Debra & David Van Glish
I was born and raised right here in Charlotte. There are a few of us natives spread around town! My sisters and I had our Bat Mitzvah celebrations at Temple Beth El where my father was President of the synagogue and my mom President of Sisterhood. My father grew up orthodox so the traditions of Judaism were very prevalent in our home. I participated in BBYO and recall fondly swim meets at the Amity Club.
I returned from the University of Georgia with my soon-to-be fiancé, David. One of our first dates in Athens was the Jewish Law Students Passover Social. We were married at Temple Beth El and were members of both Temple Beth El and Temple Israel for a number of years. David actually had his Bar Mitzvah at the old Temple Israel on Dilworth Road. We were members of the first Bernstein Leadership Group and quickly became active in a number of Jewish organizations on Shalom Park. We are currently members of both Temple Israel and Congregation Ohr HaTorah.
When our children started preschool, we chose The Jewish Preschool on Sardis. All three of our kids attended the Charlotte Jewish Day School. Our oldest child, Jordan has participated in Hebrew High and is active in BBYO along with our son, Ethan. Shayna will become a Bat Mitzvah this March at Temple Israel. All our children have participated in youth sports at the LJCC - tennis, basketball, and soccer. It seems that a day does not go by without one of us having some activity on the Shalom Park campus.
We are proud to be living Jewishly in Charlotte and appreciate all that the Jewish community offers. The five of us visited Israel for our son Ethan’s Bar Mitzvah where our Jewish identities were further strengthened. One of the highlights was a Shabbat dinner with an Israeli family that was arranged by our local Jewish Federation.
Instilling a sense of Jewish pride in our children has been important to David and me, much like it was for our parents. We are fortunate to have so many resources in Charlotte which help us accomplish this goal. Our hope is that future generations will also experience the ease of being Jewish in Charlotte. We are creating a legacy so that we can do for others what those prior to us did for our family.
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