We view our Jewish heritage as a precious gift handed down to us by our ancestors. We also believe that, like all valuable treasures, this gift comes with commiserate responsibilities and opportunities. We must seriously address our obligation as Jews not just in a philosophical way, but we must actively embrace and live Judaism if we hope to continue to pass on this gift to our children, Rebecca, Jacob and Samuel.
Our fathers – Melvin Schottenstein and Alvin Kastan – were powerful influences on us regarding our commitments to our tradition and, most importantly, to our community and Jews in need wherever they may be. They both served as bridges to the general community (Melvin in Columbus, Alvin in Ashland) often enriching local institutions and organizations as a result of their training and experience in the Jewish community.
Our grandparents immigrated from Russia and Poland to this country before World War I. We are grateful to our parents Alvin and Selma Kastan and Melvin and Lenore Schottenstein for the Jewish education and upbringing they provided for us even though we were raised in communities with relatively few Jewish families.
Our dream for the Columbus Jewish Community is to help create a network of Jewish programs and services that will nourish both the bodies and souls of every Jew living in Columbus. In this time of tremendous strain between the different branches of Judaism, we hope we can work together as a unified community to address the challenging problems of the 21st century. We believe that Columbus is already well on its way to becoming, if not the biggest, but, one of the best and most caring Jewish communities in America.