According to the nomination form for Carol Glassman, “Carol has been a passionate Tifereth Israel member, attending classes and services regularly, as well as serving on the board of trustees. Within the community, she co-chaired our Spotlight fundraising event this year honoring (Cantor Jack Chomsky’s) final year at Tifereth Israel, working tirelessly to adjust and reschedule the event due to the COVID-19 outbreak. She also serves on the membership committee and co-chaired (Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s) installation celebration last year.”
Additionally, the nomination notes her volunteer work on the Columbus Jewish Film Festival which “brings together the many diverse parts of our community in a way that few other events in Columbus do,” as well as her devotion to teaching.
What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?
Be authentic. Speak your truth. Trust the journey. These are mantras I have followed throughout my life. Looking back now, I might tell my 14-year-old self to take more chances and try new things, even if they seem daunting. Finish that Ph.D. Move to Paris for a year. Take more risks. Travel more.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the Central Ohio Jewish community? What should be done to promote change?
One issue that I see facing our Jewish community is the dwindling of Jewish engagement in the daily lives of many people. While technology has expanded our circle to the point where we are global citizens, there are some who are not incorporating Judaism into their lives right here where we live. Everyone is so busy. Working, rearing children and being pulled in so many directions. Synagogue membership, Hebrew school and Sunday school are not priorities.
One of the positive aspects of the current pandemic – if there can be a positive – is that we have all slowed down. There has been time to reflect, reconnect and possibly redefine priorities. Our synagogues have reached out to us. Our rabbis have offered words of encouragement and concern. Our religion is here for us. Maybe, as we go forward, we can add back – take baby steps: light Shabbat candles, make challah on Friday with the kids and attend virtual services and classes. Do a little more, one day at a time.
What’s one takeaway you have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic?
I have learned that we are all together at home, here in our Jewish community. I have always cherished life. Those closest to me know that I wake up every morning, say the Shema, and name five things for which I am grateful. I have been alone most of the time since March. But my family, my friends and rabbis have been here. Blessed.