Meredith and Michael Baumstein
As Meredith and I prepared for our family’s move to Charlotte in 2004 we anticipated that it would require a greater effort to be Jewish in the South than it required in the Northeast. We could not have imagined how Jewish life in Charlotte found us and has impacted our family.
We both grew up in Bergen County, NJ with loving families built on Jewish values and traditions. The conservative synagogue my family attended was founded by my grandfather and located in a community with a large Jewish population. I saw the impact Jewish organizations made in the lives of others. Meredith’s home town had fewer Jewish families. She also attended a conservative synagogue, its Hebrew school and was an active member of its youth groups. Holidays and rituals were important to our families and provided us with wonderful memories and a special connection to our Jewish heritage. After Meredith’s graduation from the University of Wisconsin and mine from Rutgers University we met while living in New York City. We were married in 1997. Our two boys, Jacob and Samuel were born in New York City.
Upon our arrival here, we immediately committed ourselves to Jewish Charlotte. Our boys attended the Jewish Preschool on Sardis, Camp Katan and we joined both the Levine JCC and Temple Israel. Being Jewish in Charlotte was easy because we felt an immediate connection to many different Jewish organizations and friends. It became part of our family’s make-up and our lives in a manner that has been more important than we had ever imagined.
Our boys, having attended both the Jewish Preschool on Sardis and the Charlotte Jewish Day School, are very proud to be Jewish. They have developed socially and emotionally in our Jewish schools, through their participation at the LJCC and at Temple Israel. Judaism impacts many things we do as a couple and a family.
Meredith and I have invested our time and finances in support of those organizations that have defined Jewish life for our family. We want the organizations that have defined Jewish life for us to continue to provide that same support to our children and grandchildren. Our legacy gift is our way of ensuring that our children and other children are exposed to the same type of Jewish values that we experienced from our parents and grandparents.
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