Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Siskinds' gift improves sound quality at Holocaust Center

Thanks to the generosity of Melvin and Zelda Siskind, visitors to the Holocaust Center enjoy a major improvement in how well they can hear a presentation in the back exhibit room. A new high-quality sound system, complete with sound enhancement for visitors with hearing impairments, has been installed and is now in use.

At Melvin's suggestion, he and Zelda decided that upon their passing, they wanted to donate funds to various Jewish charities-the Holocaust Center being one of their primary recipients. The couple has a long history of involvement with the Center and with the founders, Tess and Abe Wise. The Siskinds moved from Georgia to Sanford as newlyweds in 1948 and met the Wises (who had not yet married) as they socialized with Orlando's young Jewish community. Melvin passed away April 15, 2014, and Zelda, even though she is still living, honored his wishes to make a donation to the Holocaust Center.

"Melvin and I always admired Tess's determination to build a local Holocaust center and knew her efforts would create a successful educational resource," Zelda said. "Melvin and I have always been particularly supportive of education; having students and the community learn about the Holocaust in a meaningful way was very important to us."

The purchase of a sound system also has special meaning to all of the Siskind family. "We realized how my husband struggled his last few years as his hearing declined," Zelda said. "I remember how excited he was when we were attending a grandchild's Bat Mitzvah in Boston, and the synagogue had a sound system that enabled him to hear everything so clearly. After I talked with Pam Kancher (executive director of the Holocaust Center), I realized this was an ideal way to fulfill our desire to provide a meaningful opportunity to help others truly value what the Holocaust Center offers. Melvin would be proud, as am I, to do this for the community."


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