The Feldman family invites you to join us in
celebrating Oscar’s 100th birthday!
This summer, our family is celebrating Ozzie’s 100th birthday. In 1921, he was born in post-WWI Poughkeepsie, where his parents, Ignatz and Rose, settled after immigrating to America. While his father and brother tended to the family’s used furniture business, he was often left to his own devices around town. While on his own, he was never alone. Fortunately, parents of friends and neighbors frequently fed Ozzie and kept him on the straight and narrow. The watchful eye and compassionate care of his community bolstered his drive and focus, and contributed to his sense of responsibility for others. For Ozzie, it has always taken a village.
Our hope is that you join us in investing in children starting their journeys where Ozzie started his. Your gift supports the ongoing mission of the Randolph School to expand access to a quality, progressive education to families that desire what Randolph has to offer, but don’t have the means. .
Ozzie grew to be an accomplished student, athlete and musician. When high school graduation came, Ozzie’s family expected him to work in the furniture store, but Ozzie had bigger dreams that led him to the University of Michigan made possible by an ROTC scholarship. This financial assistance opened doors for Ozzie. With a world-class education (BA), and military leadership training, he went into service during WWII as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers. He commanded troops building bridges, which included a battalion of African-American soldiers. After the war, when respect and dignity were not afforded to all soldiers, Ozzie received a letter from this battalion thanking him for treating them with dignity and honor. They felt it was monumental but to Ozzie, there was no other way to lead, as anyone who knows him can attest.. This spirit, coupled with his unwavering resolve, continued to open doors for Ozzie. Upon his return from the war, he pursued his MBA at the University of Michigan and then his law degree at Columbia University.
After earning a JD from Columbia, he was asked to stay and teach tax law, an opportunity that brought him to the IRS in Washington DC, to his dream job. But when his closest friend, Bill, called and asked for help running a struggling family business, Ozzie decided to move back to Michigan and dedicate himself to that task. Since then, he has been a successful attorney, a partner in the Detroit Pistons with three NBA championships, chairman of the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, an inductee to the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and most importantly to him perhaps, a lifelong Michigan Wolverine (Go Blue!) and generous supporter of the University. .
He and Dede, his wife of 70 years, and their two children Margot (Kaplan) and Richard have embraced the family values of lifelong learning, hard work and philanthropy, as have their grandchildren. Throughout their lives they have emphasized education and the arts, not only for themselves and their family, but also for others with less access to opportunity. They have given generously to educational institutions and arts organizations and provided scholarships, opening the same doors that others opened for Ozzie long ago.
We hope you will help us memorialize Ozzie’s legacy and bring it full circle back to the Poughkeepsie area. Back to education and providing opportunity for those who just need a helping hand to get them started on their own path to the American dream.
The Randolph School is a non-profit, independent progressive school founded on Randolph Avenue in Poughkeepsie in 1963 rooted in the arts and nature-based experiences. It employs a unique tuition model that makes access to a quality educational experience and a supportive school community for families of racially, culturally, and economically diverse backgrounds possible. All families invest in the mission as a Stone Soup School*, wherein some families can contribute the prime rib and others only salt. Here, those ingredients are blended to nourish all equally. Families of means find value in sending their child to a school with children experiencing the world differently, and families of lesser means find value in having an opportunity that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. Investments in the Ozzie Feldman Family Fund will support the Randolph School in reducing tuition expenses for families in need, while strengthening the sustainable, operational capacity of the organization and its mission. There are children in the Hudson Valley today who can tell Ozzie’s story as their own in 100 years, if they have the wind of education and strength of community in their sails.
Ways to Participate
Check by mail:
the Randolph School
attn: Josh Kaplan
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
*please include ‘Feldman’ in Memo line
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We thank you kindly for your consideration and participation, and look forward to sharing how a celebration for Ozzie drives the mission of the Randolph School.
The Feldman Family