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I’m from Chicago and Diana is from St Louis. We have lived in six different cities and been active in every Synagogue we have belonged to, including being on the Board of Directors of every Synagogue.
It was not until coming to Sherith Israel that we found what Community is. Of course we had close friends in all the other Synagogues, but the other Congregants were just that, Congregants, mostly seen on the High Holidays. We were both raised and always belonged in the Conservative movement. We found Sherith Israel to be a place where Reform, Conservative and Orthodox all feel welcome and pray together.
Perhaps that’s what makes it a Community. Perhaps its our outstanding clergy, Rabbis Saul Strosberg and Aaron Finkelstein and Cantor George Lieberman. Perhaps its that 150 people gather every Shabbat to pray, schmooze and enjoy a sit-down Kiddish luncheon.
We are now retired with no family in Nashville and could live anywhere we wanted to. We choose to live in Nashville and belong to Sherith Israel.
Our grandparents were charter members of the Shul. Our grandmother, Wilma Kirshner, was instrumental in founding the Hungarian Burial Society, which evolved into forming the Shul and is now the Sherith Israel Cemetery.
In 1905, our grandfather, Abraham Kirshner, was the person who went to the State of Tennessee to obtain the charter for Congregation Sherith Israel. Our great-grandmother, Chana Brown, became a member of the Congregation when she moved to Nashville. Our parents, Dave and Bertha Gordon, were also long-time active members.
We too have been active members: Anne served as President of the Sisterhood and we have both been officers of the Shul. And our husbands, Henry Foyer and Bernard Schreiber (z''l) were both presidents of the Shul. Our grandchildren are now the sixth generation of our family to be part of the Shul.
We hope that many generations to follow will continue our family's tradition of leadership in Sherith Israel.
On January 21, 2018, we honored our stalwart members who have been part of Congregation Sherith Israel for 36 years or longer. As part of the event, we interviewed some of those members about their reminiscences of the Shul and their hopes for the future. The video lasts approximately 17 minutes, and is an important part of our oral history. Click on this link to go to our YouTube Page and view the video: