Arnold Delin Education Fund

Established 2017

Arnold DelinMy name is Benjamin Delin, I’m 18 years old, and the youngest of Dolores and Arnold Delin’s 3 grandchildren. As I come to the end of my high school career, I am faced with a new milestone in my life: college. A requirement for the application process is an essay, in which you write about a topic based on one of the prompts that you choose. For me, the prompt I chose was to describe an important part of my identity. Now, being the person who I am, I did not want to do something that many people might write about such as religion, ethnicity, or activities I am part of; so I decided to take an alternative route and write about my Grandfather, Arnold Delin. This man was someone who was always there to mold me into the man I am today. These awards are not about the accomplishments that my grandfather had during his life, but instead about the ideals that he held dear to his heart, and that he instilled in all of his children. Each and every student who receives one of these awards is deserving of such recognition, because of the work they do at their schools to bring about the ideas of equality and acceptance. Below is my essay, which I believe encompasses the ideals of my grandfather, and which also illustrates an image of who Arnold Delin was.

“As a child in a household of five, I grew up in a tight-knit family with one person who held our clan together: my grandfather. My grandfather was a man who during his 89 years on this earth left a lasting mark on his community and every person he came to know. He held high moral standards for his entire family to fulfill, and it is because of this that I am writing this essay. I hold the teachings and morals of my grandfather very near to my heart, and it is these teachings instilled in me by my grandfather that are the most important part of my identity.

For many years, my grandfather served as the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization founded, as their mission statement declares,
“to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all, as well as fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defending democratic ideals, and protecting civil rights for all.” He instilled the morals of the ADL in me, and I
live by these teachings every day. If I hear someone uttering bigoted or racist remarks, I cannot simply ignore it. I stop what I am doing and I tell the person to end his/her verbal assault. As a Jewish member of society, I am a proponent of the State of Israel. It is because of this that when watching the news or having a conversation, and it leads to hearing an anti-Israel comment, I cannot help but to question the speaker’s point of view and discover why he/she thinks that way.

My grandfather was a man who believed that everyone on earth was created equally, and that they deserved to be treated with respect. He would always tell me, “No
matter their color, culture, race, heritage, family upbringing or way of life, people should be treated as family.” This is a mentality that influences how I live every day of my life. Every time I meet a stranger, I immediately remember this rule that my grandfather held so dear, and I welcome the person with open arms and an open heart. I make sure this stranger feels welcome and no matter their actions or beliefs; I act as politely as possible.

“Dress to impress” was the motto that my grandfather carried out through his whole life. He executed this lesson like a professional and would adhere to his rule of FILO (First In Last Out) to prove he was a professional and was serious about the task at hand. FILO was the belief that when helping at an event or completing an important task, one should always be the first one on sight to set up and last one out to clean. I follow this rule to a T and believe, like my grandfather, that this just one key to success.

My favorite lesson passed onto me by my grandfather was that of hard work. My grandfather went from owning a fruit stand in New York to being a door-to-door salesman, and finally ending up as a textile factory owner, securing a set wage for textile workers in the 1960’s. He showed me that hard work truly allows one to live a better, happier life, which is greater than a life without trying. “Never settle for anything less than your best, and always strive to live your happiest life” is what my grandfather would tell me.

Arnold Delin was a man that was known by everyone in his community as kind, generous, hard working, and family oriented; but above all else, he was my grandfather. Not only will he live on as the man that everyone loved, but also as a part of me, and most importantly, as a part of my identity. To this day I treat everyone with respect and work my hardest to make my life better, happier, and successful.”

These awards have reached their 15th year, and I could not be more proud to be a part of this. Continue to do what you are doing, and never stop, because the one thing that we need most in this time of our lives, is acceptance and equality. Strive to do your best in life, and always be the light in the darkness.


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