Anita Strauss-LaRowe & Bruce LaRowe
Having been raised in a Conservative Jewish home, I never intended to intermarry. And considering that I did not date non-Jews, I thought I had that well under control. When Bruce, who grew up in a religious non-Jewish home, joined the staff at the same arts council where I worked, I considered him an interesting and fun colleague, but nothing more. We worked together, and attended arts events together (strictly business, of course) and well, fate had a different path for us. I like to say that we never actually dated, we just got married.
When Bruce’s career took us to Charlotte in 1983, I had to shake off my New York prejudices against the South. We had agreed to keep a kosher home, and to raise our children in the Jewish faith. But I worried whether there would be a temple where Bruce would feel welcome, and where we could raise children (not that we had any yet!) in a supportive Jewish environment. We found that community in Temple Beth Shalom, which then emerged into Temple Beth El. And when we were blessed with Joanne, and later, with Jonathan, they were received with love into the temple family. Through religious school, Bat and Bar Mitzvah, and confirmation, our children grew in their Jewish learning. Their trips to Israel with Rabbi Barras, Susan Jacobs, and their Temple friends further cemented their Jewish identities.
In gratitude for the impact that Temple Beth El has had on our family, Bruce and I have supported the Temple each year, and provided for the Temple in our wills. It is our hope that it will always welcome each individual and every family who honors the Jewish people, and who seeks to observe our mitzvoth, and to pass along our rich heritage.
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