The Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation was created from a generous bequest from their good fortune.
Marinus, known as Max to his friends, led a long and fruitful life. Born in Amsterdam in 1909 to Leendert Koster and Trijnije Wolzak , he moved to Java where he learned accounting and worked in the 1930s.
While working in Asia, in 1936 he married Fanny nee Cantorovich. Fanny was a Russian citizen born in Shanghai in 1904. Cataclysmic world events forced them to leave Indonesia and escape to Singapore.
From Singapore , they boarded the steamship American Presidents to begin a new life in the United States. Their one-way ticket to San Francisco cost $2,000. Max became a United States citizen in New York City in 1946. Their marriage ended in an amicable divorce in 1962 and Fanny remained a close friend for the rest of her life.
Max married Mina nee Blecher in Charleston, South Carolina. Mina was born in 1917 in Jersey City, New Jersey to Samuel Blecher and Dora Flaum of Russian/Polish heritage.
Minna and Max enjoyed an active life. He passed the CPA exam, started an accounting practice and invested in real estate. He formed a real estate partnership with Minna and Fanny. The Kosters loved to travel and visited Italy, England, France, Hungary and the Netherlands. Max played the piano and invited friends and musicians to gather on weekends.
The Kosters were childless. Marinus passed away in 2007 and Minna followed in 2009. Their kind generosity has benefited hundreds of people and organizations including young jazz musicians performing at the Embassy of Israel, a Yiddish puppet theatre and Holocaust survivors.
The Koster Foundation has provided grants to dozens of organizations to help Jewish immigrants, perpetuate Yiddish language and culture and support young musicians.