Gold Foundation co-founder and lifetime trustee Dr. Sandra Gold introduces a video of Elaine Adler on June 13, 2019, in New York City at the Golden Thread Gala. Mrs. Adler was awarded the 2019 National Humanism in Medicine Medal. These are Dr. Sandra Gold’s remarks. Watch a video of her remarks here.
Thank you, Rich. And thank you to everyone who worked on this and I love having you all in this room. It is so much fun for me to see so many old friends and meet some new ones. And of course, I have to say thank you to my family.
Congratulations to this evening’s three outstanding 2019 honorees, individuals who have each been spectacular ambassadors for humanism in healthcare. They truly represent the Gold Foundation’s mission.
I feel especially privileged tonight to have been given the honor of awarding Elaine Adler her National Humanism in Medicine Medal.
Elaine and Mike Adler have been dear friends of mine and of Arnold’s for more than 40 years. So I know her very, very well. I have watched her in her multiple roles of wife, mother, grandmother, family member, friend, business woman, board member of diverse boards on which we both serve, including that of the Adler Aphasia Center, which she co founded with Mike 16 years ago. I know her as a unique philanthropist; one whose charitable endeavors are heartfelt and marked by exceptional kindness and generosity!
When Elaine sees someone or an institution in need, she does not, as it is said, “avert her eyes.” No person or charity is invisible to Elaine. Most often she does not have to be asked for help. Rather, she reaches and stretches out her hand, offering help prior to being asked.
One of my first experiences with Elaine’s caring and charitable spirit occurred about 35 years ago – but I remember it so well, before the Gold Foundation was even conceived. When our community was creating the first group homes for individuals with disability under UJA Federation auspices. The leadership of that project decided everything in the homes should be new and inviting. We wanted to create a warm, attractive, comfortable living environment that would be acceptable for us and for our own children, if they needed. Elaine was not on the board of that project or even on a committee, she was not involved in the project in anyway but someone told her about it and she was touched. She called me to offer to purchase all of the beds for that very first home. Now… we have nine group homes and two supervised apartments, all of which have beds provided by Elaine and Mike Adler… again, without anyone asking her to do so.
Elaine is unusually open and accessible to hear about and discuss unique projects, every organization’s dream, projects like her much loved toy library for underserved children…or helping a charity that provides clothes to men newly released from prison, so they can be properly attired to go on job interviews.
Whether financial help required is limited or significant,.. as when she gave support to the Gold Foundation Legacy Campaign, or when she and Mike endowed the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence at Ramapo College, or when she and Mike created the outstanding Adler Aphasia Center, Elaine gives generously with all of her heart. Not seeking honor or naming opportunities, most recently, Elaine and her family, with another very generous community friend, made a very significant contribution to name a building, not in their name, but in honor of a very special deserving mutual friend and communal leader. With humility and gratitude, she speaks often about how fortunate she feels to be able to be philanthropic!
When Elaine joined our Board, I was thrilled. I knew she would be an invaluable champion for the Gold Foundation, and as usual, I was correct.
She has been an enthusiastic spokesperson and 24/7 Ambassador for The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and humanism in healthcare, since the very beginning.
She has been and is an inspiration. Not only has she long supported the foundation with her ideas, her presence, and her resources, but when we decided to expand our community to include nurses, she and Mike made all the difference.
With their funding, we were able to initiate 100 White Coat Ceremonies for nursing schools in 2014. The next year, she continued her support and has done so ever since. This fall, nearly half of the accredited nursing colleges in America will have adopted the White Coat Ceremony – and that’s been accomplished in just six years. We couldn’t have done it without Elaine, Mike and the Adler Family!
There is a belief in Judaism, that on the merit of 36 just and righteous men, the world revolves. (The Lamed Vavs.) Who exactly these individuals are is a mystery to everyone, including themselves! It is said, their humility, good deeds and service justifies the world’s existence every day. I have long strongly believed that women are included in that group, and secretly suspected that Elaine could very well be one of them and I do not say that easily.
Because she is so humble I am sure that if Elaine were here right now, she would be embarrassed by my celebration of who she is as a person. But every word in this abbreviated story is absolutely true. And I am sure you would agree, deserves to be told at a night such as this.
Though Elaine can’t be with us physically in this room tonight, I know we are in her thoughts. And she has recorded this special message for all of us. Please play the video.