Rachel Shere loves the energy and excitement of dancing in front of a live crowd (and she performed in Dancing With the Stars in the past), but she makes it clear – she is not a professional dancer.
“I got kicked out of dance class when I was a kid because I wasn’t coordinated enough,” she joked.
Shere is stepping outside of her comfort zone for a third time. She participated in Dancing with the Stars in 2015 and 2019 and was last year’s top fundraiser. This year, she reconnected with the dancers at Arthur Murray studio to choreograph a performance that honors our healthcare heroes.
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on Shere. The mother of three decided to take a sabbatical this year from her job as rabbi at Adat Shalom to spend more time with her family.
“It’s a particularly vulnerable time for the world and for families and it was the right decision for me, even though I love my job and I miss the community at Adat Shalom. The people there are like a second family, but I needed to press pause,” she said.
These days, Shere is spending as much quality time as she can with her husband, three sons, dog, cat and two fish. That didn’t mean she’d turn down the opportunity to help raise money for Lighthouse.
“As hard as the pandemic is for us, it’s that much harder for people who don’t have any resources, who don’t have a roof over their head. How can you follow a stay at home order when you don’t have a home to stay in?” she said.
Lighthouse’s South Oakland Shelter program is close to Shere’s heart. For years, she served on the SOS board and her synagogue has housed homeless guests.
“It’s amazing the work SOS does for families and, being on the ground at the synagogue, I’ve gotten to know many of them,” she said. “When the Lighthouse team asked me to [dance] again, it felt like an important commitment of time. It felt like something I could do during this time. There’s so many things we can’t do right now to improve the quality of life for ourselves and others, and this is one substantial opportunity to make a difference.”
Shere has witnessed Lighthouse’s impact on the community in the past. Although virtual, she has faith this year’s event will make a remarkable difference.
This year’s Dancing with the Stars virtual event will be held Nov. 21. Proceeds support Lighthouse’s efforts to fight hunger, homeless and poverty in Oakland County. Learn more at detroitdancing.org.
Donate to Rachel Shere’s fundraiser here!