Lorrie & Barry Klemons and Family
When ABC Television was sold in 1985, Barry predicted a major upheaval in the broadcasting industry and resigned as ABC’s technical director. Realizing the limited opportunities in New York City for a 35-year-old man with a young family and large mortgage who was seeking to make a career change, he decided to search for a different city in which to start a new life.
We read an article about Charlotte in Piedmont Airlines’ in-flight magazine and decided to explore the city. After spending a weekend in Charlotte, we both fell in love with the city and knew in our hearts that Charlotte was where we wanted to raise our family. The cohesiveness and strength of Charlotte’s tiny Jewish population of 5,000 inspired us so quickly and so deeply. The JCC had just opened and the energy, spirit and excitement of Shalom Park was awesome and contagious! Our journey to Charlotte was truly a leap of faith.
In New York, we lived in a totally Jewish community with kosher restaurants and synagogues all within walking distance. Yet we never felt connected. When we moved to Charlotte, we were profoundly sparked by an immediate connection. We stepped out of a semi-Jewish life directly into a strongly connected Jewish lifestyle. Reaching out to Charlotte’s Jewish community in small ways, we were quickly consumed by its acceptance and warmth.
On day ten of our new life here, I became Recording Secretary of the Charlotte Chapter of B’nai B’rith Women. The saga continues today as we both have spent many years involving ourselves in a variety of Jewish organizations and related committees. Both of our sons attended Talmud Torah and Temple Israel religious schools. They both assumed leadership positions with BBYO, went to Jewish camps, toured and studied in Israel and participated in Hillel activities at their respective college campuses. After graduating from college, our older son spent 3 1/2 years reaching out to Jewish college students while working for Hillel.
It is the vibrancy of our Charlotte Jewish community that makes us the connected Jews that we are today. We owe our spiritual lives to this community and through our financial commitment to the organizations that have meant so much to us, we say Todah Rabah, thank you very much, and L’ Dor v’ Dor, from generation to generation, may you continue to inspire and motivate Charlotte’s Jewish community to holiness and greatness.
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