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Irving A. Baker

My mother, Sema Yablok, a naturalized U.S. citizen, returned to Ticochin, Poland, in 1931 with my grandmother, to seek a lifemate with intellect and religious qualifications that matched hers. She met and married Yehuda Piekarz, my father, who was known in Columbus as Rabbi Julius L. Baker.

My parents taught me the unprecedented Jewish concept of tzedukah. They also taught me the value of intensive Jewish education. Our sages taught us that in establishing a community, if not enough funds exist to build both synagogues and schools, we must build the schools. Without education, there will be no need for synagogues.