Born and raised in the Jewish community of Minneapolis, Louis Herman never had any children.
But he thought of the community’s children as his children, and used his hard-earned wealth to support causes that focused on Jewish education. In 1992, Mr. Herman donated $1 million to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation as an endowment. A few years later, the LOUIS HERMAN ISRAEL EXPERIENCE FUND was established.
Since its inception in 1995, the Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund has awarded more than $1,000,000 in grants to over 1000 Minneapolis teens. Many of these grant recipients have returned from their Israel Experiences to become active members of their Jewish community, fulfilling Mr. Herman’s vision of developing a new generation of committed Jews. Mr. Herman’s generosity to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and to other Jewish institutions, has touched the lives of thousands of Jewish youth and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Recently, we had a couple recipients of grants from the Louis Herman Israel Experience Fund return from their Israel programs. We wanted to share their words with you, just to show how impactful this experience is to Minneapolis youth between the ages of 15 and 18.
Abe Passman had this to say about his Israel Experience:
I had a great summer!
This photo is meaningful to me because I praying and connecting to Judaism with four guys who are now some of my best friends. Along with that, this was at a Synagogue in Sienna, Italy. It is no longer in use except for on high holidays. The rabbi (an orthodox man), however, came in and led Monday morning services with a mixed gender minyan and allowed us to read from a 200 year old Torah! I got an Aliyah!
The Israel experience was amazing. Everyone on my trip really loved who I was and there was never a reason to put on a mask and fake who I am as a person. I now have 13 new best friends, some of whom I have spoken to everyday since we got back. Even though I had been there with my family, this trip allowed me to really appreciate and admire the State of Israel. I am so thankful for the opportunity to go on USY Pilgrimage.
2a. How attached do you feel to Israel? Very much
2b. How knowledgeable do you feel about Israel? Very much
2c. Would you like to be more involved in the Jewish Community? Very much
Thank you so much!