Donors Stories – Chorteks

Helping Dreams Come True


Chortek Family Photo

Susan Chortek Weisman and her father, Peter Chortek


The Chortek Family, one of Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego’s esteemed donors, have an intimate and impactful history with the Jewish Free Loan association. Peter Chortek was born in 1924 in Madison, Wisconsin and was one of seven children. His family was impoverished and in need of help, so Peter’s father applied for a loan from Hebrew Free Loan. Susan Chortek Weisman, Peter’s daughter shares, “Dad told us how he would walk the coins each week to wherever it was to make their loan payments and what a huge impact that had on him.” She also added that the concept of needing to repay the loan gave them dignity as well as the financial help needed at that time.

Susan and her brother grew up middle class—they never lacked but also did not have excess funds. Still, Susan’s father did what he could to help others. He joined the loan committee; involvement with the Jewish Free Loan Association was particularly meaningful to him considering the deep connection he had to JFL from his youth.

In Susan’s words, “For these reasons, as well as my belief that Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego is a critical and much needed resource for our Jewish community, I am thrilled to be able to support this cause. “

The families involvement in Jewish Free Loans continues as Sammy Weisman, Susan’s son and Peter’s  grandson, is now a member of Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego’s Outreach Committee. When signing the Jewish Community Foundation’s Book of Life, Peter and Elaine shared that “We have found that involvement and giving not only helps others but strengthens and enriches our family. By endowing continuing philanthropy, we can provide for both the future Jewish Communities and the next generations of our family.” The Chortek Weisman Family Foundation is carrying the torch that Peter started so many years ago. We are grateful to have their support in our mission to give the San Diego Jewish Community a “hand up,” as Peter Chortek received almost a century ago.