Irv and Dedee Cygler
Our journey to Charlotte began in the boroughs of New York. I grew up in Bayside, Queens and was raised in a conservative Jewish home attending traditional Hebrew school 3 days a week. My parents were founding members of our synagogue and remained active throughout their lives. Irv grew up in Pelham Parkway neighborhood of the Bronx as a child of Holocaust survivors from Lodz, Poland. In his home, Yiddish was the native tongue. His family retained a strong bond to their roots and Jewish heritage through their tight social network of fellow survivors.
Irv and I met through family in 1977. He was living in New York and I was living in Philadelphia. We married 2 years later. For much of our married life, we both worked in Manhattan and lived in Scarsdale, New York. When I retired from corporate life, I realized that by running all of my errands throughout the weekdays, I was now able to observe Shabbat and attend synagogue regularly. I became involved in our synagogue, Temple Israel Center of White Plains serving on the Board of Trustees, co-chairing High Holiday Seating for fifteen years and actively engaging in Lifelong Learning.
In 2008, we began considering a move in pursuit of a retirement lifestyle. We didn’t know much about Charlotte, nor did we know anyone who was more than a “friend of a friend” but our first impressions were positive and we became excited to join the community. We waited until our two children were finished with school and moved in the middle of 2011. From a Jewish perspective, Charlotte gave us what we were looking for and more. Temple Israel provided us with a social, spiritual connection which was an important part of our transition to the City and the South. Shalom Park was a key selling point.
In the past 5 years, we have met many wonderful friends and Temple Israel has become family. We have found the right place for us and have been embraced by this community. We have also tried to welcome others in the same way that others welcomed us.
Leaving a legacy gift is a great way for us to give back to Charlotte. We hope to continue to provide the young people of today and tomorrow with the same opportunities that we were lucky enough to experience. This is another way for us to ensure the continued vibrancy of Temple Israel and Jewish life in Charlotte. It is very important for us that our Jewish community and all Jewish communities stay strong.
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