We were leaving New York City in 1993, where we had always lived, and moving to Charlotte, North Carolina. We wanted to ensure that our commitment to our Jewish heritage would be instilled in our children as it had been for both of us. Our story begins when we found our way to the Sandra and Leon Levine Jewish Community Center.
From the moment we walked in the door – we knew we had found our home away from home. We were welcomed into the “J” family as so many Jewish newcomer families had been before us. We were invited to a “Newcomer’s Shalom Y’All Schmooze” (who knew??) and from there our life centered around the JCC. Friendships blossomed and grew as we met other Jewish “transplants” while shuffling our children from one activity to the next. We were enveloped into a place where our family was nurtured and where Jewish values were the thread of everything we did. Our two sons, Zachary and Jacob, looked forward to being at the “J” everyday and we were thrilled to have this haven available for them.
Karen had made the decision to take a leave of absence from her work to be able to focus on raising our sons. It seemed the perfect opportunity to volunteer at the “J” and give back to the many people who had been so impactful over the years of our participation there. Karen’s professional expertise was Human Resources – and so she offered her services to assist in that arena. Eventually, that lead to a broader staff position and ultimately, Karen was appointed to be the Associate Executive Director – a position which she still holds at the time of this writing. Teddy Roosevelt once said “one of life’s greatest honors is being able to do work worth doing” and Karen feels privileged every day to be able to fulfill that mission as part of the Levine JCC.
We chose to make a Legacy gift to the Levine JCC because we believe passionately that this agency needs to always be a part of the Charlotte landscape for our children, their children and for generations to come.
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