Embodying the spirit of tikkun olam, family gives lasting gift in honor of beloved couple

Dr. Herbert Giller, who died late last year at the age of 97, was a cherished resident at Ovation Chai Point. He joined the community in early 2016 following the death of his wife Ruth.

Everyone knew Herb. He participated in many activities, and always looked for new and different things to do. From visiting with friends in the Chai Point lobby, to frequenting Milwaukee’s many cultural attractions, he lived a very full life. Herb had a passion for music, and one of his first philanthropic efforts at Ovation was to fund the repair of the Chai Point piano. That initial act connected him to the music program and was just the start of the many ways he’d give back during his years at Chai Point.

Philanthropy was nothing new to Dr. Giller. He and Ruth moved to Milwaukee in 1954 and quickly became an integral part of the community. Having both been raised with a strong sense of helping others and working together, the Gillers were active participants, volunteers and donors to many community organizations. Ruth served as part of the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation, Milwaukee Family Service and Children’s Outing Association. An ophthalmologist, Dr. Giller served as president of the Milwaukee Ophthalmological Society, on the boards of the American Jewish Committee, Temple Emanuel, Vision Forward, and many other groups.

The Gillers’ passion for music, education, community, Jewish and medical causes sparked sons Roger and Tom’s decision to form an endowment fund in their parents’ honor this year. The Herbert and Ruth L. Giller Family Endowment is dedicated to supporting Ovation’s Geriatric Career Development (GCD) program and the Chai Point Summer Concert Series.

“Our parents were kind, caring and respectful people who taught us by example to dive into our communities, build and value friendships, and treat everyone with respect,” said Roger and Tom. “We know from our Dad’s experience that Chai Point is a strong community where people live life to the fullest, and we want to help perpetuate that spirit.”

Endowments are just one example of how residents and families might think about leaving a legacy. There are a number of creative ways Ovation works with donors to support programming, important initiatives and honor loved ones.

“The Gillers’ gift is a beautiful celebration of a family and a treasured person who lived a wonderful life in our community,” said Tanya Mazor‑Posner, Ovation Communities Vice President of Development. “Ovation is a vibrant center for Jewish life that extends beyond our campus, and thanks to this commitment to funding our career development program in particular, that support will reach far beyond our walls to help nurture the next generation.”

If you’re interested in discussing ways to leave a legacy or remember a loved one, contact Tanya Mazor-Posner at 414-721-9260 or TMazor-Posner@ovation.org.