Jeff & Lee Bierer
Jeff and I grew up in environments where being Jewish was very commonplace. I was raised in Newton, Massachusetts where the town’s motto “the Garden City.” became - “the Garden City, where there’s a Rose “in” Bloom (Rosenbloom) on every corner!” Surrounded by active Jewish communities, neither of us felt much need to affiliate. However, when we moved to Charlotte in 1995, we immediately visited Shalom Park, signing David and Lucy up for JCC basketball and religious school. We left family and friends up north and we were delighted to be welcomed warmly here. We both smile remembering the “Shalom Y’All” welcome package we received.
In 1995-1996, there was a big influx of families moving in, many who had stories similar to ours and many who jumped in and got involved in the Jewish community. Jeff was invited to join the Board of the JCC quickly and co-led the strategic planning process resulting in the expansion of the JCC. We were also invited to join the inaugural class of The Bernstein Leadership Group back in 1998. Participating in that group with engaged and motivated peers inspired us to get more involved.
I was involved in initiating and organizing the Jewish Community Cultural Arts Festival and I’ve worked for the Foundation of Shalom Park, Jewish Family Services, served as President of TBE Sisterhood and been a 3rd grade teacher at TBE for the last 15 years. Since Jeff’s early work at the JCC, he has served on Boards at Temple Beth El, TBE Brotherhood and the Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community (FCJC) where he helped develop and launch the Create Your Jewish Legacy while Board Chair.
Shalom Park has been our North Star and been the origination of many of our long-lasting relationships. We have contemplated moving as David is married and living in Minneapolis and Lucy is in Washington DC. But, we’re keenly aware that we won’t be able to duplicate what we have right now; the small moments of walking into the JCC to work out or play tennis and knowing everyone behind the front desk and seeing old friends as we walk through the hallways. We recognize what we have here is special. We have created a Bierer Family Fund, from which the 4 of us issue grants each year to charities we prioritize as most deserving. Our hope is to inspire a culture of philanthropy that our children carry on after we’re gone.
We want our community to thrive and warmly welcome the next generation.
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