Sue Katz dedicated her life to helping Jewish adoptive families through Stars of David, an organization to support Jewish adoptive families that she founded and built. She also enjoyed a strong partnership with Project Esther: The Chicago Jewish Adoption Network, a program of JCFS Chicago. When she passed away in 2014, those who worked closely with her—Marsha Raynes, Director of Project Esther, and Elyse Flack, a dedicated volunteer—wanted to honor Sue’s memory.
During her lifetime, Sue directed endowment dollars from Stars of David to JCFS Chicago for Project Esther. Elyse, Marsha and Barbara Chandler, JCFS Chicago Senior Development Associate for Endowment, met with Sue’s husband, David to discuss honoring Sue’s memory by raising additional endowment dollars to reach $100,000. This would establish the Susan M. Katz Adoptive Family Fund at JCFS Chicago recognizing Sue’s significant contribution to the adoption community and carry on her legacy and name for future generations.
David offered to write letters to family and friends, explaining the purpose of the fund and asking for their donations. JCFS Chicago immediately began to receive gifts in all amounts for the fund in memory of Sue, many with heartfelt messages. Within months, the fund surpassed the initial $100,000 goal and continues to grow.
The fund supports a wide range of services for Jewish adoptive families, as well as birth families and adult adoptees including guidance in navigating the adoption process, social events for adoptive Jewish families, support groups and educational programs.