December 2009: Amy Long

Park your car in the Temple lot –enter the synagogue through the back doors, walk straight, take a right, then a left and that’s where you will find Amy Long.

Amy and husband Morrow joined TBS in 1993.Youngsters Ben and Ethan were entering kindergarten and K’tanim respectively. (Michaela was just a twinkle in their eyes). As a “retired” librarian from the Hamden Library system, Amy was asked by Florence Berman to assist with the purchasing of Judaica-themed books for the Gift Shop. Later, Amy worked with Hinda Massey,(the other Hinda) for 17 years as co- chairs of the Gift Shop. She fondly remembers going to many gift shows in New York with Hinda M.  She enjoyed picking out gifts that she thought would be “hot sellers” for the congregants. Amy laughed as she recalled going to many out-of-the-way wholesale dealers in New York. Hinda M. knew them all.

Before the Temple renovations, the Gift Shop was situated near the back entrance way-an area where there is now a classroom. Families would come in and browse, congregate and ultimately buy their Judaica gifts for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and weddings, or pick up specialty items for themselves. Amy notes that times have changed. There is much competition out there with the option of buying through online stores. But, Amy assures me that the Judaica Gift Shop can meet most of those prices and not charge shipping and handling. The Gift Shop is a fundraiser for our Sisterhood. Sisterhood in turn, is obligated financially to Temple Beth Sholom’s General Fund. So, Amy reminds customers, that purchasing a tallit, kipots, mezuzahs, menorahs, candles, or any gifts, the Temple benefits from the sale.

Since the Gift Shop is a very important part of Sisterhood, it was an easy transition for Amy to become involved in this arm of the Temple in another light.  Amy sold Torah Cards that benefited the Rabbinical Seminary and eventually took on the responsibilities of Sisterhood President with Carol Gutkin for two terms.

One of Amy’s goals was to “get the women out of the kitchen!” She suggested BOOK TALKS because, she herself, is an avid reader. She also advocated for more educational programs for the Sisterhood membership.

Amy is also involved in the Board of Education at TBS. She was a representative for K’Tanim, a Sisterhood Representative and now holds the office of School Treasurer. Amy along with Jessica Malkin, are responsible for the highly successful fundraising program of Purim Baskets for the Hebrew School.

“When I think of everything I am involved with, Temple Beth Sholom is my other family. I have friends and supporters wherever I turn. I joined because Morrow and I wanted our children to have friends in Hebrew School and secular school. We wanted them to grow up to be part of a community,” Amy explains.

Morrow, a board member as well, is proud to be part of the Men’s Club Softball team; Michaela is involved in Kadima and USY; and Ben and Ethan are close by as a family should be.

So, as Amy says, Temple Beth Sholom is “a great place to be. TRY IT- YOU’LL LIKE IT!”

Thanks, Amy.