My late husband, Mervyn, grew up at the conservative synagogue. However, as a teenager, he was friendly with Rabbi Grafman and became a Hebrew School teacher at the age of 16. Instead of getting paid, he joined Temple Emanu-El. That’s how much and how long our family has been involved.
Today, the Temple is home for me. It meant everything to us, especially when we were raising our family. Our children were all consecrated and confirmed here, and this is where both the boys became bar mitzvah. I simply could not think of Temple Emanu-El not existing for my great-great-grandchildren and for future generations. Birmingham has such a special Jewish community in that everyone feels a need to belong. That’s why it is so important to give back and support the future of our congregation. It is our identity.
Mervyn taught me everything I know about giving back. He’s the one who inspired me to do things that make a difference. I’m so pleased to have created a legacy gift which will endow my dues so that the congregation continues to have my support even when I am no longer here. As I said, Temple means everything to me, and Mervyn would join in wanting to make sure that future generations have a place to belong.