Meet this month’s newcomers, California transplants Jim and Sherri Holzer.
Welcome to the Observer's monthly Newcomer Column! Every month, we will be featuring one of our Nashville Jewish Newcomers so you can get to know them and their dynamic, engaging stories. One of my favorite parts of my job as the Federation's Newcomer Engagement Associate is connecting with the newcomers and bringing them into Nashville's Jewish community
through our Newcomer Shabbat dinners, Newcomer Welcome Receptions, and connecting them with community members and organizations who can help them feel like they belong here. We hope you enjoy reading these and give every newcomer you meet a smile and a warm Nashville welcome!
If you would like to be part of the Federation's work welcoming new Jewish Nashvillians to our community or have an idea of something else we could be doing, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-354-1664.
Introducing Jim and Sherri Holzer:
1. Tell us your story. Where are you from? How did you end up in Nashville?
Sherri, her mother Sally, our golden doodle Ziggy, and I moved here from Los Angeles. I am a southern California native, Sherri hails for the Bay area, Sally comes to us by way of Thessaloniki, Greece and Ziggy was born in Calabasas, CA. We have been married for 32 years and lived in the greater LA area almost all that time. We have been restless the past few years and always wanted to make a move but it’s hard to up and leave all you know, so we put it off. Both our children, Lauren , 28 and Branden, 26 moved to New York in 2021. We wanted to be closer to them but did not want to move to NY so our brother-in-law, who’s in the music business here in Nashville, said, why not Nashville! Sherri and I came out to look, found a house in the Nations, sold everything in LA, and were living here 6 weeks later.
2. What has your Jewish story been like up to this point? How did you get involved with Nashville's Jewish community?
When I closed my business, I decided to go back to my accounting roots. It had been a long time since I was in practice, so I went back and got my master’s degree in accounting. Sherri’s business, I am Simply Sherri (check her section out in every edition of the Observer) is more mobile and with a lot of hard work on her part, she was able to jump right in and establish herself in the community. As for me, I was put in contact with Pam Kelner at Jewish Family Service. I contacted Pam, sent her my resume and next thing you know, I am interviewing for the Executive Director role at West End Synagogue. The rest is history.
3. How has your experience been in Nashville so far? Any notable memories or experiences?
Our experience so far in Nashville has been amazing. When you hear about “southern hospitality,” you have your doubts until you get here and have an opportunity to really experience it. We say this all the time but for us, it’s the people that make this such a special place. We have felt so welcome that it already seems more like home to us than Los Angeles ever did.
4. What do you love about being Jewish?
We love everything about it. The history, the beauty, the ritual is all so special. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be Jewish because of the world we live in. I guess that’s why they say, if it was easy, everyone would do it!
5. What do you love about being Jewish in Nashville?
It is the community itself that makes being Jewish in Nashville so special. Coming from LA where every shul is in competition with each other, it is so refreshing to be a part of a community that all works together for the betterment of all of Nashville’s Jewish people.
6. What does the next year look like for you? Is there anything that you are still looking to do or experience in Nashville?
The next year is looking great for all of us. Sherri’s business is booming, Sally is loving her job at the JCC, Ziggy is living his best life as a southern dog, and I couldn’t be happier at West End. We still need to spend some time playing tourist here in Nashville but since we have decided that Nashville will always be our home, we have plenty of time to see it all.