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Donor Stories: Sonna & Norm Loewenthal

We both grew up in northeastern suburbs. In North Jersey it was mostly Jewish and Italian; near Boston mostly Jewish and Irish.  Neither of us had to explain why we were absent from school on those days in September.  We and half of our classmates went to religious school at one synagogue or another. Neither of us had to think about our identities as Jewish kids.

Then we moved to Chapel Hill, a town with no synagogue.  In 1980, our daughter came home from kindergarten informing us of the Baptist view of the universe, and we had to think about our identities and those of our children.  We realized that we could no longer be so passive about our religion, and that that heritage would not be passed on to our children simply by osmosis.  We immediately joined Judea Reform Congregation and enrolled our daughter in religious school.

How grateful we were that Judea Reform Congregation existed and that there was a religious school open and operating when we sought it!  People before us had built the institution that lasted beyond their personal needs and that provided us the means to ensure a Jewish education for that little girl and the brother who came after her.  As for her parents, it provided a vibrant Jewish setting within which we have been able to experience community, involvement, and the connection with our heritage, which have meant so much to us.  We are thankful for the foresight and generosity of those earlier generations who created and nurtured an institution to help the Jewish people endure.

We feel fortunate to be able to leave a legacy gift to Judea Reform, to know that we are helping to ensure that a thriving Jewish institution will last into the future for any and all who may seek it, just as our forebears did for us.

Sat, April 1 2023 10 Nisan 5783