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March 21, 2003 - Image 95

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-21

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One Of
A Kind

After living through a tragedy,
Shmuel Greenbaum
hopes to make the world
a kinder place.

Shmuel and Shoshana Greenbaum: A kinder, gentler world.

AppleTree Editor


t 2 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2001,
death, violence and hatred
came to visit Shmuel
Greenbaum — and they left
him a loving man.
A native of New York, Greenbaum
had just returned home from a trip to
Israel. His wife, Shoshana, to whom he
had been married for 15 months, would
stay in Israel a few more days, then fol-
low her husband home.
Shoshana was in love with the world.
A native of Los Angeles, she was pret-
ty and gentle, a graduate of Los Angeles
_High School and Yeshiva University, and
a longtime teacher at the Hebrew
Academy of Long Beach, Calif.
"She always greeted her students with
a great big smile that made them feel

how much she cared for them," her hus-
band said. "At the end of every school
year, she gave them her phone number
and address and told them that she
looked forward to receiving their letters
from camp and welcomed them to write
or call anytime they needed help."
She also was expecting her first child,
and Shoshana adored children.
Then in August 2001, Shoshana was
murdered by a terrorist bomb at Sbarro
Pizzeria in Jerusalem.
Her husband considered what to do.
He would have to have to respond.
Within a matter of days, he knew
This moment, he said, "was an opportu-
nity to change the world."

Promoting Kindness

Shmuel Greenbaum's response to
unthinkable tragedy was to fight terror

The Kindness Clearinghouse

One of the most frequent questions Shmuel Greenbaum hears from educa-
tors is: "How do I teach kindness?"
His answer is the Kindness Clearinghouse, a forum for schools, youth
groups and community organizations. Through the Kindness
Clearinghouse, which Greenbaum is in the midst of creating, teachers will
be able to find guest speakers, learn ways to develop already existing pro-
grams as well as to begin new ones, have access to a resource directory, an e-
mail discussion group and more.
For more information, visit
www.PartnersinKindness.org (nonsectarian)
wvvw.Tradition0fKindness.org (Jewish)

with kindness. To this end, he estab-
lished Partners in Kindness, a nonprofit
organization whose goal is to inspire
everyone from tiny children to big busi-
nesses to perform kind deeds.
Greenbaum also is the man behind A
Tradition of Kindness, which works
with Jewish organizations worldwide to
demonstrate Jewish kindness to people
of all religions.
He spreads the message of kindness
with lectures and two Web sites. Visitors
to either of his Web sites can sign up for
the Daily Dose of Kindness e-mail, each
recounting a true (but anonymous)
story of kindness to boost the heart —
and to inspire action. -
"These stories," Greenbaum says on
his Web site, "give you ideas and
encourage you to do acts of kindness. It
is pretty contagious."
The Web sites also offer information
about job opportunities. And the Jewish
site includes information about Jewish
Among these heroes is Rabbi Shmuel
Avraham Myski, who loved children,
helped establish free-loan societies, and
always had a place at his table for those
in need.
Everyone who signs up with A
Tradition of Kindness becomes an
"adviser," and each is invited to submit
stories about kind acts.
A computer specialist with the New
York City Transit Department,
Greenbaum said he recently met with

transit officials who plan to help him
implement kindness awareness and edu-
cation programs throughout the agency.

Following God's Lead

Greenbaum, who is observant, said he
feels inspired by God to have created his
"When I was a child, sometimes my
parents would tell me to do things
that I did not want to do," he said.
"Some things were uncomfortable;
some things were painful. But my par-
ents brought me into this world, they
love me, and they always want the
best for me. Sometimes I understand;
sometimes I don't. So it is with God
... Sometimes I understand; sometimes
I don't."
Among the treasures Greenbaum
found left behind by his wife was a
box in which she wrote down her dif-
ficulties and how she overcame them.
On the top were the words from
Psalm 118: "The rock that the
builders despised will be the founda-
At Shoshana's graveside. Greenbaum
told those gathered, "We stand now in
front of a rock with Shoshana's name
on it. May we be blessed to see the
world like Shoshana wants us to see it.
, "The rock is not an obstacle ... It is
an opportunity to build ourselves. The
rock is an opportunity to build the
Jewish people." 111





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