Elise and Jaime Kosofsky
Jaime and I grew up in families committed to Judaism and determined to provide children with the necessary tools to develop their own Jewish identities. I was born in Arkansas before moving to Memphis, TN, where we attended an Orthodox shul. My parents, especially my mom, were very community oriented. The Federation’s Super Sunday and giving back have always been part of my life. I remember my parents giving gifts of their time, and now realize they were also philanthropic in other ways. I attended Northeastern University in Boston and met Jaimie after moving to Lansing, MI.
Jaime received a traditional Jewish education in the small, one synagogue town of Terre Haute, IN. His parents were also very community minded and active in their temple, Federation and many non-Jewish causes. His parents and grandparents led by example and gave back so others had opportunities to embrace their Jewish heritage. He attended Indiana University and later Thomas Cooley School Law School.
Following another difficult Michigan winter, we looked to relocate and defrost. It was critical to us to find a community with an Orthodox shul, kosher butcher and a school for future family to receive a strong Jewish education. We would not move to a city unless these things were available to us. We moved to Charlotte In 1998 and were married that same year. What we found was not just a Jewish infrastructure but a community. You can’t see this when you first visit a city.
Jaime and I feel that religion is very personal and children should not be trained to be “Orthodox”, “Conservative” or “Reform”. Our children have learned this, and so much more, at the Charlotte Jewish Day School. While Congregation Ohr Hatorah is our spiritual home, the mitzvah of tzedakah is not limited to our spiritual journey but part of who we are and what we do. Giving back is a way of showing gratitude to others, who came before us and built our community from scratch. When our children are in Shalom Park or in the Levine Jewish Community Center, waiting for me while I attend a meeting, they are giving of their own time.
It is our hope and expectation that the Jewish community of Charlotte will always be a place for children to be exposed to our religion, culture and heritage enabling them to create and maintain their own Jewish identity.
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