Ira Rosenberg believes the best gift in life is an opportunity. In the 1960s, fresh out of the U.S. Navy and in his early 20s, Rosenberg returned home to the North Shore eager to make a name for himself. He took a job as a junior car salesman, but after a difficult first month on the sales floor, he received bad news that his time at the dealership was up.
Unshakeable, Rosenberg didn’t budge from his manager’s office until he was granted another chance. In the 55 years since, Rosenberg has more than proved his mettle as leader of the New England automotive dealerships, Ira Motor Group and Prime Motor Group. Now retired, he and his wife, Judy, are hard at work building a new family legacy with Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
After more than 20 years of philanthropic giving to the hospital, the Rosenbergs recently made their largest commitment yet: a gift of $1 million. In October, BWH celebrated the couple’s generosity with the dedication of the Judith and Ira Rosenberg Garden Café in the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine.
“We can’t say enough wonderful things about our doctors at the Brigham—they have saved our lives. We’re so happy to do what we can for them.” —Ira Rosenberg
“When our grandchildren go to the Brigham, we want them to be proud to see our name linked with this wonderful institution, which we’re fortunate to have in our community,” says Ira. “We want to set an example for the next generation to give back.”
As BWH patients, the Rosenbergs wanted their gift to ensure patients and families have a space to gather and relieve the stresses that come with illness and injury. In addition to supporting the building, the couple has earmarked part of their gift to patient care, research, and training initiatives led by three of their physicians: rheumatologist Michael Weinblatt, MD, primary care physician Kathryn Rexrode, MD, and pulmonologist Christopher Fanta, MD.
“We can’t say enough wonderful things about our doctors at the Brigham—they have saved our lives,” Ira says. “We’re so happy to do what we can for them. To think of how much good they will do for others, it just gets us in the heart.”