Temple Jeremiah


Jeremiah Gems- Stephen Miller

When new assistant Rabbi Heaps asked me to write a Jeremiah Gem reflecting on where I came from and how it informed my spiritual life (I think that was her drift), I thought of something my Dad did for me in high school that taught me how to look at life as if walking in another man’s shoes, which ultimately helped define me. What did he do? One summer he got me a job through a friend in the auto industry—and stuck me on an assembly line, making Mercury Monarchs (a long—long—time ago 😊). It was hard work. Very hard.

But doing that job, and working alongside people with an entirely different set of skills, values and priorities, taught me empathy for hard working people, folks who didn’t always have the options available to me, and whose main goal was to just stay ahead of their bills and provide for their families– something I clearly took for granted. I learned to talk to “regular people,” a skill I ultimately made into a career as a civil jury trial attorney. I love talking to juries with auto workers, and postmen, and working folks of all kinds. It’s my comfort zone, and I am quite sure my life journey turned in a direction that would have been impossible but for Dad’s decision to throw me on the assembly line. Today I can appreciate, and relate to, people of all social and economic backgrounds. I am comfortable with, and respectful, of all people, regardless of their size, shape or color. To me, all lives matter, and everyone deserves respect and dignity, regardless of their station. I learned that firsthand. Thank you, Dad.

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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