Feigenbaum brothers donate $2 million to Temple Anshe Amunim

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PITTSFIELD -- Armand Feigenbaum and his late brother Donald have made a pair of $1 million donations to Temple Anshe Amunim that will help provide financial compensation for the temple's head rabbi and allow a popular lecture series to continue in perpetuity.

They are the largest single donations to Temple Anshe Amunim in the congregation's 144-year history, according to temple president Howard Shapiro. Anshe Amunim is the fourth oldest reform congregation in the Northeast.

"We're pretty blown away," said Jackie Browner, the co-chairwoman of the lecture series, which is named after the Feigenbaum brothers' mother, Hilda Vallin Feigenbaum. "This is just an amazing, amazing gift. The temple is just so energized."

The founders of the global firm General Systems Company Inc., Donald Feigenbaum, who died at age 87 on March 5, and his older brother, Armand, grew up in Pittsfield as members of Anshe Amunim's congregation, Shapiro said. Their mother was also a member of the temple.

The Feigenbaum Foundation established the Hilda Vallin Feigenbaum Lecture Series, now in its 46th year, in her memory to bring programs of outstanding cultural significance to the Berkshires. Speakers have included such luminaries as author Isaac Bashevis Singer (1975), politicians Barney Frank (1996) and Julian Bond (2000), and journalists Sander Vanocur (1991) and Bernard Kalb (2002). This year's lecture is scheduled for Sept. 29.

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The second donation establishes the Dr. Armand V. and Dr. Donald S. Feigenbaum Rabbinic Chair Endowment. Established by the temple's board of trustees to honor and recognize the Feigenbaums, the funding will be restricted to contributing to the financial compensation of the temple's head rabbi.

Shapiro said the temple had discussed the concept of endowing a rabbinic chair with the Feigenbaums, but the decision to establish that endowment was made shortly before Donald died.

"These gifts will be of great importance in securing the financial foundation of our congregation," said temple treasurer Andy Hochberg, who also co-chairs the lecture series, in a statement.

General Systems Company is a global leader in the design and installation of proprietary quality management operating systems that accelerate the competitive business strengths of manufacturing and service companies. The Feigenbaums founded the company in Pittsfield in 1968.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
or (413) 496-6224.


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