Beit Shalom

Building and Grounds

Building Use and Access

Camp Shemesh



Chevra Bikur Cholim

Chevra Kadisha







High Holidays
Internal Communications

Judaica Store


Music, Arts and Culture
   Visual Arts



Project Rehovot

Rabbi Liaison

Ritual Life

Scholar in Residence




Tikkun Olam

World Jewish Concerns
Rabbi Benjamin Weiner

Rabbi David Dunn Bauer (2003-2010)
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg (1989-2002)
Rabbi Emeritus: Yechiael Lander

Co-President: Richard Cohen

Co-President: Eva Rosenn

First Vice President: Maryann Barakso

Second Vice President: Donna Baron

Clerk: Michael Burkart

Treasurer: Jonathan Shefftz
Molly Goren-Watts
Eli Kwartler
Patty Levine
Andra Rose
Amy Rothenberg
Bob Solosko
William Zimmer

Director of Lifelong Learning: Jody Rosenbloom     256-0160 ext. 203
Teen Program Coordinator: Rachael Goren-Watts     256-0160 ext. 203

Office Administrator: Marcia Howard     256-0160
Administrative Assistants: Nora Mariano, Susan Thomas     256-0160

Events Co-ordinator: Karen Loeb   256-0160 ext.207

Beit Shalom Committee
  • Eva Metzger Brown, Chair (256-8066;
  • Committee Members: Haim Gunner (; Josette Henschel (549-5059;; Kitty Talan (253-2248;; Rob Okun (253-7918;

    The Beit Shalom Committee was created to provide a place to resolve rare and particularly difficult conflicts that impact the life of the JCA Community and its members. It is available to hear complaints of any individual or group with a grievance that cannot be resolved through the normal (formal and informal) channels. Any individual or groups of individuals with such a concern can contact any Committee Member. Names will be kept confidential, unless released by the complainant. Further information regarding the grievance process and the issue of confidentiality is available from Eva Metzger Brown.

Building and Grounds Committee
  • Mark Israel, Chair
  • Committee Members: Bruce Klotz.
    Ex Officio: Santos Alers, Rob Kaufman

    The Building Committee is responsible for maintaining JCA facilities. It reviews their condition and decides the tasks that can be done by the committee and/or membership and those that must be purchased. The Building Committee handles landlord-tenant relations, including leases, etc.

Camp Shemesh
  • Aaron Kropf, Chair
  • Jay Flint, Larry Goldbaum, Amy Kroin, Jodi Levine, and Rachel Schwab-Rehorka
  • Camp Shemesh is the JCA's summer day camp now in its 22nd season. Located on the Amherst College campus, Camp Shemesh has a tradition of providing children, ages 6-11, with a joyful, creative, spiritually rich and educationally sound Jewish day camp experience. The camp incorporates traditional camp activities (swimming daily at the Amherst College pool, arts and crafts, drama, music and sports) into its Jewish-themed programming.

    Three, two-week sessions are offered, accommodating approximately 35 campers per session. The camp operates weekdays from 8:30-4:00pm, and on Fridays from 8:30-3:30pm. A Kabbalat Shabbat celebration is held on Fridays which family members are encouraged to attend. Tuition and registration information is posted on this website in early February of each year. For more information about the camp, including employment opportunities, please leave a message on the camp extension: 413/256-0160 ext. 250 or email:

    Camp Shemesh must comply with the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and be licensed by the board of health.

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Cemetery Committee
  • Linda Sinapi, Co-Chair
  • Devorah Jacobson, Co-chair
  • Committee Members: Sam Gladstone, Karen Hoffman

    The Cemetery Committee is responsible for the upkeep of the JCA Cemetery. The committee makes sure the grounds are well kept, sells plots to members and non-members, maintains cemetery records, and serves as the liaison between the bereaved family, the funeral director and the excavator. The committee also maintains cemetery rules.

Chesed Committee
  • Chair rotates among committee members
  • Committee Members: Reed Alper, Marcia Black, Eva Metzger Brown, Robin Diamond, Judy Davis, Hans Herda,
    Ellen Middleton, Susan Myers, Kitty Talan, Susan Zarchin

    The Chesed Committee offers support during times of need. Chesed, loving kindness, is extended to community members facing challenging circumstances such as illness, hospitalization, loss of a loved one, or isolation. We depend on JCA members to inform the JCA office or the Rabbi when situations arise and to help us provide the services (meals, transportation, visits, and help with shiva) that are needed. We keep a list of volunteers who can provide meals and rides. We also celebrate new babies by providing meals and a welcome basket. We are always seeking new Committee members to join us at monthly meetings in which we coordinate the care that we offer.

Chevra Bikur Cholim
  • Chair is currently vacant

    Bikur Cholim is the mitzvah of caring for the ill. It is an act of gemilut chasadim and is one element of the work of the Chesed Committee. The Bikur Cholim's aim is to tap into our community's rich spiritual resources to offer support to members coping with illness and other crises. Spiritual support can take the form of visits to the home or hospital or forming healing circles to bring the community together to pray for members and their families in time of need. We also work to raise awareness of illness and the potential for healing in the JCA community. Above all, our mission is to combat the despair and isolation often experienced in times of crisis.

