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Her Story vs. Her Career
Simone has thoroughly enjoyed the trips down memory lane that have helped her source stories and bits of wisdom for her work. Though her kids may find her stories about their lives embarrassing, Simone thinks it all comes with the territory of honestly exploring motherhood, life, and a constantly-evolving career.
I’m proud to be part of a community whose fundamental values are centered around family and making the world a better place for everyone in it. These are the values I grew up with, and the values that I have passed down to my own children. For me, it’s not just about religion, it’s about being the good in the world, and being the good for the world. These values have helped to define my journey.
We often think we’re too insignificant or too unimportant to make a difference. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Take the time to do something that will make a difference in someone else’s life. It doesn’t have to be much, and they don’t even need to know what you’ve done for them. Just take a moment. Do something special. Make a difference.
I’m certain that many people will look at our family and see black, white, and Asian. But we don’t see ourselves that way. We see our family as our family, and it’s diverse because of what each person brings to the family, how we interact and respect one another. Our diversity isn’t only because of the color of our skin. I’m not saying that we’re colorblind, because we’re not. We see color, and we appreciate the color, but that’s just one part of our diversity.
We’re diverse because of our thoughts, our ideas, our characteristics, our qualities, our likes, and our dislikes. In that sense, every family is diverse, and each family member is a unique and necessary part of the family. Families don’t have to match. They just have to love each other and sometimes drive each other crazy. I believe this is part of the dictionary definition of family. I see our world as diverse, and it’s the acceptance of that diversity that’s so important to me. It’s not about pointing out how we’re different—it’s about realizing that, despite our differences, our value is always the same.
In my 35+ years of Jewish communal work, I have heard and interacted with many speakers. There is no doubt in my mind that Simone is one of the very best, most passionate, I have ever heard. Simone is a compassionate person who lives life by “walking the walk.” Simone has an almost uncanny ability to gain trust and respect immediately by virtue of the depth of her knowledge. She delivers a message of hope for our fellow human beings. I believe that the reason she has such an impact on all that she presents to, is that she is clearly genuine in every regard. When you hear Simone speak and get to know her as a person, you fully realize that there is nothing artificial about her- it truly comes from her heart.Howard Tevlowitz, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.
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