A Million Thanks

BY CHERYL ROSEN

Its not every day that a CPA donates $1 million to his alma materespecially when thats Cal State Northridge. But its precisely the schools less-than-Ivy-League cachet that made Harvey Bookstein feel his gift would be truly appreciated. The cofounder of Los Angeles accounting firm RBZ LLP says the money will help pay for top-quality professors and fund scholarships for accounting students.

The only child of two tax preparers who arrived in California with $100 and an old car, Bookstein began helping out in the family firm at the age of seven. I was the class nerd and hated high school, he says, but my parents insisted I get the college degree and CPA certification they always regretted not having. Im very grateful to Northridge for my opportunity and my career.

Today Bookstein is a therapeutic accountant who specializes in financial issues involving children, divorce and passing down family businesses from one generation to the next. I try to get sons to respect their fathers years of knowledge and fathers to respect sons technology know-how, he says. Together theyre much more successful than they would be apart.

About his seven-figure giftthe largest in Northridge historyBookstein says, Im not wealthy, but Ive certainly made more money than I ever thought I would and I want to enjoy the fruits of my efforts while Im still alive.

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