By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Kehillat Israel recently announced it would rename its early childhood center in honor of 12-year-old Palisadian Molly Steinsapir, who passed away earlier this year following a traumatic brain injury.
“In our tradition, memory is the most powerful way that we can preserve the holiness of life,” shared a joint statement from KI Rabbi Amy Bernstein and Board of Trustees President Bernie Resser. “As a demonstration of this profound Jewish value, the KI Board of Trustees is honored to announce the renaming of the KI ECC to the Molly Steinsapir Early Childhood Center, in memory of the Steinsapir family’s recent tragic death of their daughter.”
The statement continued to state that the Steinsapir family is among the many who have long displayed a “special dedication” to the community at KI, and their loss has touched millions throughout the world.
“Molly’s memory is already a blessing to her family, to her friends and to all those who knew her,” Molly’s parents, Kaye and Jonathan Steinsapir, shared in a statement released by KI. “In order to continue that, and to create a living monument to her time in this world, KI has honored our family and the memory of Molly by renaming the nursery school to the Molly Steinsapir Early Childhood Center.”
The Steinsapirs said that although Molly’s time was shorter than most, it was more meaningful and impactful than many.
“Wise and thoughtful beyond her years, she became a committed and uncompromising vegetarian at 4 years old—no one else in her immediate family was or is a vegetarian,” the family said. “Around that same time, Molly started KI in the Early Childhood Center (ECC) where her love and commitment to Judaism blossomed.”
At both the ECC and at KI’s Jewish Experience Center, Kaye and Jonathan shared that Molly honored “that most Jewish tradition of all: asking tough questions and wrestling with the nature of G-d, the essence of Judaism and the place of Jews in the world and among humanity more generally.”
“Our family is profoundly grateful for this unconditional gift and in return, we want to help raise the needed funds to expand its reach and enhance the programs,” the statement concluded. “Molly loved and adored young children, as she did her younger brothers, Nathaniel and Eli. This gift will allow Molly’s memory to remain a blessing in perpetuity.”
Kaye wrote a blog post about the renaming of the school, which can be found at mollysteinsapir.com.
For more information or to make a donation, visit ourki.org/steinsapirecc.
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