Community Cafe

Natalie & Josh Adler

Natalie: Growing up, I went to a Christian church with my best friend a lot. It was fun, but it just never clicked. I think I had certain core beliefs and values that were never expressed through any religion until I came here.

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Empty Nester Sara Rollman

“Retirement has been a time of exploration. I’ve focused on how I’m going to fill all the aspects of my life – what spokes I want to put in my wheel. One spoke is for being active, one for community service, one for spiritual activities, one for healthier cooking, one for travel.”

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Simply Simpatico: The Morris Family

Lindsay says: I grew up in Indianapolis. Judaism wasn’t a huge part of our lives, and I didn’t have many Jewish friends. That’s why it’s important to me for our kids to be involved in Temple. I want them to have a sense of community that I didn’t have, to feel connected to other Jewish kids in a way that I didn’t. It’s important that not just our religion, but our culture, heritage, history, and traditions are carried on. Everything about Judaism is positive. It’s all about teaching us to be good people.

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Marine Green

Zachary Green’s military journey became a journey of faith. Zach Green comes from a creative family. His father was a principal bassist for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, his mother a ballerina with the Cincinnati Ballet. So, the entire family was horrified when six-year-old Zach spent his waking hours turning the backyard into a mud-filled war theater and sticks into weapons.

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Anna Lerhaupt’s good life in America

Many Polish Jews survived Nazi annihilation by fleeing to Russia. My mother’s whole family, due to her brother’s foresight, escaped to Russia. My father was not so lucky, he was the only one of his whole family to flee Poland, and the only one to survive.

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Conrad Weiner: Never Forget

In 1941, when Conrad Weiner was just 3-½, he and his mother, uncle, aunt, and cousin were sent from their homes in Russian-occupied Bukovina, Romania, to a labor camp in the Ukraine. Conrad’s father had been conscripted into the Russian army and died on the front line. In this fraught time, Conrad was saved from death twice.

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I Came Here to Work

It’s impossible to tell Yan’s powerful immigration story without beginning with his parents’ stories, as they may explain Yan’s incredible resilience, perseverance, and passion. When Yan’s father was just six years old, his parents were killed in a Jewish pogrom during the post-Bolshevik Revolution Civil War. He and his brother somehow survived in the streets of Odessa, Ukraine. Yan’s father went on to be a Russian Naval hero, who two times saved the wounded captains of ships that had been struck by enemy fire. Yan’s mother was also left without a father when she was just a child. Her father was accused of anti-Soviet actions, arrested and sent to a GULAG camp during Stalin’s repressions, where he vanished without a trace. The family was stripped of everything they owned and declared the “Enemies of the People”.

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The Bounties of America

Eight-year-old Michael Schmerler stood in the produce section of an Ohio grocery store and marveled at the seemingly endless supply of fruits and vegetables. His childhood experience reminds us all to be appreciative of all we have. “People here complain about silly things, but they have no idea how bad it can be. In Poland, we had to be at the grocer at 5:00 a.m. to grab maybe one apple. I never even saw a banana in Poland, but here there were racks of them! The pleasures of America are so bountiful.”

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Monique Rothschild: Grateful Every Day

How It Began. My parents were German Jews who didn’t know each other in Germany. Coincidentally, they both left Germany on the same day in 1933. As fierce Libertarians, they left for freedom of expression, after seeing overt signs of Nazism. My father, a renowned journalist who had openly criticized Hitler, was even on a watch list. They each went to Paris, where many intellectuals went, and met at a literary cafe. Everything changed when Germany invaded France in 1940.

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Photos Are Her Prized Possessions

At age 13, Ora left Israel with her family and immigrated to Montreal, Canada. But she boarded the plane with a secret. Tucked inside her underwear, hidden from security and from her mother, were three black and white photos.

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