Dr. Curtis Robinson stopped by the Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE) on Wednesday, Oct. 26, to inspire students the story of his extraordinary life. Robinson, who came to Hartford from Birmingham, Alabama as a teenager, with nothing more than a bag of clothes, a few bologna sandwiches, and $56, spending his first night on a park bench, worked hard and saved enough money to purchase a grocery store at the age of 18. He eventually became the owner and president of C & D Development Company.
Today, among his many philanthropic endeavors, Robinson is cofounder and chairman of the Men’s Health Institute at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford and a major contributor to a host of charitable organizations.
“At the end of the day, God is not going to ask us how much money we made. He’s going to ask what you did with the gifts that He gave you,” Robinson told students, encouraging them to become a “generation of inspiration.” Robinson, who was accompanied by his wife Sheila, also spoke about putting his faith in God, especially when he felt the pain of racism. “There is no race; we are all humans of God. Don’t pass judgment, but love each other,” he told students.
When asked, in the question-and-answer period following his talk, what students can do to help end racism, Robinson said, “Speak up, say something.” He also advised HHNE sophomore Ariella Snyder, “By pursuing your own dreams, you create a path that others will follow. The younger generation is writing the story of the world.”
CAP: At Dr. Robinson’s talk at HHNE: (l to r) Micah Glickman, junior, student body vice president; Sheila Robinson; Dr. Curtis Robinson; Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, Head of School.