Over 20 years ago the Wolfs began a long-lasting relationship with Beth Tfiloh that continues through their leadership and giving even after their children have all graduated.
When Ed and Faith Wolf moved to Baltimore in 1983 for his Johns Hopkins fellowship, their first stop was at the Knish Shop, where they were directed “authoritatively” to Beth Tfiloh on Torah Drive. “We were thrilled…there was Beth Tfiloh – a shul very much like the one we both grew up attending on Long Island,” says Faith. “It’s the best thing we ever did!”
Several years later, they met with BT Director of Education Mrs. Zipora Schorr to discuss transferring their sons, Josh ‘98 and Ariel ’01, to Beth Tfiloh. Mrs. Schorr ensured them that she would “address [their] children’s academic and spiritual needs with her entire heart and soul--that they would grow and be nurtured and educated and be part of a continuing vision that she and Rabbi Wohlberg were inculcating at Beth Tfiloh.” After adjusting to their new environment, the Wolf children “found an incredible home in Beth Tfiloh…and we never looked back,” says Faith, enrolling their other children, Shoshi ’03 and Gideon ’10, as they reached school age.
“There is an incredible bond that links all graduates of this school,” says Faith, as demonstrated by the Wolf’s four BT alumni, two of whom have married other BT alumni – Shoshi to Brian Ponczak ’98, and Ariel to Andrea Brem ’01. “Perhaps it is their midot, the sense of ‘goodness’ and ‘menschlicheit,’ that emanates from each and every student.”
The Wolfs are also witnesses to Beth Tfiloh’s transformation and growth from Josh’s years at BT to Gideon’s graduation in 2010, watching the school flourish into a “major preparatory school able to take its place next to such local independent school icons as Gilman, McDonough and Park Schools,” as Faith describes, from the “state-of-the-art, cutting-edge classrooms and technology,” enjoyed by Shoshi and Brian’s children, Sarina ’27 and Caleb ’29, to the impressive list of awards and medals accorded to both BT athletes and performers.
But with all these many improvements at BT, one thing remains constant: the core values of “derech eretz, Torah and community involvement, which have remained the pillars upon which BT stands,” comments Shoshi. That explains why the Wolfs feel “wonderful and grateful” that Shoshi and Brian’s children, are now following in their parents’ footsteps. It was because of their own experiences as BT students that Shoshi and Brian chose to send their children to BT, where both of them made lifelong friends. “BT is not just a school—it’s a way of life. I want my children to create those lasting friendships,” she says.
The Wolfs are long-time active BT volunteers and leaders. Faith both served on and led a variety of School and Congregation committees, and together Faith and Ed have always been supporters of the science program encouraging its growth and improvement. When asked why they chose to support Beth Tfiloh’s Chazak Campaign they shared, “We wanted to ensure BT’s future for our grandchildren and other children who deserve, but might not be in a position to afford such a unique and quality education. By making a generous gift to the school’s endowment, they established the Faith and Edward Wolf Family Scholarship Fund, honoring the memories of their respective parents, Stuart and Estelle Schreiber and Cyrus Wolf, while also giving back to the school that provided so much to all of their children. Their fund will become a permanent source for scholarships for many generations of students – no gift could be more important.
“My parents always emphasized the importance of education and it seems natural for them to help other children experience a Beth Tfiloh education like their children did,” says Shoshi proudly. “Every child should have a chance to attend Beth Tfiloh and be a part of the BT family -- finances should never prohibit anybody from getting a fabulous education.”
The Ponczaks are continuing the Wolf family legacy of generosity by supporting BT philanthropically and through volunteering. Shoshi, who is an active member of the Parent Association, Marketing Committee and chaired the successful Mitzvah Miles race this past spring, feels that “it’s important to give back to the place that made me who I am today and to help ensure that it stays there for the future, for my children and, God willing, my grandchildren.”
Their scholarship is a personal and heartfelt expression of gratitude “to Beth Tfiloh and especially to Mrs. Schorr for keeping that promise so many years ago,” says Faith. “We know you will provide that same nurturing commitment to those children who will benefit from our scholarship fund.” The Wolfs encourage other to support the fund as a way to express their commitment to scholarship for Beth Tfiloh families.KADIMA LEGACY SOCIETY
The Kadima Legacy Society recognizes members of the Beth Tfiloh family who have made outright gifts to the school or synagogue, endowments or made arrangements to make a legacy gift to Beth Tfiloh as an expression of their commitment to the future of our community. The future financial security of Beth Tfiloh lies in the strength and growth of our endowments.
For more information on creating your legacy at Beth Tfiloh and joining the 125 members of the Kadima Legacy Society, please contact Mandi Miller at 410-413-2399 or firstname.lastname@example.org