Following the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue, the family of victims Cecil and David Rosenthal designated Achieva as a recipient of monetary donations made in the two men’s memory. Since that time, over $325,000 has been donated, with contributions coming from nearly 1,500 individual donors from 40 states, four countries and three Canadian provinces.
The Rosenthal brothers were well known in their community of Squirrel Hill. They embraced their community, and their community embraced them back - with open arms and love. To ensure donations made in their memory were protected and used in a manner consistent with the example set by Cecil and David Rosenthal and their community, the Achieva Board of Trustees created a new Fund in which all existing and future donations received in memory of David and Cecil will be placed.
The “Cecil and David Rosenthal Memorial Fund” is used to support community engagement activities pursued by people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. "It's comforting to know that the memory of my brothers will live on through the Memorial Fund, helping people with intellectual or developmental disabilities find and keep good jobs in their community and pursue meaningful activities that are important to them," said Michele Rosenthal, sister of Cecil and David Rosenthal. Future fundraising efforts by Achieva will help to maintain and grow the Fund so that the legacy of Cecil and David will live on through the financial help provided to other people with disabilities.
The Fund will also be used to honor future recipients of the “Cecil and David Rosenthal Community Award” with a $1,000 gift. Achieva presented the inaugural award at its “Awards of Excellence” ceremony on December 11, 2018 at the Sheraton, Station Square. Both of Cecil and David Rosenthal’s sisters, Michele and Diane Rosenthal, accepted the award on behalf of their brothers. Annually, the award will be given to a person with an intellectual or developmental disability who – by virtue of how they live their life – has become an integral part of their community. “For Cecil and David, being part of the community was not something they needed to think about. It was their life and that was the way they lived it," said Diane Rosenthal.
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We can’t make sense of the events at the Tree of Life but we can choose how we react to them.