Judie & Mike Van Glish
After two especially bad winters in New Jersey, Judie and I decided there must be a better place to raise our young family. Through my business travels I had become familiar with Charlotte. Providing our children, David and Melissa, with a strong Jewish identity was a priority. We traveled to Charlotte and toured the JCC, Temple Israel in Dilworth and Wallace’s kosher butcher shop. We arrived in Charlotte in 1977 and found it very welcoming.
Judie grew up with an Orthodox background in Lakewood, NJ. Her grandfather was an active Zionist and very philanthropic, donating a Torah to the congregation. I grew up in Ocean Township, NJ raised in a Conservative congregation. We met on a blind date in 1964 and were married two years later.
It was easy being Jewish in the Northeast but once in Charlotte it required a bit more effort. Temple Israel and the Jewish Community Center (now LJCC) provided religious education for our children, spiritual support, programs and the opportunity to socialize with other Jewish families. The majority of our life-long friendships were established during those early years. We all gained a greater sense and purpose of our Jewish identity.
The vision of Shalom Park made it easier for our family, and many others, to interact, develop relationships and build strong Jewish lives. While serving as President of the Levine Jewish Community Center I was able to participate in our community’s collaborative efforts. A third generation of Van Glish’s have now benefitted from our community. Our grandchildren have attended both the Jewish Preschool on Sardis and the Charlotte Jewish Day School and participated in numerous activities at the LJCC. There are many more Jewish experiences available to them than existed for their parents. We take pride in the work of Jewish Family Services and appreciate the support provided by the Jewish Federation.
Judie and I feel it is our generation’s turn to continue the legacy that was created from the vision of those who preceded us. Today, young and more seasoned families have so many ways to connect with their Jewish heritage. We feel it is important to grow and perpetuate the programs being offered so future generations will have the same opportunities. We are very fortunate that through our legacy gift we have the opportunity to assure that others will have the same wonderful and positive Jewish experiences growing up and living in Charlotte.
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