Alison & Mark Lerner

Charlotte’s Jewish community is a significant part of our lives. For that reason alone, the decision to leave a legacy gift to sustain its future was an easy decision for us. When I was 16, my family moved to Charlotte from Marlton, NJ. Being native New Yorkers, my parents had some anxiety about moving to the South and to a smaller Jewish community. Much of our lives had revolved around the Jewish community -- our synagogue and Jewish youth groups for my brother and me. Upon arriving in Charlotte, I immediately became involved with BBYO. As a teenager, it was a great way to transition to life in the south and enabled me to meet friends and feel more at home.

Mark is a native Charlottean. His family was actively involved at Temple Israel and throughout the entire community. His father, Sam Lerner, who passed away in 1987, was one of the community’s quiet leaders and founders of Shalom Park. His mother, Lynn, has also been very involved in the community and has generously supported the Jewish community and other local charities with “Your Truly Needlepoint”. Mark learned through his family the importance of being connected to the Jewish community and the obligation to give back.

We met for the first time in 1993 on the Stairmaster in the gym at the Levine JCC. Mark had returned to Charlotte after receiving his undergraduate degree from Georgetown and his law degree from the University of North Carolina. After living two years in Atlanta, following graduation from the University of North Carolina, I had also returned to town. We were married in 1994.

As young adults, we joined the first Bernstein Leadership Group and I became more involved with the Federation. Our children attended the Jewish Preschool on Sardis and the Charlotte Jewish Day School, where I am still very involved. Temple Israel and the LJCC have also played an important role in our family’s life. Mark and I have served on boards of eight different Jewish organizations and have received great fulfillment from our volunteer work.

We love the Charlotte Jewish community and are proud of our involvement in it. For Mark and me, leaving a legacy is our way of saying thank you to the community that has given us so much.

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