Dr.Edwin & Jill Newman
Ed and I were high school sweethearts. He lived in Iowa and came from a more conservative background. My family attended the reform temple and lived across the river in Moline, IL. We were married in 1958. We both learned at an early age the importance of tzedakkah from our religious school teachers and from our parents at home. Our move to Charlotte in 1967, after years of professional education and Army life, rekindled our Judaism. We became involved right away.
We wanted our children to become familiar with their Jewish background, have a Jewish education and have Jewish friends. Judaism is threatened by assimilation and we felt it was important that they establish a Jewish identity. We led by example in the same manner as others had done for us and exposed our children to our Jewish community through our involvement.
We are very proud of the comfort our children and grandchildren have with being Jewish. They feel comfort in their own religious observances. We both feel that our preschools provide a foundation that enables children to explain to their friends, at an early age, what being Jewish is all about. All our grandchildren attended Jewish preschool.
The strength of our Jewish community has played an important part in our lives and those of our children and grandchildren. Our Jewish organizations complement one another. The Levine Jewish Community Center provides so many options and supports the temple in serving the needs of the community. Our involvement with the Federation has helped us both to fully appreciate that the needs of the Jewish people must be met locally and overseas.
Our family’s trip to Israel in 1978 for my younger son’s Bar Mitzvah had a profound effect on us. It allowed us all to see the importance of Israel, how much it has accomplished, and why it is so important that it succeeds and thrives. We returned in 2006 and were equally impressed and proud. Israel, our local Jewish organizations, and the education of our youth are essential parts of our Judaism.
Ed and I learned at an early age the importance of giving back to our society and have tried to pass on those lessons to our children and grandchildren. We each have a role to play and hope that by creating a permanent gift for our community we will inspire our children, grandchildren and others to do the same.
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