Glenda and Brian Bernhardt

Judaism and Jewish community are at the heart of the way we live our lives. Our paths to this destination, however, were very different. Brian grew up in Charlotte and although he attended the Hebrew Academy, swam at the old Jewish Community Center on Sharon Amity Road, and had his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Israel in Dilworth, he was not otherwise engaged in the Jewish community. Glenda, on the other hand, grew up a Rabbi’s daughter in Huntington, West Virginia, was active in local youth groups, attended Jewish summer camp, and later served as campus Hillel leader at Ohio Wesleyan University.

When we met in Ann Arbor, Glenda was interning at the Ann Arbor Jewish Federation while studying Jewish communal service at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Brian had only recently begun volunteering at the Ann Arbor Federation, and then only as a way to meet new friends. Eventually, however, Brian’s involvement with the Federation led to a trip to Israel and ultimately to a deeper commitment to the Jewish community. Glenda’s background and graduate work helped her begin her career as a Jewish professional, working for Hillel and then the Federation.

In 2009 we moved to Charlotte so that our children could grow up closer to family. From day one, the Charlotte Jewish community embraced us and we have tried to do the same in return, finding great joy as active members of the Jewish community. As our family has grown, we have found that our involvement in the Jewish community has influenced our decision to incorporate Jewish ethics and values into our daily family life, so that our children will not only grow up Jewish, but Jewishly as well. Surrounded by a loving family, a vibrant Jewish community, and a wonderful group of friends who have a shared passion for Israel, Judaism, and Jewish community, we are excited about all the Jewish opportunities that exist for us and for our children.

Our Create Your Jewish Legacy gifts are an extension of our belief in the strength of the Charlotte Jewish community and our hopes for the future of our children. We want to help ensure that the Charlotte Jewish community survives and thrives not only for us, but for our children and our children’s children. Although we are a younger family, our decision to leave legacy gifts was easy. We hope that other families will follow our lead.

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