David and Marlene Persky


David and Marlene Persky have been engaging in volunteer and philanthropic work in Worcester for decades. They believe it is both a responsibility and a privilege to support the Jewish community through the pursuit of these efforts.


David says: "Philanthropy does not come naturally to most of us. We have to learn that making charitable gifts is not going to significantly alter our life style. We also have to be inspired."  Marlene and David's learning and inspiration go back a long way. Marlene's mother was president of the Women's League for Cerebral Palsy in Queens, New York, and passed on to her the belief that one woman's involvement counts. David's father Joseph Persky taught him about philanthropy through his words:  "if you have the ability to give you should do it," and his charitable support of community organizations. His Uncle Abraham Persky founded the Jewish Youth Center, the predecessor to the Jewish Community Center, and later became the first President of the Federation.


Marlene and David have been involved with many organizations and appreciate the value of the Federation to the Jewish community. "We feel that the work the Federation does is crucial to the well being of the community and we want to leave some support to help assure that this work will continue into the future. This is the importance of an endowment: it provides permanent funds to help sustain an organization."  David gave meaning to these words by becoming one of the first Federation leaders to establish a Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment. When the Lion of Judah Endowment program was initiated, Marlene was the first woman to rise to the occasion. "Last summer our daughter traveled to Israel on a Boston Young Professionals' mission.  She made her first Federation gift, one that she felt was stretching the limits of what she could afford, and one that gave her a sense of pride. She called us from Israel and told us: 'I get it now. I understand the importance of all those meetings and events that you and Dad attended while I was growing up.' The words inspired me to endow my gift."


David and Marlene represent the best in community leadership. Their message to future generations of community leaders is:  "Get involved. You can make a positive difference in the lives of people in your community, in Israel, and, best of all, in your own family. You will get more then you can ever give."