Elise Menaker

The Menaker Family

I was born in Spartanburg, SC, and lived there for 12 years before moving to New York with my father, mother and sister. Jerry was born in New York. His family moved to Miami Beach, as I did, when he was a teenager. After a summer romance, it was five years before we met again while we were attending the University of Miami. We decided to have lunch and the rest is history.

Jerry and I were married in 1956 and had our twins, Steven and Scott, in 1959. We had not expected twins, but were delighted. In 1969 we moved to Charlotte, a familiar town since I had visited my father, Sidney Kosch, and stepmother there for many years. My father served as president of Temple Beth El and worked to build its education building at the previous Providence Road location, where his five grandchildren would later attend religious school. His giving and efforts were a visible and meaningful part of my life.

We both became involved in our Jewish community. I served as treasurer of the Temple Beth El Sunday School and Hadassah, and I am a life member of Hadassah and B’nai B’rith Women. After college, our sons returned to Charlotte and became very involved in Jewish organizations. Eventually, Steven served as Temple Beth El’s president concurrently with Scott’s term as president of the Levine Jewish Community Center. Jerry and I “kvelled” with pride as our sons assumed leadership roles in our Jewish community. My five grandsons have also shown a commitment to their Jewish education and I look forward to their accomplishments in the future.

Jerry was a very hard worker and loved what he did. He passed away in February 2004, leaving a legacy of giving both his time and dollars. He coached our son’s Little League Team and supported Jewish causes while contributing to the Federation, B’nai B’rith, Temple Beth El, and Hillel at UNC Chapel Hill, where our sons and grandsons attended.

Our family is proud of our Jewish background and how it impacts our lives. It is very rewarding to see how our family has benefitted from a strong Jewish community. I am proud to continue our family’s support for Jewish causes, both locally and outside our area. It is my hope that future generations of Menakers, as well as the entire Jewish community, will benefit from my estate gift and that the legacy of our Jewish heritage is maintained for many generations.

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