$8 million estate to benefit 13 local groups

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Local attorney Lawrence Reuben has chosen two fledgling organizations—the Immigrant Welcome Center and Grameen Bank of Indiana—for the largest of $8 million in gifts from his mother’s estate.

Each will receive $1 million. The remaining $6 million will be divided among 11 other groups that reflect the broad humanitarian interests of Reuben’s parents, Albert and Sara Reuben. Several of the gifts will help launch new initiatives or establish endowments.

Sara Reuben, who died in January 2010 at age 95, came to the United States as a child from Belarus. Larry Reuben said that’s why he decided to devote a sizeable chunk of his mother’s estate to the Immigrant Welcome Center, a program that recruits acclimated immigrants as mentors to newcomers. “That was the story of her life,” Reuben said of his mother. “I’m truly taken by it.”

The Immigrant Welcome Center, launched in 2007, has one full-time staff member, Executive Director Terri Downs, who works with 60 volunteers. Downs said the plan is to use a small portion of the $1 million to hire another staff member, who will work with more volunteers. The remainder of Reuben’s gift will be paid over time from a donor-advised fund at the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

“We’re very small still,” Downs said. “It’s going to be truly transformative for our organization.”

CICF President Brian Payne began raising money last year to establish a Grameen Bank branch in Indianapolis. Grameen, a not-for-profit, makes micro-loans of up to $1,500 and has been recognized with a Nobel prize for its work in third-world countries. Grameen also has U.S. branches, including one in Omaha.

Reuben was not convinced that the Grameen lending model will work here. “I’m not optimistic,” he said. “I hope to be proven wrong.”

The gift for Grameen will also go into a donor-advised fund at CICF. If the organization fails, Reuben said, whatever is left of the $1 million will be distributed to other groups benefiting from his mother’s estate.

Here’s a rundown on the other gifts:

— $750,000 to the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention for a new 12-bed shelter, which will target people who otherwise land in hospital emergency rooms or are arrested for public intoxication. The Alfred G. and Sara I. Reuben Engagement Center is proposed for a building adjacent to Horizon House on East Washington Street. It would be owned and operated by the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County.

— $750,000 to the Julian Center, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, for a counseling center, also to be named for the Reubens.

— $750,000 to WFYI public broadcasting, which will produce feature films about each of the other recipients.

— $600,000 to the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis’ ElderSource program, which supports people staying in their homes as they age. The program will be named for the Reubens.

— $500,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana for an educational initiative.

— $500,000 to Planned Parenthood of Indiana for educational initiatives.

— $500,000 to the Humane Society of Indianapolis to upgrade the Michigan Road shelter and to help establish a clinic and outreach center in the Fountain Square neighborhood.

— $500,000 to Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana’s Excel Center, which helps adults finish their high school educations. Goodwill will establish the Albert G. and Sara I. Reuben College and Career Counseling Centers.

— $500,000 to United Way of Central Indiana to establish the Sara I. and Albert G. Reuben Endowment Fund for early-childhood development.

— $250,000 to Congregation Beth-El Zedek to support programs for teens.

— $250,000 to the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University to support the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism.

— $50,000 to the Bureau of Jewish Education for remote-learning technology and Holocaust educational material.

Albert and Sara Reuben grew up and met in Omaha and later moved to Ohio before settling in Indianapolis in 1948. Albert started an aluminum-siding franchise, which capitalized on the post-World War II housing boom. He died in 2002. The Reubens’ other children, Elaine and David, live in the Washington, D.C., area.


  • wonderful...
    Restoring my faith in humanity...
  • Thank You Ruben family
    Larry, what a great gift to our community on behalf of your dear parents. You and I grew up together in indy as children, and i had the distinct honor of knowing your mom so well. She was such a joy and always said wonderful things to me about my heritage..I like you came from a very giving family in our great city, and Sara always reminded me of that whenever she saw me. Between my grandparents, Sarah and Jack Goodman, and my parents, Morrie and Sylvia Katz (who your mom loved all of them) and people like your parents the community was and is so fortunate to have people like this as our family and founders of this great community; that we get to reap all the rewards from..I was smiling from ear to ear to see the lives that will be touched by your families generosity...deborah dorman
  • Thank You
    Awesome gifts, Larry. Thanks for a very generous act of kindness.

    You ought to think about taking the rest of the day off!!
  • Well deserved, Goodwill
    Well deserved gift to Goodwill! A one of a kind program that is sure to drastically impact adults in central Indiana.
  • upwards
    Raises the bar on the nature of humanity
  • Thank you
    To the Ruben family - thank you.
  • Wonderful Story
    Great Story, you made your Mother proud.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?