Mark ז״ל & Louise ז״ל Bernstein
In the Babylonian Talmud, there is an interesting story about a man who planted a carob tree. A carob tree is known to begin to bear fruit seventy years after the date that it is planted. When challenged by his neighbors whether he would ever eat the fruit of the tree, the man replied, “I am doing as my ancestors did. Just as they planted a carob tree for their children, so am I planting the tree for my children.”
Our family has been deeply involved in helping to nourish and replant the trees that bear the fruits of our Judaic tradition. We are proud that we have been a part of a faith that has endured 5,000 years, inspired the creation of some of the world’s other great religions and enriched the lives of its adherents in so many meaningful ways. Our parents and grandparents set the example by providing financial support and leadership for Jewish institutions that served their communities. When it was first organized, Temple Beth El held services in a room above a grocery store until its first sanctuary was built on Providence Road. Our family pitched in to help the struggling congregation, providing food for covered dish dinners and money to purchase a Torah.
In the years that followed, we have supported Temple Beth El, the Jewish Community Center, the Charlotte Jewish Federation, the Foundation of Shalom Park and other community programs, including the planning of Shalom Park. We are very pleased that our children, including their spouses and children, continue this tradition by assuming positions of leadership in the Jewish community and teaching in the religious schools.
When we were younger with few resources to expend, we practiced our tradition as volunteers. As our resources increased and our strength diminishes, we have continued this tradition by contributing to the community through our lifetime gifts. To inspire and support the generations to come, we have made provisions in our estate planning documents to provide endowment support for the Jewish institutions that have meant so much to us during our lives.
We hope that, like the planter in the carob story, our gifts will both inspire and assist future generations to continue to perpetuate the great traditions of Judaism throughout the community in which we have been privileged to serve.
ז״ל Of Blessed Memory
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