Elie Wiesel once said, "Life is not made of years, but of moments."
We are charged with making our moments mitzvahs. We are charged with making our moments count!
I grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with only seven Jews in my high school. After moving to Miami, I met my wife, Arden Magoon. We got married at Temple Israel, where Arden's grandfather was one of the founding members. When we moved to Bay Harbor Islands, we joined Temple Beth Sholom and have been members for over 20 years. We have three wonderful children: Jared, Micah and Lily who all became B'nei Mitzvah at Temple Beth Sholom. Arden also celebrated her adult Bat Mitzvah here. We went on the Magical Mitzvah Tour to Israel where we renewed our wedding vows with Rabbi Glickstein and Jared had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
For our children, growing up at the Temple has helped them form deep connections with their Jewish identity and their love of Israel. Our son Micah completed a semester abroad in Israel at Tel Aviv University. Jared had his Bar Mitzvah in Israel. Lily plans to attend High School in Israel. The connection we all have and need to have with Israel is essential. This connection is a central part of who we are as a people. Instilling Jewish values in our children is what makes this journey even more meaningful.
Family tradition and values are very important. In order to carry on these traditions, our Jewish community is essential. Arden and I have always been philanthropic. As we get older, we feel that we are able to give more and contribute to causes that are meaningful to us. The Legacy Endowment Campaign fulfills that very meaning. Continuity of Jewish values is very dear to us. Our calling to give back to the community has given our family so much. Giving back has become a way of life for us. We will continue to work to grow this vital campaign to address the financial needs of our Temple, so that we remain strong and relevant as our Jewish world changes.
When I considered becoming the President of the Temple, Jared's support and insistence that I accept was ultimately the deciding factor in accepting the nomination. The way to guarantee that our children maintain their Jewish identity is to support our great Temple. This legacy gift will ensure that this happens for generations to come. The tenacity my parents displayed so early on in my life became the backbone for my commitment to Judaism. We are passing on these values to our children.
Our Temple is strong. Our Temple is thriving. Our Temple is an amazing Jewish space. We all should be proud of our Jewish moments.