Posted on October 31, 2014
This month we introduce you to Jeff and Teri Roth whose lives began on opposite ends of the United States. Jeff was born and raised in southern California and Teri was from New York yet by kindergarten her family moved to Los Angeles. Judaism was a vibrant part of Jeff’s childhood. He attended Temple Beth El where his parents were married and later Jeff and Teri would marry there too. Teri’s Jewish upbringing was less formal which led to her finding Judaism on her own. Ironically, there was one aspect of Judaism Teri wasn’t too thrilled about while going through college at UCLA–their Hillel dances. Yet, somehow she was convinced to go to one and recalled beforehand saying she’d never go to another. That was the night she met her beshert Jeff, also a UCLA student! After graduating college – Teri with a degree in Social Psychology and Jeff who completed studies in Biology – they got married and moved to New York in order for Jeff to attend medical school. They moved back to sunny California as soon as they could!
Jeff went on to become a physician and senior partner with HealthCare Partners Medical Group. He also has a passion for barbecuing, gardening (with over 50 rare flowers, cacti, and fruit trees filling their backyard), and doing research in natural history. While scrapbooking and interior decorating are just a couple of Teri’s hobbies, she works tirelessly as an Emergency Shelter Home (ESH) provider. With her family’s help, she has provided safe and loving care to 24 at-risk infants over the years. The babies stay with the Roths until long-term placements in foster families are found. Jeff and Teri have three kids of their own who they are very proud of: Amanda (28) works for the world’s largest architectural firm, Brandon (25), and Madelyn (8) who currently sings in the Temple’s junior choir and enjoys art, horseback riding, and cheerleading for a local youth football league. She also has received many character awards and excels academically.
Amid their busy lives, Jeff and Teri enjoy collecting books and getting them autographed. This has led to their meeting famous authors, astronauts, celebrities, presidents, dignitaries, and even a member of the royal family. The Roths are also over-the-moon for Disneyland having gone to the park in Paris, Florida, and California. Trips to Disney Tokyo and Hong Kong are on their bucket list. They’ve already been on eight Disney cruises with a ninth set for this summer.
At Temple Beth David, they very much enjoy family Shabbat services and being in an active family Chavurah. With their love for travel they, with Madelyn, joined in the congregation’s most recent trip to Israel. That journey was especially meaningful for them because Jeff’s grandmother and previous generations of her family were born in Zefat, Israel, which was one of the many highlights of the trip.
For a couple who has done so much with their lives, it’s no surprise they live by the profound motto: “If the only prayer you say is thank you, that’ll be enough.” Another favorite is: “G-d has bigger plans for you than you have for yourself.” On a lighter side, Jeff says he lives by the motto: “If momma isn’t happy, then no one is happy!” For those who know the doting couple, you can see they possess a very special love and care for one another, for their whole family, and for so many in need. Their cheerful smiles, the bond they have with their family and friends, and the awards they’ve received from their local community tell it all! While they have accomplished so much, they never forget to remember how fortunate they are.
The Temple Beth David is fortunate to have the Roth family as caring members! Y