Mazel Tov to our August Mensch of the Month, Cheryl August! If you do not know her (which seems impossible) please meet Cheryl in her own words!
I was born outside of Rochester, NY. I worked over the years as an administrative assistant in the legal and real estate fields. I met Barry when he was transferred to the Rochester area by the Veterans Administration. Because of his job we have lived in San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston area, and Vermont before retiring to North Carolina to be near family.
I was not born Jewish but after meeting Barry and going to services with him, I realized that I had found the spiritual home I was looking for. After a year of meeting weekly with a Rabbi, I had my mikvah a month before our wedding.
After moving here we did not find a congregation that we felt comfortable with. We then heard about Congregation B’nai Israel shortly before the High Holidays. We attended a Friday service and everyone was so friendly and welcoming that we knew we had found a home. Plus, we both really liked Rabbi Liebowitz.
For me I feel that the congregation is like a cherished friend to me. I am so grateful to the support everyone gave to me after Barry passed away, especially Rabbi Liebowitz. I really appreciate that so many call to check on me whenever I have been absent from services or if I am sick.
A funny story – Several years back I visited Ireland for two weeks. I had forgotten to remind anyone that I was going to be gone. The day after my return my doorbell rang and there was the sheriff checking on me. It seems that the Rabbi as well as many other members were concerned they had not seen me in a while and had called the sheriff. It gave me a warm feeling to know others cared.
I got involved in the Temple several months after Barry passed away when they put a notice in Temple Topics for a volunteer for financial secretary. I felt I needed something to keep me busy and volunteered. I also became more involved at that time in Sisterhood which was a great experience learning so much about the history of Sisterhood and the Temple from all the older members. I eventually became the Treasurer and am currently the President of Sisterhood. I am so grateful to all the women in Sisterhood and the wonderful work we do on the bake sale to support the Temple.
I am grateful to have found this congregation and the sense of community that is here. I wish to be able to do whatever I can to keep the Temple as not only a place of worship, but as a community of caring individuals.