Ida and Irwin Haber have been married for 37 years. Like most things in their life, they look at philanthropy as something they have taken on together.
Irwin Haber said the two have been active in the community since their 30s. “This was something that we took on together,” Irwin Haber said. “We encouraged each other as the years went on to continue to become more and more involved. We wanted to be a role model for our children, to demonstrate that it is important to give back to the community in whatever way you can.”
Ida Haber said she doesn’t do things expecting to get something in return.
“When I do things, I don’t do them thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’” she said. “You do it and you walk away being gratified that you did something good for either the community or a person. You do it because it’s the right thing to do and it feels right.”
Irwin Haber said he and Ida aren’t active in the community for the recognition, but for the “emotional compensation, which is priceless.” He said that for both of them, giving back is a team effort.
“It has been absolutely a team effort, in everything we’ve done,” he said, and Ida agreed. “Sometimes Ida is in the forefront of things and other times I’m in the forefront of things but it really has been an absolute partnership.”
Ida said,“Sometimes behind closed doors, I go up to Irwin and say ‘Irwin, I’d like to get involved in this,’ and Irwin might say ‘You know, Ida, that’s not my cup of tea but whatever you want to do, I’ll support you,’ and then, if I go do it, he’s right there. It becomes his cup of tea. Or, he’ll say to me, ‘Ida, I want to do this,’ and I’m thinking ‘Oh, really, I’m not so sure, but if you want to do it, go ahead,’ and then he does it and I become part of it. So, we might have different interests at a certain moment in time, but we always end up together, on the same interests.”
The Habers said their faith has played an important part in their lives.
“My faith has guided me to participate in many Jewish organizations, which is ingrained in my being, but I’ve also migrated out of the Jewish organizations into health care and other institutions in the area,” Irwin Haber said. “And while faith is important to me, it’s not the ultimate driver for me.”
However, for Ida Haber, faith was everything to her.
“My entire being is because of my faith in G-d. I’m not being cliché about this. I wake up every morning thanking Him, I live every day under His watch and I go to bed at night thanking Him.”
– Ed Carroll