I grew up in Birmingham as a kid, surrounded by my father, Herbert’s, large and loving family. But in grade school, we moved away to a larger city that offered more opportunities. Throughout my childhood, I attended Hebrew school, although predictably, I got nothing out of it since I was deaf—as was the rest of my family. Still, I grew up knowing that the temple and my religion were important beyond measure.
Today, I live on the west coast in Southern California and recently came back to Birmingham to visit my roots. As I stopped in the Temple Emanu-El sanctuary —memories came flooding back. I went to the cemetery as well and was incredibly moved to see all the names of my ancestors. My father taught me to always make a donation when visiting a synagogue. This time, the temple had pointed significance; so I made a special gift to perpetuate our family so that the name “Dannis” will infinitely live on here in Birmingham.