Strelitz International Academy made a match for Jewish education

August 13, 2020

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When Randi and Steve Gordon were looking for ways to honor Steve’s parents, Tavia and Freda Gordon, of blessed memory, they knew approaching Strelitz International Academy to create a match program would be a ‘match made in Jewish education heaven.’

The Gordons were passionate about Jewish Philanthropy and devoted their lives to supporting Jewish education in Tidewater.

From an early age, Tavia was instilled with an understanding that a Jewish Day School education paves the way to create lifelong learners and is the first step touch point in creating community. In fact, Tavia’s parent’s, Mollie and Isaac, were founding members of the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater—back in 1955—on Shirley Avenue in Norfolk. Jewish education was also important to Freda, who saw the value of leading a life from Jewish morals, teachings, and ethics. It was Tavia and Freda’s dream to encourage community support to increase the donations towards the school’s donor fund.

With the excitement around the school’s name change from The Hebrew Academy of Tidewater to Strelitz International Academy, in 2019, the Gordons felt it was the perfect opportunity to put Tavia and Freda’s vision to work.

“We felt that was the right time to motivate new generations of givers in our community,” says Randi Gordon. “Our family has always been proud to support the Strelitz International Academy and secure a future for lifelong learning in our city. We knew a match program honoring Tavia and Freda would attract others to share our passion.”

The Tavia & Freda Gordon $100,000 Match program was created through the Tavia & Freda Gordon Philanthropic Foundation, and all gifts were matched from—new donors, increased annual gifts, and lapsed donors—during the Strelitz International Academy’s 2019-2020 annual campaign. The three categories of gifts that were eligible for the match program were SIA’s Annual Donor Fund, SIA’s Golf Tournament, and grants.

There was a lot of excitement and buzz surrounding the Tavia & Freda Gordon $100,000 Match program, and SIA was able to secure 102 increased gifts, 27 lapsed gifts, 53 new gifts, totaling 182 gifts, which made the match!

“People were willing to support this wonderful program and increase their gifts to the school because of the incentive of the match” says Heather Moore, SIA Head of School. “The school community promoted the program by creating a “match day,” where students and teachers dressed alike; this increased parent participation towards the match. The match certainly inspired many members of the next generation to ensure the future of Jewish education in Tidewater.”

“We are grateful and humbled by their generosity” says David Cardon, SIA board president. “The Gordon family have always been pioneers and an excellent example of generational giving and devotion to our school community. We are glad that our donors took advantage of such a great opportunity for the school. It was really an all-around successful match.”

For inquires or donations towards Strelitz International Academy’s 2020-2021 Annual Donor Fund, please contact Carly Glikman at CGlikman@strelitzacademy.org or 757-424-4327 ext. 4188

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