C. David and Risa B. Miller
For as long as David and I can remember, Judaism has filled our lives. My earliest Jewish memories were attending services at my grandparent's Orthodox synagogue in Queens, NY. I remember dressing up in "holiday clothes", calling up to the kitchen window when we arrived downstairs at their apartment, smelling my grandmother's cooking in the hallway of their building, and of course, walking to shul with them. My grandparents were my first connection to Judaism, but throughout my life, my parents always treasured sharing Jewish customs and rituals.
Similarly, David's grandparents and parents instilled strong Jewish values at a young age. We still prepare the same recipes for Shabbat dinner that David grew up with at his grandparent's house in Greensboro. His parents took numerous trips to Israel, were very involved with Jewish Federation, and David attended Jewish Day School. His commitment to Tikkun Olam came from the example his parents have set throughout their lives.
As parents, we wanted to honor the examples set for us and, of course, set an example for our own children. Simply stated, we wanted our family’s Jewish values to be passed down from one generation to the next. When we moved to Charlotte, David and I were embraced by the vibrant Jewish community here. Coming from New York, I felt so fortunate to be welcomed into such a strong, tight-knit Jewish community. I noticed quickly, upon my first visit to Shalom Park, that Southern towns have a tradition of building strong Jewish communities. I immediately felt the need to "give back", and we started giving tzedakah and our time to many Jewish organizations in Charlotte.
Fourteen years later, both of our children have attended Charlotte Jewish Day School and we have been to Israel as a family twice. Commitment to lifelong Jewish education and passing down the Torah from generation to generation continue to keep the Jewish people strong. We have received so much from the Charlotte Jewish community, and we believe it is our obligation to provide for others. Making a difference in our world now and in the future is why we are here. Leaving a legacy gift is our way of ensuring Jewish continuity for generations to come.
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