June 2023: President’s Message

As my first year as president of Temple Beth Sholom comes to a close, I have learned so much from the individuals in this room, on Zoom, and even from those who were not able to come tonight. I’d like to take a moment to recognize them as their efforts are much appreciated.

Our office staff, Jessica and Roberta, answered all of your questions about synagogue life, kept track of all of the generous donations, sold grocery gift cards, and took numerous phone inquiries. They did all of this and more while being introduced to a new management system, ShulCloud. Although it has been a rocky start to using ShulCloud, we know that in the long run there will be many benefits for using this system. Thank you to Diane Alderman for overseeing the office staff and to Michelle Murphy for overseeing the transition to ShulCloud.


The Executive Board members would not have taken on the responsibilities if they didn’t love TBS and what they were doing.


Thanks to Eta Kaplan, Kenneth Dworkin and Amy Long, who handled the financial aspect of the Temple – financial consideration, the Temple budget, and the Hebrew School budget.


Jonathan Engel, our Ritual Vice President, implemented the High Holiday services and made sure everything was needed for the services throughout the year. I’ve enjoyed closing the ark doors together after services – our way of confirming that the ark is secured…so we don’t go home and text each other, “Did we close the ark?”


Our Membership Vice President, Michelle Lakin, not only reached out to prospective members, but also ran a successful Purim basket fundraiser AND a clothing fundraiser with her husband Brian. And thank you to Brian, who is working with us on implementing the Federal Nonprofit Security Grant.


Jeff Krupel, our House Vice President, made sure our synagogue was in tip-top shape with the help of our custodian Brunel, Zach from our cleaning service, Larry Hyatt, and the rest of the House Committee. During Jeff’s tenure, the building was maintained during the pandemic and then reopened doors for all services, programs, and simchas. Additionally, Jeff worked with Morrow Long on the safety and security of the synagogue, including the addition of the key fobs to ensure safe accessibility into the building.


Our Communications Vice President, Jo Ben-Atar, put together the weekly Temple Tablet and various press releases. She worked with an experienced group of people who maintained our website (George Alexander and Michael Brooks), our bulletin (Stephen Salinger), and the special emails (Michelle Murphy) that were sent out to the congregation. Her committee made sure our members received news in a timely manner.


Shira Rosenblatt, our Programming Vice President, spearheaded a weekend-long program that included commemoration and celebration; as well as monthly recognition of all of our committees at special Friday night services. I look forward to seeing more individuals participate in the coming year.


Michelle Krupel, our Recording Secretary, kept impeccable notes on each board meeting.


A special thank you goes out to Toby Gillman. Her stamina as the chairperson of the Gift Cards fundraiser is certainly beyond anyone’s expectations. Purchasing grocery gift cards supports the synagogue in various ways.. Even if you choose to buy once a month, the purchase will make a difference.


Thank you to Hinda Piscitelle, Gerry Ganezer, and the Shredding Fundraiser Committee for running this event in both the Fall and the Spring. Every time we hold this event, it becomes more and more successful.


All year round TBS reached out to the community, and beyond, thanks to the Social Action Committee led by Marjorie Drucker and Debby Pines.


Our Men’s Club (Steven Sosensky), Sisterhood (Melissa Hammer and Sharon Rosenblatt), and Adult Education Committee (Ira Kleinfeld) planned educational and meaningful programs throughout the year.


Ellen Dworkin, Chair of the Board of Education, not only worked with the Hebrew School (Beth Messina and Sandy Steiner), but she also helped with the launching the Young Families Program – our initiative to bring families with children under 6 years old into the synagogue. We look forward to growing this program this coming year.


Our Board of Directors and Trustees were part of important discussions concerning the synagogue. I thank each and every one of you for your participation, your voice, and your expertise this year and throughout your term.


Gary Drucker, David Slossberg, Robyn Buchter, Gail Greenberg, Toby Gillman, David Margolis, Jessica Engel, Michael Brooks, Cynthia Popoli, Sharon Wise, Rose Spielman, Andrea Smith, Mike Romeo, Dale Spaner, Francie Parness, Deborah Wilkenfeld, Larry Hyatt, Dalia Medin, Melissa Hammer, David Stern, Debby Pines.


All year long we listened to the reports from the standing and special committees. You each planned and implemented meetings and programs that impacted the synagogue every day.


Dale Spaner, Art Committee

Steven Sosensky, Cemetery

Rachel Ledewitz-Gordon, College Liaison

Deborah Braun, Designated Funds

Marty Bernstein, Endowment

David Slossberg, High Holiday Campaign

Joan Levine, Holocaust Torah

Ruth Kleinfeld, Isaiah Fund

Eta Kaplan and Andrea Smith, Food and Services

Bryan Garsten, Library

Diane Alderman, Office

Morrow Long, Safety & Security

Brian Lakin, Security Grant

Judy Rolnick, Staying Connected


Finally, thank you to Rabbi Scolnic for being inspirational and always making us laugh. Rabbi is more than our synagogue’s spiritual leader. He is involved in our life cycle events and an important part of our caring community. Rabbi, thank you for encouraging me to read the monthly Book Club picks on time – I try my best. And, now that we’re in the post-pandemic era, maybe I’ll finally move over one seat to sit next to you.