“I feel that what I can do with my life beyond this earth is to give to future generations.”

Some love stories take longer than others to play out…but if they are truly bashert (destined to be), time knows no boundaries. For Barbara and Allan Pekor, a five-decade winding road led them to their 2013 marriage at Temple Beth Sholom by Rabbi Davis and Cantor Segal. Through their combined families, between them they now have five children, nine grandchildren, and even a great grandchild. Their love and commitment to one another and to Reform Judaism is why their legacy gift is planned through their wills. They both believe that a gift through a bequest best expresses their continued support for the future of Temple Beth Sholom, beyond their years.

Allan’s philosophy is “the reason we are here today, is because every generation made an investment in the future generation. Without that, who knows what would happen?” Barbara adds, “You may give to other organizations, but they don’t make you feel good like the Temple does when you are a legacy donor.” Barbara shares that she had never given much thought to giving through a will before; however, she does recall her uncle having done so for a synagogue up north. “It doesn’t have to be a large amount, but the thought that part of you is going to help future generations who possibly could not afford temple membership is important.”

Looking back, Barbara’s upbringing was conservative and she was actively involved in temple life. Allan’s family, though a bit less religious, did keep a kosher home and belonged to a conservative synagogue led by iconic Rabbi Joachim Prinz, who was an inspiration to him. They each were previously married and met as friends and neighbors 50 years ago in Manalapan, New Jersey, where the couples raised their families. At the time, there was only a semi-orthodox synagogue in the area, so they joined together with 12 other families to found Temple Shaari Emeth. They worked tirelessly to hold services and religious school classes wherever they could, as they conducted fundraisers to eventually build a permanent home for the temple. It grew into a successful reform congregation of 600 families that they still visit whenever they are in New Jersey. Allan served twice as President of the congregation and spent 5 years as Temple youth group leader, and Barbara was Membership Chairman, as well as a much beloved 3rd grade religious school teacher for 45 years.  

In 1989, when Allan and his family moved to Miami Beach, as a housewarming gift, their friends Sue and Leonard Miller z”l, gave them a one year membership to Temple Beth Sholom. Allan felt he found a temple home. “The clergy is terrific! I’ve continued to serve on the Board over many years and am most interested in social action and Judaism’s commitment to the values our religion espouses.”

When the right circumstances led them to reunite and marry, Barbara also felt a deep connection to Temple Beth Sholom and said, “I felt like I was home again.” Barbara actively volunteers at Mount Sinai Hospital and is a member of the Temple team that feeds the homeless at Chapman Partnership. Together they share a long-term commitment to supporting legacy through their estate planning. “It is personally rewarding for both of us to know that beyond our own years, we will be supporting the continuity of Jewish life at Temple Beth Sholom.”