Robert M. Deborah C. Turkewitz


To Robert and Deborah Turkewitz, the new Jewish Studies Center is an investment in the future, a place that will not only provide an excellent resource for future generations of Jews, but will also spread tolerance and generate heightened interest in Judaism. The Jewish community will benefit from their foresight, just as it benefits from the time and effort that they give to their synagogue, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim (KKBE) and to their children's school, Mason Prepretory School. 

Rob currently serves as President of KKBE. He previously served as Vice President of Administration at KKBE, was co-chair of KKBE's renovation committee for the expansion of the synagogue's religious school and administrative offices, and taught the third grade class at KKBE’s religious school. He also finds time to serve on the Board of Charleston Futures, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged students plan and prepare for college. He has also been actively involved in efforts to save the Morris Island Lighthouse. Deborah is an active volunteer at Mason Prep, a member of the KKBE Sisterhood, and a participant in the Master Gardener Program, affiliated with Clemson University.

Both natives of New York, the Turkewitz’s moved to Charleston in 1985 when Rob was stationed here during his service with the United States Navy JAG Corps. The couple had met while attending the University of New York at Buffalo Law School. Deborah recalls that her husband was outgoing. In the process of running for student office, he introduced himself to her, taking the opportunity to also inquire about his missing dog that had a habit of disappearing. The two would soon have their first date at Niagara Falls Aquarium and were married two years later. To complete the happy ending, Rob and his dog would be reunited three months after he met his wife to be.

After a successful stint in the Navy, during which he served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney and received the Navy Commendation Medal, Rob began a law career in civilian practice. He is a partner in the law firm of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook, and Brickman, LLC. Rob’s specialty is toxic tort litigation and environmental law, and he has been involved in handling high profile cases, such as the World Trade Center asbestos property damage cost recovery litigation on behalf of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey.

A practicing attorney herself for six years, Deborah says her most cherished title now is Mom. The couple has three children, Davin Gerald, Arden Ruth, and Mira Tovah, beneficiaries of their parent's legacy of generosity and dedication. Davin and Arden, in seventh and fifth grade respectively, are learning community service early. They have both tutored first graders at Memminger Elementary School and participated in KKBE's Mitzvot Day.

It is the Turkewitz's hope that their children will live in a better, safer world, both socially and environmentally, and their contributions to this community are helping to do just that. Robert M. Turkewitz b. May 22, 1959 Brooklyn, NY Parents: Judith Kutler Bernson and Martin Turkewitz, both of Brooklyn, NY Education: University of New York at Albany, B.A., Political Science and Environmental Studies, 1981; University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., 1984 Activities/Honors/Titles/Philanthropies: Deborah C. Turkewitz b. September 27, 1960 Binghamton, NY Parents: Shirley Turk Christoff and Gerald Christoff, both of Binghamton, NY Education: University of New York at Genesed, B.A., Political Science, 1982; University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., 1985 Activities/Honors/Titles/Philanthropies: Children: Davin Gerald, b. 1991; Arden Ruth, b. 1994; Mira Tovah, b. 2001