Charlie & Rhonda Gurinsky

Why do you give to the Jewish Federation of San Antonio?

We give to the federation “To support Klal Yisrael” because it gives us a sense of community.  The Federation knows the needs of our community and it motivates us that our support helps the critical services and programs provided by Jewish organizations in San Antonio

What was the first philanthropic gift you made and why?

Rhonda: For me it was a 20-mile walk-a-thon in 5th grade to help raise money for the Down Syndrome school that my sister attended.  No one believed I could walk the 20 miles so naturally I was the highest pledge drive walker! It was a great feeling seeing my hard-earned money I help raised by equipment for her school.

Charlie: In 1994 I gave the city of San Antonio money to send some detectives and police officers to Los Angeles for gang training.  It is something that I am still proud of.

How do you want to be remembered?

We want to be remembered as ‘guardians’ of our community, someone who cared about the next generations and the next after that.

What do you want to leave behind/instill in your children?

We want our children to put their time into volunteering and to learn and remember what they saw as children in teaching the value of tzedakah.

What is the nicest thing someone has done for you?

Rhonda: For me it was right after I converted, and I received a phone call from my friend Lala Gossen. She said, “I want to help you make a Jewish home.”  I’ve never looked back!

Charlie: My parents providing me with a debt free college degree, and I work to do the same for my children.

How does your giving reflect what you care about?

We tend to give where our heart is and right now our heart is with our grandchildren! Hence LIFE & LEGACY!

What programs at the Jewish Federation of SA are you most excited about?

We love programs that support Israel and raise awareness and stronger relationships to Israel in general.  We are excited about working for LIFE & LEGACY and strengthening our Jewish Community as a whole.

What is your strongest Jewish memory?

Rhonda: Okay, so the first year I did Passover I thought the Matzo Balls were a little boring.  Being from Louisiana I added some shredded carrots, celery and a bit of Cajun seasoning.  Let’s say it was a long time later that my precious Mother-in-Law Sara lee would let me make them again.  I love helping interfaith families and think keeping traditions alive are important.

Charlie: My first trip to Israel through the Federation.  It really gave me such inspiration and a strong identity of being Jewish.

What volunteer activities do you find the most rewarding and why?

We love multi-generational learning that brings everyone together.  We also enjoy any kind of fundraiser that will bring the community together!

Name a hope or aspiration you have for the San Antonio Jewish community?

Our hope is that we all have a common goal and a strategic plan that we can all buy in to bring more support to our critical programs and bring the community closer.