Chevra Kadisha
  • Joan Saperstan, Chair

    The Chevra Kadisha, when requested, performs the mitzvot of ritually washing, dressing, and preparing the body for burial according to Jewish custom. The members of the Society are Jewish members of the JCA who make a significant long term commitment to the Society, appreciate the awesome nature of ther holy tasks, engage in educating themselves about the Jewish approach to death, and provide information to the larger community on the topic.

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Childcare Committee
  • Chair is currently vacant

Communications Committee
  • Mark Israel, Chair
  • Committee Members: Aaron Bousel
  • Adjunct Members: Moira Clinglman, Steve Woolf

Education Committee
  • Andra Rose, Chair
  • Committee Members: Donna Baron, Ted Trobaugh, Amy Kroin, Jody Levine, Ariella Schwell; Rachael Goren-Watts, Director of Teen Programming; Jody Rosenbloom, Director of Lifelong Learning; Cara Silverberg, Camp Director

    The Education Committee, working with the Rabbi and the Education Director, formulates and enacts policy regarding the Religious School. We look at long term issues, such as curriculum development and training opportunities for teachers, as well as day to day issues that affect the children in the school. We also run the Parent Association and keep the Board informed of the issues in the school. Recently we have been working to create a Teen Programming Committee to do the crucial work of keeping post-B'nai Mitzvah teens engaged.

  • Adult Education Committee
    Barbara Burkart, Chair The Adult Education Committee arranges and coordinates educational offerings for the adult community. Using talents of JCA members, as well as members of the greater community, it finds instructors to teach courses which range from one or two sessions to seven or eight. The Committee attempts to provide a mixture of classes that deal with Jewish themes, from text study to folk dancing. Its tasks are to determine the interests and needs of the community, to find instructors, to devise a schedule for each semester, and twice a year to prepare and distribute a brochure.

    Our current brochure

Finance Committee
  • Josh Goldman, Chair
  • Committee Members: Michael Burkart, Alan Peterfreund, Norman Brown, Michael Bulman, Bob Feldman, Michael Chernoff, Eli Kwartler, Jonathan Sheftz

    The Finance Committee works with the JCA Treasurer to develop financial guidelines, procedures, and policies, including drafting the budget and setting dues levels subject to Baord and community approval in accordance with the JCA by-laws. The committee is also responsible for dues and tuition collections and for approving expenditures within the parameters of the by-laws and the community budget.

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Fund Raising Committee
  • Chair is currently vacant
  • Committee Members: Jamie Campbell Morton, Steve Woolf, Richard Cohen

    The Fundraising Committee plans events and projects intended to generate sufficient funds to minimize dues increases. New members welcome.

Governance Committee
  • Bill Zimmer, Chair
  • Members: Richard Cohen, Maryann Barakso, Jeff Cohen and Eli Kwartler

High Holidays Committee
  • Yossi Charette, Co-chair
  • Bob Solosko, Co-chair
  • The task of the High Holidays Committee is to organize all details of the services for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The co-ordinators of the committee divide responsibility for service content and support logistics by recruiting volunteers to manage various sub-aspects such as childcare, greeters and ushers, chair setup, publicity and information booklets, traffic control, service leaders and Torah readers. Many people are needed to make things run smoothly and new volunteers are always needed for this annual short-term project (about 2 months).

Internal Communications
  • Aaron Bousel, Coordinator

The Judaica Store
  • Hadar Grabel, Chair

Membership Committee
  • Tobi Sznajderman, Chair
  • Committee Members: Oran Kaufman, Ruth Kane Levit, Marina Goldman, Rachael Goren-Watts, Robyn Miller

    The committee seeks to create a welcoming atmosphere for new members. To that end, it sponsors gatherings at which new and current members can meet informally. It produces informational material about the JCA for prospective and new members, answers queries from prospective and new members, co-sponsors with other committees events for the new and existing members, and offers advice to better serve the needs of those new to the community.

Music, Arts & Culture Committee
  • Anita Page, Co-chair
  • Eva Sartori, Co-chair
  • Committee Members: Natalie Jarmon, Ann Hastings

    The committee brings a combination of concerts, lectures, art exhibits, and poetry readings to the JCA. Anyone with expertise, contacts, or interest is welcome to participate.

  • Visual Arts Subcommittee
  • Carol Kaminsky, Chair

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Nominating Committee
  • Jennifer Holme, Chair
  • Committee Members: Eli Kwarlter, Beverly Woolf, Judy Glaser

Personnel Committee
  • Richard Cohen, Chair
  • Committee Members: Judi Fonsh, Ann Nusbaum, Steve Freedman, Cheryl Zoll

    The Personnel Committee is charged with the recruitment and hiring, subject to JCA Board approval, of non-professional paid staff.

Project Rehovot Subcommittee
  • Marilyn Kushick, Chair
  • Committee Members: Neta Bolozky, Moira Clingman, Rebecca Fisher, Hadar Grabel, Yaffa Gunner, Karen Loeb, