About Stephen Gottlieb
Like most of us,
Stephen Gottlieb, z”l, led a fairly anonymous life. He was born, grew up and lived in the Detroit area. He married his high school sweetheart, raised three children and enjoyed a quiet life in the suburbs.
Stephen did not make the news, write books, win a Nobel Prize, or get elected to public office, yet he changed the world in his own quiet way. He made you feel good about yourself, and when he talked to you it was as though you were the most important person in the world. He was able to see the good in anyone, reflect that goodness back, and genuinely accept everyone because of it. When you were with Stephen you felt good, laughed out loud and were loved.
But why is this the JCC Stephen Gottlieb Music Festival? Fairly easy answer. Stephen was a Jew who adored music. He easily (annoyingly?) was able to quickly learn an instrument on his own. Playing, recording and mixing music was when he was happiest, so it is only appropriate that it is through a music festival that we remember and honor him.
You may never even have met Stephen, yet he would have been happy to know that you are experiencing, and hopefully enjoying, the music this series brings to you. Stephen found meaning in music; it was integral to his being. If this festival helps you along that path, maybe you will think of Stephen.
I take hope that wherever Stephen is, the music is there, too, and so he is at peace. I also believe that through music we can all find inner peace, which will bring us closer to the answers we seek. May it be so for you.
Cary Gottlieb, brother and friend