Humans of TE: One Story at a Time – #TEGivesThanks #ComeHometoTE

This November, Temple Emanuel gives THANKS to YOU, our community. Join us each day as we highlight a fascinating member of our community.

Leslie Gonzalez

We are Cubish- Cuban and Jewish- although, unfortunately, my husband is the only one who speaks Spanish. I grew up in a small town where I was the only Jew in my high school class. So to live in Newton and be members of such a vibrant community is so wonderful.  And while I didn’t grow up at TE, my parents and my sister and her family are also members of TE!

I think the most defining moment of my life was when I decided to accept a job in Phoenix, AZ fresh out of college. It was really far from home, and in a totally different part of the country. I knew no one! What an experience, living in the desert! Within a week, I met Adrian. We became fast friends. He noticed my bike and he successfully recruited me to do a 2-day charity bike ride for the MS Society. Training for a long bike ride, spending hours together on the empty roads, we became very good friends. Ultimately, romance followed, and the rest is history! I’d had enough of desert life after 2 years, and wanted to move back East. We were engaged and got married a year later. We’ve been married for 23 years, and have 4 amazing kids: Hannah (20), Matthew (18), Noah (15) and Rebecca (almost 13) Being their mom is what I am most proud of. 

 I have been a passionate Hadassah volunteer for over 20 years. I am the incoming President of Hadassah Boston (I will be installed on December 20- taking over the helm from my sister, Debbie Knight, also a Temple member)! The two times I have been to Israel have both been with Hadassah. 

I love exercising… and I love physically challenging myself. I participate in many endurance events to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Our Hannah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 11. Since then, I am passionate about supporting JDRF’s quest for a cure. This year I completed my second century ride (100 miles on a bike) for JDRF with Adrian. And, my children and I have participated in the Cohasset Triathlon for the last 6 years, also for JDRF.  Three  years ago I began working as a fitness instructor at Cardio High- a small Newton gym owned by TE member Mark Goodman

Other fun facts and mantras! I LOVE ice cream- especially soft serve and to sing along with songs on the radio. I believe a smile is the most important thing to wear every day. And… the day is not wasted if you get in a good laugh.