Meet Adam R. Shevin: Sponsor of the Roberta & Jerome Shevin Speaker Series

Posted on 05/07/2021 @ 08:00 AM

Tags: Adult Jewish Learning & Growth

Tell us a little bit about your childhood growing up with Roberta, a past chair of CAJE, and Jerry.

Growing up as the child (the eldest) of Roberta and Jerry was wonderful in basically every way a person looking back at his childhood would evaluate it. I like to say I won the parent lottery (although we don't get to choose the numbers ;-) It was a very supportive and usually patient environment (sometimes a bit competitive when it came to sports, which more often than not-- ok always-- involved my dad and my uncles, especially at tennis).
My home was always full of love, extended family, examples of hard work. Every day when I woke up before getting ready for school at Pinecrest Elementary or Beth David Solomon Schechter Day School, I would see my Dad at his study desk, preparing for a trial or a deposition or some sort of law-related work. He was such a smart man and hard worker.
Our home was dedicated to education, Judaism learning, and tradition -- and traveling! My parents were always close by, but they gave me and my sister Alison enough independence to forge our own way through things. Mostly, we succeeded and sometimes failed, like most people, but they were always there keeping us on the right track.

What work are you doing today and is it related in any way to the work your parents did?

These days I am involved in various passive business investments, and my profession. My day-to-day occupation is as a lawyer, like Dad. He was a litigator and formed his own firm with my uncle Arnie (Shevin & Shevin, then Shevin, Shapo & Shevin), when my other uncle Bob was in Tallahassee. Then later, my Dad was a founding member of the firm Sparber, Shevin, Shapo, Heilbronner (and then Book) - a great firm that was too short lived - once Uncle Bob left the position of Attorney General for the State of Florida in the early 1980s. 
My work is focused on family office representation, trust and estate planning, investment and business (including real estate) transactions of all types. I have my own boutique firm practice, and I am counsel for a wonderful firm Zumpano Patricios in Coral Gables. 
When growing up, I first told my parents I wanted to be a football player, and then, graduated to a career as a baseball player (LOL). Mom worked initially as a teacher, and my sister's first work was as an educator as well. It is so cliché, but I think many times children take up the career pursuits of their own parents, which I believe is due to their deep admiration of and a desire to "be like them." It was, without a doubt, the case in our family.

What were the values that your parents raised you with?  

So many (in no particular order) -- Hard work, honesty, gratitude, humility, mercy, patience, building and then valuing one's reputation and name, a love of learning, embracing our faith, tzedakah (philanthropic and also giving of one's time), justice, tolerance, mindfulness, understanding.

Why did you decide to underwrite this wonderful learning series with CAJE’s Department of Adult Learning and Growth? What do you hope people will gain from it?  

In addition to other initiatives I hope to pursue, this was a decision I made out of a desire to put into action the values and the life legacy my parents left for me, which is the greatest benefit, asset, and gift I will ever receive. I always say that the best aspects of me are as a result of the people Roberta and Jerry were and still are in my life, and their influence on me in the past, present, and surely into the future. 
I hope to continue to devote more of my time and support for these worthwhile initiatives, and hope the people who participate in them will enjoy and ascribe importance to the same things my parents and my family do - Jewish living that includes righteous living, a sense of perspective and history, continuous learning/education and improvement of one's mind, social and community responsibility, philanthropic responsibility and tzedakah (if one is able), as well as social justice and tolerance of racial, religious and cultural diversity.
You’ll notice that each of the topics in the series relates to aspects that my parents devoted their lives to: Holocaust education and justice for the persecuted, finding awe and gratitude through a Jewish path, interreligious dialogue and bettering relationships. I hope many, many people attend, enjoy and learn in my parents’ memory!

The Roberta and Jerome Shevin Speaker Series was lovingly established in their memory by their son Adam R. Shevin and represents the areas of education Roberta and Jerome committed their lives and work to: Holocaust Education, Jewish-Christian relations and Adult Jewish Learning.
They believed deeply in the power of education as a unifying force and the topics of this series speak to that legacy.
CAJE's Department of Adult Learning & Growth is thrilled to present these upcoming speakers:

Wednesday, May 12 | 7 PM

Living Life in Radical Amazement - Inspired by the Teachings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
with Dr. Sandra Lilienthal

Dr. Sandra Lilienthal will present an evening filled with AWE, as she explores Rabbi Heschel’s concept of Radical Amazement.
Whether it is because we are too busy running around, or because we are staying indoors while there is a pandemic, most of us have very little time or energy to "stop and smell the flowers."
Built on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's teachings, we will explore both the theological and practical implications of living a life in which we direct ourselves to experience amazement and awe in the world that surrounds us, the people we meet and in our deepest selves.

“As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind. Mankind will not perish for want of information, but only for want of appreciation. The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living. What we lack is not a will to believe but a will to wonder.” 
~ Rabbi Heschel

Wednesday, May 19 | 7 PM

Jules Isaac: The French Jewish Historian Who Changed Christianity
with Dr. Samuel Edelman

Jules Isaac's name is unknown to most in the Jewish world. More than 73 years ago Isaac, a famous French Jewish historian, wrote a critically important book titled "Jesus and Israel" during the height of the Holocaust while in hiding. 

The impact of his writing began a Jewish Catholic dialogue which would inspire and change Christian Jewish relations and alter the Catholic Church's attitude toward Jews in a dramatic and substantial way. Dr. Samuel Edelman will share Isaac's personal story and explain the importance of his writings in helping Pope John the 23rd in bringing about the Church's change of attitude toward Jews and Judaism as expressed in Vatican II and the document "Nostra Aetate".