Shirley and Leonard Goldstein
THE KNIGHTS OF AK-SAR-BEN FOUNDATION, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE AK-SAR-BEN WOMEN'S BALL COMMITTEE, HAS ANNOUNCED THE INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL BE INDUCTED INTO THE 2006 AK-SAR-BEN COURT OF HONOR. THE CEREMONIES WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE ANNUAL AK-SAR-BEN CORONATION BALL SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, AT THE QWEST CONVENTION CENTER IN OMAHA NEBRASKA.
Shirley and Leonard GOLDSTEIN
Omaha, Nebraska PHILANTHROPY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
Shirley and Leonard Goldstein were children of immigrants who settled in Omaha and Council Bluffs, respectively. They met during high school and attended different colleges, University of Iowa for Shirley and University of Nebraska at Lincoln for Leonard. Married in 1942. Leonard was in the United States Army Air Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant and Shirley was working a swing shift in the Martin Bomber Plant.
Following the war, Leonard returned to Omaha where he joined his father and brothers in the family business, Capitol Rent-A-Car. In the early 1950's he developed and expanded the truck rental side of the business and served as president until his retirement. In the 60s the Goldsteins became involved in International Student Services and hosted foreign students, dignitaries and foreign correspondents. They traveled extensively and during a trip to the former Soviet Union in 1972 they witnessed anti-Semitism and problems of Russian Jews. Shortly thereafter they became involved in trying to get Russian Jews out from behind the Iron Curtain. With the help of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, they resettled more that 150 families to Omaha. In addition Shirley co-founded the Omaha Committee for Soviet Jewry, which sponsored the program Freedom for Soviet Jews.
The couple has worked tirelessly on issues of family reunification and resettlement leading to interaction with congressional and international leaders. They expanded their efforts on behalf of human rights by establishing an annual lecture on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus. They have established an endowment with the Jewish Federation Foundation to enable the Kripke Library to acquire or make available all types of media and educational materials for the benefit of Jewish immigrants from USSR.
They also established an endowment to fund summer camp scholarships for youth wishing to attend local and national Jewish programs. They established the New Frontiers in Transplant Medicine Fund and have supported the Research Center of Excellence at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The Goldsteins have served on the Board of Directors for the National Conference of Community and Justice, the Jewish Federation of Omaha, the Plains States Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League, the Nebraska Council of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the Union of Councils for Soviet Jewry in Washington D.C.
Shirley has received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree form the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has also received the Humanitarian Award from the Jewish Federation of Omaha and the Spirit of Service Award from the National Conference of Community Justice. Both have received the Endowment Achievement Award from the Jewish Federation of Omaha and the My Brother's Keeper Award from Chabad of Nebraska.
Leonard and Shirley have three children, Donald, Gail and Kathy, six grandchildren, Rebecca, Deborah, Emily, Ben, Zak and Molly.