When Nancy and Neil Fink toured Heilicher as prospective parents eight years ago, they were impressed by the poise of their seventh-grade tour guide and how older students greeted much younger students by name in the hallways. This was their first glimpse of the values, skills, and foundation Heilicher would provide for their children.
A few years after enrolling at Heilicher, on a trip to Israel, the couple were in awe of how much their children Josh and Ellie (then entering fifth and second grades) already knew. “It was remarkable for us to see their Jewish foundations ‘in action’ when we were there,” Neil recalled. “Even now, we can see their strong Jewish identities developing through their joy in celebrating Jewish holidays and traditions, and in the lessons that they teach us as parents every day.”
The Finks are active volunteers at Heilicher and throughout the greater Jewish community. Neil and Nancy both serve on the Advancement Leadership Council at Heilicher, and Neil serves on the Finance Committee. Neil is on the boards of the Sholom Foundation and Herzl Camp, and is president-elect of the Herzl Camp board. Nancy is on the board of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis. Their son Josh is now a seventh grader, daughter Ellie is a fourth grader, and daughter Rachel will start Kindergarten at Heilicher next year.
Neil and Nancy will be honored at the 2020 Heilicher Annual Benefit to be held on March 19 at Beth El Synagogue. They will receive the Ner Tamid Award recognizing their significant contributions to building and strengthening Jewish education. Their parents, Randy and Anne Klein, Marilyn Sudit, and Bruce Fink and Caren Page, will serve as honorary co-chairs of the event.
Bruce Fink is past president of the St. Paul JCC and an active member at Temple of Aaron. He served for many years on the Herzl Camp board. Caren Page, who previously worked in the Jewish community in Birmingham, Alabama, has also been an active volunteer with Herzl Camp and the JCCs and has chaired several of their annual events. Marilyn Sudit is a past president of Temple of Aaron Sisterhood and also served as president of Adath Jeshurun Women’s League. Randy and Anne Klein are active members with Congregation Agudas Achim Chabad in Mequon, Wisc.
Neil and Nancy credit their parents with teaching them the importance of community involvement. “We are humbled by this honor,” Nancy said. “It is so meaningful to us that our parents, who have served as our exemplary role models for community involvement, will be honorary co-chairs.”
“The Fink family embodies commitment, kindness, and engagement — virtues that keep the Twin Cities’ Jewish community strong and vibrant,” said Head of School Yoni Binus. “Heilicher is honored to count Neil and Nancy among its parents and its leaders. We are grateful to have this opportunity to publicly express our gratitude and admiration for their generosity and volunteerism throughout the years.”
“Heilicher has been a significant and wonderful part of our lives over the last eight years, and we are committed to ensuring that it will remain strong and vibrant for future generations,” Neil shared.
- Heilicher Annual Benefit