Commentary by Shelly Gattlieb
Debra Barton Grant followed in the footsteps of her grandparents and parents by attending Indiana University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies and was vice president of the Hillel chapter. She also has a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan.
After growing up in South Bend and going to college in Bloomington, Barton Grant eventually settled in Carmel six years ago. Her favorite features of the Hoosier state are the lakes, farmland and beautiful views on family road trips.
Barton Grant is now the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, which recently completed a comprehensive demographic study that helped identify the median age of Jewish residents, the number of Holocaust survivors in the area and other data for engaging the Jewish population.
Outside of Indiana, Barton Grant also lived in Jerusalem, Ann Arbor, Mich., Chicago and Palm Beach, Fla. She loves to interact with a variety of communities and implement new strategies of involvement.
Family: husband, Scott; Jonah, junior at Carmel High School; Ben, eighth-grader at Creekside; Sam, fifth-grader at Towne Meadow
Definition of a Hoosier: Anyone who has made Indiana their home and appreciates everything the state has to offer
Best way to relax: Reading by her fire pit drinking a glass of bourbon or wine
Presidential nomination: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 20 years ago
Newest member of the family: Ruby, golden doodle
Best part of living in Carmel: A city and mayor that embrace diversity
Favorite thing to wear: Comfortable shoes
Regular podcast: “Judaism Unbound”
Best concert: Grateful Dead, has been to more than 15 shows
Childhood crush: Shaun Cassidy
Road trip highlights: Martin Luther King Civil Rights Museum, Monticello, Graceland
Favorite thing to do in Carmel: Walk in Coxhall Gardens
Most important lesson to her sons: Embracing a sense of community, supporting others and building people up
Do you know an interesting character who lives, works or worships in Carmel? Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.