When we moved to Hampton Roads from Richmond in 1977, we had no family or friends in this area. We had not lived here very long when we met and became friendly with Gary Rubin and his wife Nancy (of blessed memory), who were members of Ohef Sholom Temple. Gary was on the board of the Temple and Nancy was head of the Religious School.
We had been looking to affiliate with a temple, and when Gary and Nancy invited us to attend shabbat services with them at Ohef Sholom, we agreed. We both enjoyed the services led by Rabbi Forman, the oneg shabbat following services and the congregants we met. We knew that we had found our spiritual home.
In the years that followed our joining Ohef Sholom, both of our children, Eric and Scott, were consecrated, bar mitzvahed and confirmed there; Eric was married there; and Carol had her adult bat mitzvah there. In addition to having all of our life cycle events at Ohef Sholom, we have met and become close with several Temple families who have become our extended family. We attend services together; celebrate Jewish holidays together; and support each other at life cycle events and on other occasions when the presence of family is important.
In considering what we could do to help support Ohef Sholom for the benefit of future generations, we were guided by Phil Rovner and the supportive staff at the Tidewater Jewish Foundation in setting up a fund, using an existing life insurance policy, which will benefit our Temple in the future. What is important for people in our Jewish community to know is that you do not have to have a substantial amount of wealth in order to endow the future of the local Jewish institutions which mean so much to our community. It simply takes some thought about your own family's situation; a belief that the vitality of local Jewish institutions should be ensured for future generations; and taking the time to meet with the staff of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation to implement your family's commitment.