Stacy Miller Gorelick & Todd Gorelick
Jewish values define us, and we believe the world will be a better place if we perpetuate those values through our children. Looking back on our own childhood experiences, we know our parents and grandparents felt the same way.
Todd recalls, “My parents were always active in the Jewish community. Many evenings my father was away at Temple Board meetings or working on community projects. My mother was also involved. Even as a youngster, I recognized that it takes involvement to keep things going. Thanks to my parents’ example, I truly believe I have a personal responsibility to perpetuate the blessings of an embracing community, not just for my family, but for everyone.”
“My parents’ trip to Israel in the early 1970s was a catalyst for our family,” says Stacy. “When Mom and Dad came home, Jewish values and the State of Israel became a focal point. My father and I became kosher then. Being reminded of who you are and what you believe whenever you sit down to eat is a powerful tradition, one our family shares today. I first visited Israel as a teenager with my family some years later. Seeing every aspect of Jewish life all around me, I felt what it really means to be a member of the Jewish People.”
Now, a year after our oldest child, Henry, became a Bar Mitzvah, we can point with pride to the first fruits of our efforts. In lieu of gifts, Henry requested donations to support a village benefiting Rwandan genocide victims. What inspired Henry? Stacy’s mother describing her volunteer work for the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the project’s sponsor. The lesson? We cannot transmit Jewish values to our children alone. Henry’s grandmother, a Jewish Day School education and summers at Camp Ramah were the co-stars of Henry’s Bar Mitzvah. In our generation’s words, “It takes a village.”
As we constantly tell our children, the measure of goodness is how we treat other people. This is the essence of Jewish values. Our schools and synagogues, Jewish Community Center and social service agencies enable us to treat people with kindness and dignity; they perpetuate our values through education, strengthen families, and foster relationships that tie our People together in Charlotte and around the world. Endowing our Jewish Federation gift is how we will transmit Jewish values for many generations to come.
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