More than 25 years ago, the then leaders of Charlotte’s small but influential Jewish community came together to dramatically reshape the future of Jewish life in Charlotte. Their vision, passion, dedication and generosity became the catalyst for the creation of Shalom Park, a 54-acre campus which serves today as the center of Jewish life in greater Charlotte. From the earliest days of planning to its current iteration, Shalom Park’s greatest accomplishment is not its physical manifestations, but instead, with all the attendant compromises, the creation and perpetuation of community. Decades after its inception, the collection of schools, synagogues, community center, library, camps and services that comprise Shalom Park proudly embody the vision and collective success foreseen by its founding families so many years ago.
In November, 2011, The Foundation of Shalom Park and the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte hosted the Shalom Park Leadership Initiative, a panel discussion and community forum developed to provide Shalom Park agency leaders and interested community members with perspectives on the founding and evolution of the campus. As part of that effort, a number of individuals were interviewed and the interviews put on video. Excerpts from those interviews, as well as archival videos, were included in the Leadership Initiative event.
Available here are links to the videos of the November event and the current and archival video interviews collected in preparation for it. It is our intention that this material to be used as a resource for agency leaders and community members. Understanding the history and vision of Shalom Park, through the eyes of those who created it decades ago, will help insure a vibrant, healthy and dynamic campus and community for generations to come.