Victor ז״ל and Evelyn ז״ל Osborne
Victor and I agree that our relocation to Gastonia in 1956 significantly impacted our connection and affiliation with Judaism. We were both born in New York and have known each other our entire lives. Our buildings were across from one another. Victor would give me a signal with his bedroom shades letting me know he was walking their dog so I could join him. We began dating in junior high school.
My parents were not particularly religious. My father was involved with B’nai Brith and my mother with Hadassah. We were members of the temple and I attended Sunday school through confirmation. At that time, women could not become b’nai mitzvah. Growing up, everyone around us was Jewish so there wasn’t the feeling that Jewish life was centered around a temple. Victor’s family was less religious, but the majority of his friends were Jewish.
In 1947, we were married and in 1956, moved to Gastonia . Richard was five and Andy was two. We were welcomed with open arms. The very first weekend we attended a bar mitzvah. The temple was full, so within a week we had a very positive feel for the nature of Jewish life in Gastonia. Gale was born in Gastonia.
Our lives soon revolved around the temple in ways that were quite different than our experiences growing up in New York. With approximately 35 Jewish families, everyone had a role as donors and as volunteers. It was a great way to teach and pass down the traditions of Judaism to our children. The temple became part of our social activities, and we attended temple almost every Friday night. Every time I baked, our children knew there was an upcoming Oneg Shabbat. Years later when asked about his volunteer work and philanthropy, our son Richard said it came from his parents. We are very proud of our children and grandchildren, especially their involvement with Jewish organization and other non-profit organizations. Our daughter, Gale, has worked as a volunteer and professional at the Charlotte Jewish Day School and Andy is past president of the synagogue.
In 2007, we moved to Charlotte after attending and supporting Temple Emanuel in Gastonia for over 50 years. The temple doors were gifts given by our children in our honor. Our legacy gift will support the temple so those doors will remain open to serve the needs of future generations.
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