Gottesman family members generously endowed the Sadie Gottesman and Arlene Gottesman Reff Kolot Chair in Gender and Judaism in 2001 to give continuing life to two women they honor as mother, sister, grandmother, and aunt.
Begun in 1996, Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women's and Gender Studies has helped educate a new generation of rabbis to consider gender perspectives in understanding Judaism and creating the Jewish future.
Thanks to the generosity of the Gottesman family, Kolot's future has been secured through the creation of the Kolot Chair in Gender and Judaism with a permanent endowment in honor of Sadie Gottesman and Arlene Gottesman Reff, two women remembered for their activism and love of learning.
Sadie, born in 1900, was a woman whose primary interests were the well-being of her family and her work with Jewish and community organizations. She was the mother of four children Ed, Arlene, Jerry, and Harold.
Her granddaughter Archie Gottesman recalls, "Sadie had high standards and strived for excellence, and she spoke her mind. She was a woman ahead of her time. She demanded a lot from herself, her family, and her community, and she gave back even more."
Arlene, born in 1934, is remembered by her brothers as a deeply caring and thoughtful person whose life was tragically cut short by cancer in 1984. In addition to her own interest in art and learning, she was the mother of Lisa and Jonathan.
"The Gottesman family misses the kolot, the voices, of these wonderful, dynamic women and endows the Kolot chair, uniquely dedicated to both scholarship and activism, in their memories," said Sally Gottesman, a former member of the Board of Governors of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) and Founding Chair of Kolot's Advisory Board, in notifying RRC of the family's gift.
Sally Gottesman was present at the creation of Kolot and has been instrumental in nurturing its growth and development.