My father-in-law, Jacob Brody, asked me to come to Norfolk in 1947 to build some houses and we stayed. Mr. Brody was a founder of Temple Israel and a committed Jew. Through his example, both Eleanor and I learned the importance of tzedakah. Eleanor was active in the National Council of Jewish Women, the Temple sisterhood, the Federation, the JCC and many civic organizations. I also served the Federation, the JCC, the Boy Scouts, as well as the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Growing up, we met at our grandparents’ home for Friday night dinner every week. Shabbos was the blanket that kept families and the Jewish community together. Now, we have this new campus that will unite the Jews of Tidewater.
My favorite poem sums it up:
The Bridge Builder
The builder lifted his old gray head “Good friend, in the way that I’ve come”, he said, There followeth after me today A youth whose feet must pass this way. This stream that has been as naught to me To the fair-haired youth might a pitfall be He, too, must cross the twilight dim, Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”