Born in New York City, Dr. Sidney Davidson worked as an internist and cardiologist in New Mexico, in Massachusetts, and finally in Louisiana for the last 10 years of his career. He retired five years ago to pursue his passions in life: tending to his magnificent azaleas, reading, and listening to classical music. His greatest joy, however, is spending time with Gigi, his five-year-old Labrador retriever, whom he describes as the apple of his eye.
In April 2008, Dr. Davidson made his third trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum -- this time to honor his parents, Betty and Mendel Davidson, in whose memory he made a planned gift to the Museum and whose names he had engraved on the Donors Wall. Describing his parents as two anonymous souls who emigrated from Latvia to the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, Dr. Davidson explained that nearly all of his mother's family died in the Holocaust. He remembers how his mother tried in vain to send packages from the United States to her relatives in Europe.
Although he came to the Museum this spring intending only to witness the unveiling of his parents' wall inscription, Dr. Davidson found himself discovering much more. "The Museum's walls hear the voices of literally millions of other anonymous souls from whom every vestige of identity and dignity was taken," he says. "This place is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust‚Äîeach and every single one of them counts today and forever here in this place. Be they paupers or princes, dirty or clean, bereft of identity or spirit, they each count."
Impressed with the quality of the exhibitions and the architecture, he was interested to learn that the Museum is also doing significant work beyond its walls. After his three-day visit during the annual Days of Remembrance events, he concluded that the Museum transcends its primary mission of documenting the history of the Holocaust, educating others, and preventing future genocide; he believes it actually endeavors to change the very nature of mankind. "We must all support the Museum as a 'university of conscience' in the desperate hope that we can end genocide," he says. "This place is our last best hope."
Searching for a place to which he could bequeath the fruits of his life's work and find deep satisfaction and meaning in doing so, Dr. Davidson chose to name the Museum as the beneficiary of his retirement plan assets. He also established a charitable gift annuity, which provides him with lifetime income while simultaneously supporting the Museum, and he continues to contribute to the Museum's Annual Fund.
The Museum is deeply grateful to Dr. Davidson for his extraordinary commitment and, in recognition of his generous gift through his estate plans, has welcomed him into the Legacy of Light Founders Society at the Pillar of Memory level.
"The Legacy of Light Society Founders are at the forefront of helping secure the Museum's future. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Davidson and his fellow members for their extraordinary commitment and vision," says Museum Director, Sara Bloomfield.