“There is something for everyone here. It furthers my desire to create a legacy. It’s a legacy to the community too, and I think that’s priceless.”

In the early 70s, my parents and I moved to Miami Beach from New York. At that time, my parents enrolled me in Hebrew school at Temple Menorah just so that I could become a bar mitzvah. We were simply check-the-box Jews. My wife Chris and I met at Treasure Island Elementary School. Her mother is Roman Catholic, and her father is Jewish, but non-practicing. We were two neighborhood kids growing up together; I was Jew-ish and Chris had no organized religion in her life. Little did we know what our Jewish journey would evolve into.

Chris and I had many childhood friends who grew up as members of Temple Beth Sholom. We saw what the Temple offered this community: the youth programming, the multi-generational involvement, and the rich relational fabric of the congregation. We knew then that we wanted to be part of that community. Personally, I knew that I wanted my future family to have the same experience that I only observed as a child and young adult. We were determined to someday contribute to the legacy of this congregation and raise our children as part of the Temple Beth Sholom family.

In 1992, Chris and I were living in New York when we decided to get married. As we prepared to have children, we decided to move back to Miami Beach. Chris said we have to join Temple Beth Sholom, I wholeheartedly agreed, and we did exactly that.

Upon joining Temple Beth Sholom, Chris co-founded the Temple’s Parent Child Program. Dedicated to connecting families and creating a safe, educational environment for Parent-Child interaction, Chris worked on growing the Parent Child Program for approximately five years. Her contribution in this regard blossomed into a traditional bonding experience for many families of Temple Beth Sholom that lives on to this day. 

We watched with pride as our children progressed through the Parent Child Program, Beshty, the B’nei Mitzvah Program, Confirmation, and their visits to Israel. We are eternally grateful to Temple Beth Sholom for helping our children develop strong Jewish identities and lifelong friendships with other Jewish children. Through our children, Chris and I vicariously experienced all that we observed about Temple Beth Sholom many years before.

As our children became increasingly involved at Temple Beth Sholom, so did Chris and I. We felt inspired to increase our membership commitments and sponsor events. The culmination of my personal involvement at Temple Beth Sholom was my decision to join the executive board. Through it all, Chris and I realized that the Temple has something to offer everyone, children and adults alike. Ultimately, we decided to make a planned gift as part of our legacy to ensure that other families can share the same profound effect Temple Beth Sholom has bestowed upon our family.

Our story demonstrates that Temple Beth Sholom’s reach extends even to those beyond our immediate congregation. Our commitment to Temple Beth Sholom is rooted in the benefit our family has received. Our experience furthers our desire to contribute to the Temple’s legacy, and we only hope that we can give back as much as our family has received and more.