Eric & Joanna Wisotsky
I was born in Baltimore and grew up in Rockville, Maryland as an active member of our Jewish community. We were members of a conservative synagogue where I attended religious school, became a Bar Mitzvah and was involved through post confirmation. During the summers, I went to the same Jewish camp, in Oxford, Pennsylvania that my father and uncle had attended.
Joanna grew up in Suffern, New York. Her father was raised with an orthodox background but gravitated to Reform Judaism, like her mom. Our backgrounds are very similar. Her family did not regularly attend services but being Jewish was important. She became a Bat Mitzvah and also attended Jewish summer camp.
We met in 1995 at Syracuse University and were married in 2000. I received my MBA from NYU in 2004. While working in NYC, I travelled to Charlotte on business trips. When we moved out of Manhattan, my daily commute into NYC was taking its toll and with our second son on the way, we started looking for a better work/life balance. We moved to Charlotte in May, 2007.
Joanna was a bit hesitant about moving south so finding a Jewish presence in Charlotte was important to us. We were much more intentional about connecting to the Jewish community than we had been previously. We bought our first home near Shalom Park and quickly realized that there was more connectivity to Charlotte’s Jewish community than we ever experienced growing up. All three boys attended the Charlotte Jewish Preschool resulting in a ten year relationship with the school. To many, including us, it is the entry point into our Jewish community. The Levine Jewish Community Center, Temple Israel and Charlotte Jewish Day School have become important parts of our lives providing us with religious education and social activities from swimming and J-tribes to softball and soccer.
We have learned that there is much more to Jewish life than the obligatory High Holiday services, and we hope our children see that Joanna and I have made Judaism an important part of our lives. Over time, they will understand how giving involves both time and finances. Tzedakah and legacy giving is very important to us because we want to see all of our Jewish organizations thrive and survive. If one is not as strong as it needs to be, it has a negative impact on the entire community.
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