MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Jonathan Chane, 40
For Jupiter resident Jonathan Chane, it was an opportunity to carry on a family tradition.
More than three decades after his mother, Barbara, became the founding president of Temple Judea, Chane, 40, now finds himself guiding one of northern Palm Beach County’s largest Jewish congregations.
“It’s a humbling experience being entrusted with this responsibility,” said Chane, who began a term as president of Temple Judea in June. In this role he leads the board of directors and serves as the liaison between the clergy and the members. “It’s humbling being asked to hold this role because there have been so many impressive people in our community who have been in this role … Also, it’s exciting being a part of something that you can sense is really special to the community.”
Chane has certainly been a familiar presence at Temple Judea, and recalled his days as a child growing up there. The temple, originally founded in West Palm Beach, moved to Palm Beach Gardens 10 years ago. It currently has a congregation of nearly 600 families.
“I’ve always been proud of the fact my mother was the founding president of Temple Judea,” he said. “And seeing how it’s gone from 12 families to 600 families is something that I can’t really, can’t adequately put into words … I’m proud of the fact that I’m able to continue on this tradition.”
Chane, who grew up in Lake Clarke Shores, is an attorney for Greenberg Traurig, practicing in the area of commercial litigation. He began his career with Greenberg Traurig in 2000, working out of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office before transferring a few years later to its West Palm Beach location. He lives in Jupiter with his wife Christina and their two young sons, Harper and Jack. The couple is expecting their third child - a girl - in November.
“I’ve always loved Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach and I always knew that I wanted to come back here,” Chane said.
In addition to Temple Judea, Chane volunteers with The Arc of Palm Beach County, an organization that helps children and adults who have developmental disabilities. His wife is a member of the board.
He once served as an intern in the United States Senate for then-Florida Sen. Bob Graham, and also interned at the White House during the administration of President Bill Clinton.
“For a 19, 20-year-old kid from West Palm Beach walking into the White House, it was a pretty wild experience, and one that stays with me,” Chane said. “And it’s those experiences too that I think have added to my commitment to giving back to the community through public service. Because you see the impact that you can have on people’s lives.”
What are your hobbies?
My kids. I love spending every moment that I can with them and seeing the world through their eyes.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Sitting around the table, having dinner. We were five of us. Every night at 6:30 we would have the nightly news on in the background and talk about our days … It was an opportunity for the family to be together.
Who is your hero or someone who has inspired you?
My parents. (They taught) me the importance of giving back to the community.
Who would you like to meet and have dinner with?
I’d love to have dinner with Bill Clinton. I think he’s just an interesting, fascinating figure in our history.
What event in history would you like to have witnessed?
One thing would be founding of the state of Israel. Witnessing that firsthand and the experiences they went through.
What’s your favorite junk food?
Dark chocolate peanut M&Ms.
Who is your favorite musical artist?