Brooke, Alan, Phyllis, Chava, Jared, Zaza, Yitzy and Yonatan.

HONORABLE MENSCHION: Phyllis and Alan Bolotin

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HONORABLE MENSCHION: Phyllis and Alan Bolotin

Brooke, Alan, Phyllis, Chava, Jared, Zaza, Yitzy and Yonatan.

Phyllis and Alan Bolotin believe in a strong Jewish family. Phyllis grew up in Cranston, RI, and Alan was raised in Peabody and Marblehead. Phyllis taught reading at Cohen Hillel Academy for 18 years, and Alan runs the Bolotin Financial Group. They are the proud parents of Pamela and her husband Jason, Jared and his wife Chava, and Brooke. They have five grandchildren: Jordan, Sydney, Yonatan, Yitzchak, and Zaza. Phyllis and Alan recently moved from Swampscott to Boston, and also live in Delray Beach, FL.

Can you each tell us about your childhood and Jewish upbringing?

Phyllis: I grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island with an older brother and my parents. My father worked in a family paper company, and my mother was an assistant to the president and vice president of Johnson and Wales College. I went to Northeastern University and have an undergraduate degree in Education and my masters in Special Education. I grew up within a Conservative Jewish household, and my parents were very active and involved with our temple. Jewish life was very important to my parents, who instilled in me the importance of being Jewish and raising a Jewish family. Growing up in Cranston I had a group of Jewish girlfriends who are still my closest friends, and I am in touch with them regularly. We have been friends since we were five.

Alan: I grew up in Peabody with my two younger brothers and his parents, and we moved to Marblehead when I was 11. My dad was an engineer and my mother had a consignment store in Marblehead. I have a degree in finance from UMass. My family belonged to Temple Emanuel in Marblehead where my parents were involved in temple life. I went to Israel in 1973 on the first Y2I trip. Israel had a very profound impact on me.

How did the two of you meet?

We were fixed up on a blind date in 1978 by close friends. It was in Boston, and we went to the movies and saw “Superman.” We talked for hours on our first date about family and what was important to us and how we wanted to raise our family. It was also very important for us to marry Jewish. We both knew we were on the same track and knew we were going to have a future together.

Alan, Phyllis, Brooke, Pamela and Jason.
Phyllis, you worked as an educator on the North Shore for decades. Can you talk about what it’s like to be a teacher and the challenges and rewards of the profession?

Teaching in the community was very important to me. I was a reading specialist. One of the things I enjoyed most about teaching was working with the students and witnessing their growth as they developed their reading skills. The key is for the student to learn to have a lot of patience, and I was also very patient with them. When they grew as readers, their success helped boost their confidence as students and thinkers. I loved the kids and I really loved working with kids who faced challenges. I was proud of them for working so hard and it was satisfying to see them gain confidence and the skills that they needed to develop and move forward. I also thoroughly enjoyed the families that I worked with, and teaching reading at Cohen Hillel Academy for 18 years.

Alan, you run the Bolotin Financial Group. How did you decide to go into finance and what services does your company provide?

Financial planning was a second career. I built my business as a fiduciary, offering integrated financial planning which includes asset protection, wealth management and estate transfer. My company includes my son, Jared, and my nephew, Micah, and watching them grow their own practice is very rewarding.

You are both involved in supporting Jewish organizations such as Chabad of the North Shore, AIPAC, and the Leonard Florence Center in Chelsea. Why are you both so passionate about Judaism and Israel?

It’s important for us to give back to the community and to support charities that provide locally and globally. We feel a deep connection to the Jewish people here and in Israel. We both went to Israel when we were teenagers and then we went back to visit our son, Jared, who was living in Israel, and it had a huge positive emotional impact on us. We loved the people, spending Shabbat together as a family, and visiting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We loved every part of the country. We felt connected with the people.

Alan and Phyllis Bolotin with two of their grandchildren: Sydney and Jordan.
Antisemitism has increased in recent years. How do you think families can best explain antisemitism to their children?

I think it’s very hard to explain hatred unless you have experienced it. Unfortunately, we have both experienced antisemitism in school and in the work place. We feel it’s important to discuss it and educate our children to make them aware and that the media should not be sugarcoating and ignoring the issue.

What do you each love about being Jewish?

We raised our children to be good members of their community and to give back. We’re very blessed with our growing family and we’re looking forward to expecting our sixth grandchild this summer. All of our children have supported various Jewish charities that are important to them. Our five grandchildren bring us much joy and we spend as much time with each of them as we can. The cousins love each other and love being together in Florida.

What do you love about the North Shore and Greater Boston?

Alan was raised on the North Shore and he knew that’s where he wanted to raise our family. We both loved raising our family in Swampscott, which provided everything that was important to us. Now that we’ve moved to Boston to be closer to our kids, we’re enjoying the ease of living in the city. Θ

 

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