When Simmie Baum passed away last year, 13 years after her husband Eric, she left it to her son Randy to distribute the funds left in her and Eric’s charitable remainder trust. Half was to go to Oakland Children’s Hospital, but she wanted Randy and his sister Amy Tessler to decide where to contribute the rest, to help make the world a better place.

Randy and Amy used some of those funds to create the Simmie and Eric Baum Family Fund at Hebrew Free Loan, a Permanent Named Fund that stands as a living, perpetual tribute to their beloved parents. They chose Hebrew Free Loan because supporting the Jewish community was important to their parents, and many of our loan programs align with Simmie’s and Eric’s interests and values: education, special needs, and small business in particular.

“We chose to build our parents’ legacy through Hebrew Free Loan because the organization makes a critical difference to so many different people. By loaning out funds that are then repaid and recycled over and over, there’s a multiplier effect that lasts forever.”

– Randy Baum

Simmie and Eric Baum were immigrants — Simmie came from Poland and Eric from Germany in the 1930s — and only Eric had the chance to go to college. According to Randy and Amy, helping others get an education would have meant a lot to their parents. Eric was a self-made man who spent his career in the restaurant equipment and supply business, so he knew first-hand how small businesses create jobs, generate wealth, and support families and communities.

Knowing that Hebrew Free Loan has a special needs loan program was especially meaningful to Randy and Amy, and would have been significant to Simmie and Eric too. One of their grandchildren is on the autism spectrum, and making sure that children with special needs have the support and resources they need to thrive is important to the whole family.

Randy served on Hebrew Free Loan’s Board of Directors for many years, and he talked about the organization with his mother and his sister Amy. He’s also a long-time member of our Business Loan Committee.

“When Amy and I donated our parents’ charitable remainder trust to create the Simmie and Eric Baum Family Fund, we made the donation unrestricted. We wanted Hebrew Free Loan to have the flexibility to use the funds to support their operating costs if needed and respond to the ever-changing needs of our community. We know the impact of the contribution we made in our parents’ memory will live on.”

– Randy Baum

Photo: Back row (l to r): Randy Baum (son); Amy Tessler (daughter); David Baum, z”l (son). Front row: Simmie Baum, z”l; Eric Baum, z”l.

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