Temple Jeremiah


Jeremiah Gems- Fred Kagan

The question of how did I get here takes me to the question of who am I. The ‘how’ did I get here is a question of what about my past makes me the person I am today, and influences who I will become.

We are always our stories. I remember listening to my mother’s family talk about life in Germany before they escaped in 1936.Their stories became part of who I am today. And my father’s family tell of their journey from Russia to American to avoid the pogroms. Their stories became part of me too.

This week, as I talk to my daughter about my grandson’s first day of school, I remember her first day and the emotions we shared.

I remember, not my first day, but at least some experiences of going to kindergarten. My blue blanket for nap time. I remember Mrs. Miller reminding us to use our inside voices. I remember it was all so big. I remember my friends.

We moved and I changed schools, made new friends and lost some old ones. But I know that each of those early friendships is part of who I am today.

Over the years I have been a student, a teacher, a parent and a child. Lived in different parts of the country, and had a few careers. Discovered some talents and some things that I am not very good at, but the road goes on, and I have realized the part that makes me who I am is the journey itself.

I try to look back at the bumpy parts as well as the smooth parts with equal perspective, and continue to learn who I am becoming, and just some of the possibilities who I can be and where this life journey will take me.

Dina Bauwens

About Dina Bauwens

Dina moved to Highland Park from San Francisco with her husband Randy in 2017. She is very excited to join the Temple Jeremiah family! Dina received a double Bachelors in Communication and Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara. She went on to hold a number of professional and volunteer positions in the Jewish and general non-profit community, including the Director of the Women’s Division of the SF Jewish Federation, Development Manager at the Oshman Family JCC, and Program Manager of the Hillel of Orange Counties. She was a Wexner Fellow finalist, a participant in the Professional Leaders Project (PLP), a board member of the Junior League of San Francisco, and staffed Birthright. She is now pursuing her Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute. When Dina and Randy aren’t working (he’s the Assistant General Manager at Exmoor Country Club) they love cooking and eating out, traveling, and going to baseball games. She is enjoying bringing her passion and experience to the Jeremiah community.
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