Linda & Sam Levy
Sam and I are New Yorkers. When we moved to Charlotte in 1987, it was an easy transition for Sam and a bit for more difficult for me. We were living in Long Island in what we thought would be our first and only home. Now, years later we proudly leave a legacy gift in support of a Jewish community and institutions that welcomed us with open arms.
I grew up in Brooklyn and later became Staten Island’s first Bat Mitzvah. While my father was active in the Jewish community, I didn’t grow up in a religious family. Sam is from the Bronx and refers to his family as “gastronomical Jews”. His mom kept a kosher home and lit Shabbat candles. Sam attended religious school and became a Bar Mitzvah, but his parents were not especially active in the Jewish community.
We met in 1960, were married two years later and settled on Long Island in the late sixties. Our children, Simon and Sharon, became B’nai Mitzvahs at our conservative synagogue, and we did our best as Jewish role models.
The first thing that really impressed me upon arriving in Charlotte was how we were welcomed at Temple Israel. I remember being impacted by an Aliyah for women, something I had never previously seen. In 1990 we became part of a tight knit group that went on a Federation trip to Israel. We have since traveled to Israel a combined 8 times and often visit Jewish sites when traveling abroad. These experiences have made us wonder how, among the many things that have happened to Jews throughout history, we have continued to survive and prosper. That is great motivation for us to do our part to ensure that Judaism, and the institutions that support it, are available to serve future generations.
In Charlotte, our social life has centered around Temple Israel. We have also been welcomed into the Temple Beth El family participating in its SPICE group and its trip to Israel. We have become observant in our own way. During Yom Kippur we heard about legacy giving and realized it was something we could do. Our children are supportive and proud of our legacy commitment.
In Charlotte we purchased our second house and truly found a home. We want to be remembered for making a difference and to thank Charlotte’s Jewish community for embracing us.
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