Etta and Harold “Bae” Epstein were blessed to share 70 years of marriage, three sons, Paul, Gary and Steven, their love of the Jewish community and their generosity to both the Jewish and secular communities.
In order to pay tribute to their parents’ lives and carry on their legacy of supporting the Jewish community, Paul, Gary and Steven Epstein established the Etta and Harold Epstein Security Fund at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation. This newly established fund will provide funding for security for police and other law enforcement and security personnel for more well-attended Jewish community events each year.
“Security is becoming more and more of a challenge with threats in our society, with white supremacy and other groups, nationally and locally. Etta and Bae Epstein loved their Jewish heritage and close friends and family in Omaha and would want to know that they helped create the safety for large Jewish get togethers in Omaha,” said Gary.
Paul stated, “Anti-Semitic violence, discrimination and expressions of hostility have created a climate of fear among a substantial number of Jews, impairing their ability to enjoy their rights to liberty and security. Our Jewish community offers many wonderful events in all of its agencies and we want to ensure this continues to be a safe environment.”
Etta was a devoted and involved mother to her three sons. She volunteered in their schools and various activities, Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women, and Beth El Sisterhood.
After Bae’s military service in World War II, he worked for McKesson Wine & Spirits where he advanced rapidly. Bae became the Midwest regional vice-president of the company with responsibility for nine wholesale liquor houses in six states. Bae purchased the wine and spirits division of Capitol Liquors in September of 1975.
Bae’s volunteer activities included Israel Bonds, B’nai B’rith, along with various secular causes. Bae and Etta helped build the Harold and Etta Epstein Family Chapel of Remembrance at Beth El Cemetery.
Steven said, “My parents taught my brothers and me the meaning of being Jewish and the importance of practicing our Judaism and the importance of giving Tzedakah. They felt fortunate to be part of the wonderful Omaha community and they ingrained into each of us the significance of giving back to the community that we grew up in. We were blessed with parents that loved us unconditionally and for that we honor the memory of our loving parents, Harold and Etta Epstein.”
Etta and Bae Epstein’s legacy of love for their community is suitably remembered and honored now and throughout the years by helping to ensure security events and programs in the Jewish community.