Roni & Glenn Fishkin
By Roni Fishkin
The decision to create a legacy was an easy one for us. We regard Shalom Park as a gift we were given when we moved from New York to Charlotte. Although clichéd, it remains true: it became a home away from home. And, it has been the gift that keeps on giving.
I grew up in a traditional reform Jewish home on Long Island and learned at an early age about leadership and volunteering from parents who emphasized community involvement. Glenn’s early experience was quite different. His family lived in places like South Dakota, New Mexico, and Maine before settling in New Jersey in the mid-70s. Although sometimes the only Jewish family around, his mom ensured Jewish traditions were present.
We met in the early 80s at CNN by chatting on the company intranet – a precursor to online dating! We married in 1985 and moved here in 1992. What we thought would be a year in Charlotte – turned into a lifetime because of the Jewish community we found. In the minority, we recognized an enhanced sense of Judaism – very different than in New York.
Our three boys grew up at Shalom Park. They swam on the JCC team, played hoopsters, tennis, soccer and went to day camp each summer. Relationships they forged on those fields, courts and classes remain the closest ones they have today. And, although they now live out of town, when they think of close friends, it is the ones from their JCC childhood that remain the closest. Despite distance and time, those relationships are enduring.
The JCC is also where we met our closest friends…dropping off at the Charlotte Jewish Preschool, sitting poolside for hours, or coaching athletic teams. These are not just friends - they are our family! Without the JCC and Shalom Park – Charlotte would be a lovely place to live, but we wouldn’t have our heart and roots planted deeply in this city.
We don't know what the future holds for our family. We don't know whether children and grandchildren will ever live here to enjoy the blessings of Shalom Park. We do know, however, that we consider it a sacred responsibility to make sure future generations have these advantages. They were afforded to us by people that came before with their vision for the Charlotte Jewish community. That's why a legacy gift resonated with us and why we made sure we were included.
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