Jewish People of the Week: Meet the Gutman Family
Meet Michael, Angela, Brian, and Danny Gutman, our Jewish People of the Week! On September 23rd, the Gutman family, along with parents Joe and Sheila, will be honored for their commitment to Holocaust education and remembrance as long-standing Museum leaders in the midwest region at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s “What You Do Matters” Midwest Virtual Event!
Find more information about the event here>>
What do you do for work?
Angela: Private Wealth Analyst
Brian: Finance / Investor
What is your favorite Jewish memory?
Michael: My bar mitzvah on Masada surrounded by family and friends
Angela: Learning all of my Savta’s famous recipes, from latkes to matzo ball soup.
Brian: My Savta coming to Hebrew school to cook latkes for the class or any of my trips to Israel
Danny: Baby naming and Bris for my kids knowing our family’s history will carry on in them
What do you do Jewish now?
Michael: Shabbat dinners
Angela: Hosting my friends for the Jewish Holidays
Brian: Family Shabbat dinners and being actively involved with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Danny: Family Shabbat dinners and being actively involved with JUF
Tell us about how Holocaust education is important in your life?
Michael: Holocaust education is incredibly important, perhaps more so today than ever. With antisemitism on the rise, education is imperative in order to ensure that it never happens again.
Angela Holocaust education is vital. The stories of survivors must live on with all of us. We must share their stories and ensure that we never forget.
Brian: Holocaust education has played a major role in my life. From a very early age, I recall the stories my grandparents shared with my siblings and me. Their lived experience shaped their outlook on the world, which undoubtedly trickled down and impacted my outlook on the world. It has led me to never be a bystander, and to speak out against injustice. The Museum is a timeless reminder of the nature of humankind and the fragility of societies. It reminds us that while the unthinkable is always possible, our individual actions matter and make a difference.
Danny: It’s embedded in my daily life given the stories we live with from my grandparents and our community. We are fortunate to live in a community where this education is an important part of daily life and appreciated, and it has become even more important that we work in our lives to make that a reality in other communities as well.
How has the pandemic changed you for the better?
Michael: It has made me appreciate time with family and friends that much more because you never know when it might go away.
Angela: It made me appreciate small things like hugging the people you love and sharing a meal.
Brian: I would say that the pandemic has helped shift my perspective, forcing me not to take anything for granted. Further, the pandemic has afforded me more time with my family, which has meant more time watching my soon-to-be one-year-old daughter grow up.
Danny: After seeing how blurred my boundaries were between family, work, etc., I try now to make sure I have separate and dedicated time to the important things in my life.
If you could get a meal with one famous Jewish person (living or not), who would it be and why?
Michael: My bubi, Arnold Gutman. He was a Holocaust survivor and passed when I was 3 years old. I have faint memories of him, but I was so young. I would love to sit down and just listen to him tell stories and talk about his life.
Angela: Bubi, I never got to meet my grandfather but from the stories I have heard I would do anything to be able to share meal with him. The values he has instilled in my family have been passed down to my parents and now to us and will continue to stay within our family.
Brian: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a true hero, in every sense of the word. RBG was not only a brilliant human being, but she also had such a profound impact on society. I would love to hear the stories of her time on the Supreme Court, and more importantly, I would love to witness her passion up close and personal. Although I didn’t know her, I believe RBG embodied so much of what it means to be a great Jew in today’s world. She is someone I admire and look up to, and I can only hope to one day have just a small fraction of the impact on society that she had in her lifetime.
Danny: My grandma, Savta. While I am incredibly lucky to have had her in my life until my early 20s and her impact is with me every day, I wish I had the chance to spend time with her as an adult, to understand more deeply what she went through and how she not only survived, but thrived, and how she went on to raise the family she raised and the community she led. Her passion and perspective were incredibly unique, and I wish I could tap into that in light of what’s happened in the world over the past decade.
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