My family and I have lived in the Charlotte area for over 40 years. During that time I have been fortunate to witness and experience the fantastic growth and all of the positive things that have come with it.
My first volunteer role in the community was to serve as an Assistant Chairperson for the Israel Bonds Campaign. This led to my chairing the campaign in the mid-70’s. During this time I vividly recall honoring Leon Levine for this event and successfully selling over $200,000 of bonds. The tremendous satisfaction I gained from this campaign and working with a strong committee and dedicated individuals fueled my passion to do more for the Jewish community. In the early 80’s, I joined the Jewish Federation and served as Allocations and Major Gifts Chairperson. Through this work I achieved great personal growth and appreciation for high level organizational work.
Twenty-five years ago Charlotte and the Jewish community were much smaller, but the dynamics of leadership and volunteerism were exceptional. It was then that my good friend Aaron Gleiberman insisted that I take on the role of president of the Federation. He convinced me it was my duty and responsibility. It was truly an experience and honor to be in a position during such exciting times, with Russian immigration and the placement of many Israelis into the Charlotte community. We also started the Jewish Times newspaper and created the Social Services Agency. There were many challenges, including the planning of Shalom Park, but a strong commitment from a community working together helped us to reach our objectives.
All of this work has strengthened my belief and determination to assist charitable causes throughout our community. This applies not only for the Charlotte Jewish community but for the greater Charlotte community. I am proud to have served on the original Board of Directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. My former wife, Roslyn, started the Charlotte Chapter and was recognized for its early success. The chapter is now raising over two million dollars per year.
It is obvious to me that many of us in the Jewish community feel the same way about making Charlotte a better place. Many of us gained valuable leadership experience within our Jewish community and have worked hard to ensure that future generations will reap some of the benefits of our hard work.
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