cookies, has mastered this craft of edible art, turning his business idea into a reality with the help of Hebrew Free Loan.  David traces the beginning of his cookie caper to his days as a UCLA graduate student living in Spain. He needed a little extra cash at the time, so he began making cookies and selling them in local stores. People loved them and he had a lot...

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