Nov 3 2020

In Memory of a Dear Friend: Arlene “Bonnie” Tenenbaum

Written By: Emilio Alonso-Mendoza

AG Bell’s Leadership Opportunities for Teens (LOFT) Program long benefited from the kind support of Bonnie and Marty Tenenbaum, and many of our young adults have expressed their gratitude over the years. We are saddened by the loss of Bonnie, who passed away on October 15, 2020 at the age of 76.

Bonnie was an educator for nearly 50 years. She was born in Washington state, attended UC Berkeley, and earned a PhD in educational psychology from Stanford University. She was devoted to developing innovative ways of teaching and improving teacher performance. She enjoyed supporting programs that had great effect with few resources. She started the internet-base virtual public library (now called the K-12 Instructional Resource Center), which she personally curated.

Bonnie was also dedicated to serving the Jewish community and became president of the Albert L. Schultz Jewish Community Center, which was later transformed into the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, California. This work led to many other philanthropic and volunteer efforts, including efforts to establish a wide array of community services for families, the elderly and the disabled.

But her great passion lay in education, and Bonnie established and led several day schools while also supporting several funds for first-generation low-income college students. She also endowed Stanford’s Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum chair in education to support bilingual education. She earned numerous honors from United Way as well as awards related to education and community impact.

We extend our condolences to her husband Marty and her son Josh; as well as to her cousin, AG Bell board member and LOFT founder Ken Levinson.

Bonnie, your support for teens who are deaf and hard of hearing who participated in the LOFT Program will long be cherished here at AG Bell.