Gerald Kirshenbaum was born in the Bronx and grew up in Philadelphia, where he lived with his father, Abraham, his mother, Sarah, and his brother, Seymour. As scientists, Abraham and his brother Isidor were a part of the Manhattan Project at Columbia University, undertaking the development of the atomic bomb during WWII.
Edna Kirshenbaum, née Glasel, was born in Israel. Her mother, Nora, was born in Germany, and her father, Nachman, was born in Poland. They were separately able to escape the Holocaust to move to Israel where they met. Sadly, most of their family members were killed during the atrocities of the Holocaust. As a young girl, Edna, her parents, and her sister Gila immigrated to the United States and settled in Brooklyn, New York.
Gerald and Edna met in Brooklyn and were married in 1969. Gerald and Edna Kirshenbaum instilled a love of Judaism and giving back in their children, Alan and his younger brothers Mark and Jeff, from an early age. As a family, they attended Temple Israel in Scotch Plains each Shabbat. Being charitable was always important to Gerald and Edna, especially for causes related to Israel or the Holocaust.
In honor of his parents, Alan Kirshenbaum is a sponsor of Federation’s Intergenerational event celebrating Holocaust survivors and their families, including a special debut of Greater MetroWest’s first Holocaust Hologram.
Alan’s parents instilled a deep philanthropic focus in him growing up, and he believes strongly to “never forget” our past. Over the years, Alan has been responsible for many charitable special projects in Israel and here in the U.S., working closely with the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. Alan also worked closely with the Chabad of Short Hills to create the Holocaust Survivor Series.
“The horrific events of this past weekend only go to further underscore the importance of ‘never forgetting’. This was the worst mass murder of Jews – innocent men, women and children – since the Holocaust. I heard an important and revealing comment during the reporting of the despicable actions of these terrorists – ‘the more we forget about September 11th, the closer we get to September 10th’.
We must never forget, and the world must stand with Israel in defending itself.” — Alan Kirshenbaum, with his children Joshua, Matthew and Julie.