Bank Leumi USA and Herrendorf Family Foundation launch a $10,000 Emergency Grant for Chicago Students

In partnership with Chicago-based organizations and affiliates, the ‘We Got You’ emergency grant will support post-secondary students pursuing finance and business degrees.

CHICAGO--()--Vancouver and Chicago-based Herrendorf Family Foundation (HFF) has partnered with Bank Leumi USA to launch a much-needed program to ensure dedicated Chicago area students who have experienced social or economic barriers can stay in school and achieve their postsecondary credentials. Finance and business students, nominated by the Herrendorf Family Foundation’s Chicago-based community partners, will be selected based on their resiliency in the face of adversity to receive these emergency grants.

In collaboration with Chicago-based community partners, Herrendorf is committed to creating impact and improving college retention and matriculation for Chicago postsecondary students experiencing unforeseen financial emergencies. The ‘We Got You’ Grant is intended to meet unforeseen and immediate Chicago student needs related to housing, food, medical bills, books and supplies, and transportation costs that would otherwise prevent students from completing their term.

“When my father moved to Chicago, he didn’t speak English and his financial brain was the translatable trait that allowed him to succeed. Had he had access to opportunities, like the one Bank Leumi is offering, he may not have faced some of the hardships he did,” says Kasondra Cohen-Herrendorf. “I am so proud to be partnering with a bank with values that are aligned with my family’s Jewish heritage. Providing this opportunity to young Chicagoans who are interested in business, like my father was, means the world to our foundation.”

Many students from lower-income backgrounds lack the resources to both pay for college expenses and support themselves while attending college. Some have additional roles as parents and caregivers, working to support family members while in school. Students that fit this profile are sometimes forced to choose between college attendance and tending to basic needs, such as food, housing, medicine or transportation, especially when unexpected expenses arise.

“When life throws unexpected emergencies at you, it can be stressful and tough to stay afloat. We are honored to team up with the Herrendorf Family Foundation to provide a helping hand to students in the Chicago community,” said Marc Pershan, US Private Bank relationship manager at Bank Leumi USA. “Our hope is that through these grants, students won’t need to worry about making a hard decision between pursuing their education and covering their basic needs.” Reflecting on his long career in banking and financial services, Marc added, “These types of initiatives are the most exciting because they show the impact we are able to make together with HFF thanks to our long-term relationship and our shared values.”

The ‘We Got You’ emergency initiative grant builds on HFF’s larger scholarship program, which currently offers 50 scholarships across Chicago, Vancouver, and Israel. HFF provides approximately $1.5M in partnerships, scholarships, and bursaries each year.

The #RealCollege survey, the nation’s largest annual assessment of basic needs security among college students was created by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice (Hope Center), and specifically evaluates access to affordable food and housing. This report describes the results of the survey administered in the fall of 2018 at the seven community colleges that make up the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) system.

More than 3,000 students participated in the survey. Among their findings were the following:

  • 44% of respondents were food-insecure in the prior 30 days
  • 54% of respondents were housing-insecure in the previous year
  • 15% of respondents were homeless in the previous year

To celebrate this partnership, several members of the Bank Leumi USA team joined Herrendorf Family Foundation, Corey Hardiman and two HFF scholars at STK restaurant in Chicago.

ABOUT Herrendorf Family Foundation

Hershel Herrendorf was born in Haifa Israel on July 8, 1949. Following his family’s move to the United States in 1965, and his successful life in Chicago, Hershel passed suddenly in 2004, leaving his family with a foundation and legacy they hold dear. The Herrendorf Family Foundation invests in strategic partnerships with global change leaders. Together, they advocate for education, empowerment and generational resilience.

ABOUT Bank Leumi USA

Bank Leumi USA is a relationship-based boutique bank with global ties, wholly focused on passionately serving the needs of mid-market businesses and private banking clients. Operating in the U.S. for over 60 years, Leumi is headquartered in NYC with offices in Chicago, Aventura (FL), Los Angeles, and Palo Alto, serving the communities where our clients live and work. Our proven expertise and focus on shared values define how we do business. Leumi also has a long history of supporting our local communities, and together with our partners, employees, clients and more, we are working to create equal opportunities and access to financial security for all, with a focus on small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs in under-represented or under-served communities.


Bank Leumi Contact – Jacquelyn Johnson, Head of Communications & CSR at Bank Leumi USA –


Bank Leumi Contact – Jacquelyn Johnson, Head of Communications & CSR at Bank Leumi USA –