Posted on September 1, 2014
Scott Telford and Thea Weintraub share the same caring career as Registered Nurses (RNs). Scott works for the Department of Mental Health in an outpatient clinic and also part time at a county jail. Thea works in the psychiatric ER at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. While they have very common backgrounds as adults, their childhoods were quite different.
Scott’s father was devoted to community theatre – mostly directing and managing yet also acting in small TV roles (some reoccurring like on The Judge in the early 80’s). As such, the family moved around a lot. Scott’s childhood included living in South Carolina, Virginia (where his father’s work is highly revered in their local museum), Texas, and Oklahoma. Wherever they moved, Scott’s mom got involved directing children’s theatre. Scott himself even acted in some of their productions. While he did his undergraduate work in Oklahoma, Scott earned his Masters at California State Dominguez Hills and the distinction of Outstanding MSN Graduate. Excelling in his field, Scott was bestowed the 2012 L.A. County Mental Health Nurse of the Year
Thea grew up in southern California. She was raised Jewish and is of Russian/Polish discent. She excelled in her studies earning her degree from San Diego State University. Scott, on the other hand, of English, Irish, and German ancestry, was raised Unitarian and converted to Judaism in time for his first daughter to be Bat Mitzvahed. Being able to fully participate in her ceremony was very important to him. He also felt very compelled to join the Temple’s Brotherhood and has been very active in the group ever since in charge of programs for 6 years, honored as its 2011 Man of the Year, and on the Temple Board for two years as Brotherhood President.
Well before joining Temple Beth David in 1996 (this being their 18th “Chai” year), it was Christmas Eve in 1989 when the two worked the same shift in an inpatient psychiatric unit at UCLA Medical Center. Within a year they went on their first date (skiing in Big Bear). Scott was so nice that after another skier crashed into him, he made like nothing happened so as not to worry Thea – and drove a stick all the way home from Big Bear knowing he probably had a broken wrist. After a yearlong courtship they married – actually their 23rd anniversary is this month. They have two lovely daughters – Melinda now 21 and going to Tulane University studying to become an architect and Sarah, a senior at Fountain Valley High School, who is very involved in the Bureau of Jewish Education’s Tallit program. She also enjoys theatre production.
When the family is not busy with temple, they spend time with Scott’s parents who live in close by assisted living facilities and also enjoy many hobbies. Thea, who used to be tremendously involved in the kids’ schools and the Temple’s Sisterhood and social action efforts, likes to scrapbook, garden, and work out. Scott enjoys bicycling, jogging, and remaining active in Brotherhood. They both like to travel and look forward to a family vacation this winter in Barcelona just after Melinda concludes a semester studying abroad there. As for Temple Beth David, they enjoy the Chavurah they’ve been in for 11 years and also being part of something larger than themselves. They like how members help one another. For example, their daughter has fellow congregant Max Sudakow to thank for her first internship in architecture.
Fun to note is a special piece of trivia about their lives. Scott built the huppa they were married under making it usable and beautiful both vertically and horizontally. The huppa poles were then used to create their sukkah they‘ve put up throughout the course of their marriage.
A favorite saying of Scott’s is, “To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream. We must not only plan but also believe.” The family does take action and dream. They plan and believe. And because of all this and how nice they are, our Temple and congregants have so much to be grateful for.