Humans of TE: Jill Litner Kaplan

“I gave birth to our older son Graham at the end of a long hot summer appropriately on Labor Day weekend. After spending a few days at the Brigham getting to know our little man, the nurse announced that it was time to pack up and go home. Ben and I were left in the hospital room alone with a baby, a car seat at the ready, bouquets of flowers and each other. The exhaustion, the emotion and the excitement had finally caught up to us, and we promptly burst into tears looking at each other. I realized that from that moment onward, life would never be the same: we had gone from being a couple to a family, from individuals to parents, a mother and a father. It was a moment that I will never forget and my entire perspective on the world and my place in it had changed. I was overwhelmed with the miracle of birth, becoming a mother and being responsible for another life. That feeling of unconditional love and sense of responsibility was transformative and changed me from that day forward.  

I have always been a very driven, high energy person who has many passions, from appreciating and collecting art, writing, travelling, retailing, all things French and  interior design. I should have known when I was in business school and had settled into my dorm room that my future career path would somehow involve the world of design. With a background in retail merchandising, it would never have occurred to me that my dorm room shouldn’t look as good as my New York City apartment! Having spent time as a college student in Paris and speaking French fluently, I would rather spend time meandering antiques markets and stores studying how the Europeans displayed their merchandise than hang out in cafes drinking cappuccino. My entrepreneurial spirit kicked into high gear 16 years ago when I started my own interior design business, and I have had the joy of doing what I love as a career. I relish working with smart, dynamic clients and managing their design projects. I feel like this business incorporates all of the things that are important to me, and brings together all of my previous work and life experiences into one package.        

My parents were married at Temple Emanuel 62 years ago. When Ben and I moved to Boston after our wedding in New York City in 1998, we wanted to join the local Jewish community, and becoming members of TE was the natural decision to continue this wonderful family history. It would be impossible to overstate the impact that the Temple clergy has had on each of our lives–from the moment our boys were born and had a brit milah to their bar mitzvah’s, the temple has been woven into the fabric of both of their lives. When my father passed away 14 years ago, the words shared by Rabbi Gardenswartz at his funeral helped shape our perspective of his life and the legacy he would leave behind on each of our own. We have shared, honored and celebrated every major life event at the Temple since we joined, and l sincerely cannot imagine our lives here without being part of this extraordinary community.”