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Two Generations Unite at Moishe House Charlotte

(Left to right: Daniel Rich, Josh Kindler, Calvin Newman, Caleb Seidler, Irving Bienstock, Alison Shay, Emily Koller)

Charlotte Jewish News August 2021

By Loán Lake, Moishe House Senior Communications Manager

On June 22, Holocaust survivor and World War II U.S. Army veteran Irving Bienstock joined Moishe House’s senior director of advancement, Dave Press, for dinner with the residents of Moishe House Charlotte and Moishe Pod Charlotte — South End to connect and share life experiences. The visit was the first of its kind since the global COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person activities in March 2020.

For Bienstock, a longtime Moishe House supporter who recently turned 95, the moment was an opportunity to interact with a new generation of Jewish community leaders that will carry on Jewish traditions and culture. “So many young people are turning away from Judaism. You’re doing the opposite by helping young people find connection and meaning within Judaism. To me, there’s nothing more important than this,” Beinstock said.

The evening also had a profound impact on the residents as they learned firsthand about Irving’s incredible story of survival. “Hearing Irving speak about escaping the Holocaust provided me with a fresh perspective about my everyday worries and their insignificance. Meeting Irving was not only a memorable moment but also reminded me of the importance of Jewish organizations like Moishe House and how they are instrumental in securing the future of Jewish religion and culture,” said Moishe House Charlotte resident Calvin Newman.

Moishe House is the global leader in engaging Jewish young adults in peer-led programming and currently has two locations in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. For Dave Press, the gathering was a reminder of the myriad ways Moishe House provides a pathway to building community. “I was so thrilled when he agreed to allow me to bring him together with the residents. Both Irving and the residents seemed incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be together in real life,” Press said.