Meet Jewish Gateways Participant Carole Shein
Carole was born and raised in Chicago. Her grandparents and father immigrated from Russia. Her parents knew Yiddish and considered themselves Jewish, but were mostly focused on learning about and integrating into urban American life and didn't share much about Judaism.
Carole recalls, “my memorable Jewish experiences were dressing up, sitting close to my grandmother upstairs in temple, pretending to read the prayer book during High Holidays.”
Carole first came to Jewish Gateways for High Holiday services six year ago. She remembers:
I was moved by the warmth in the big tent, the soulful music, the English and Hebrew prayer book, and Rabbi Bridget’s compelling and thoughtful sermons. Four years ago, I responded to a request to assist Jewish Gateways to think about ways to showcase its strengths, look at possibilities for programming and seek additional funding sources. Together with other committed volunteer leaders, I became part of the fund development committee.
For much of her adult life Carole has worked in and with non-profit organizations, primarily focusing on fund development. Her main volunteer activity right now is serving on the steering council of Jewish Gateways.
What could be better than starting each meeting with a teaching and an intentional prayer for community led by Rabbi Bridget? The steering council is a diverse team of committed volunteers that meets monthly and helps steer the organization by creating a strategic plan, suggesting program ideas, brainstorming marketing potentials, involving-volunteers, meeting donors, and spearheading planning for High Holiday services.
Learning about Judaism continues to draw Carole to Jewish Gateways.
Given my Jewish cultural and quasi-religious upbringing, I’ve been wanting to understand more deeply the foundational ideas in Judaism. I’ve attended various classes and participated in Torah study. It has been rewarding and thought-provoking, with class participants bringing a diversity of viewpoints.
Carole, who has two sons and two adult grandchildren, sees her involvement with Judaism and Jewish Gateways as “a journey with many paths to follow. One interest I'd like to pursue is to integrate Jewish rituals into my life."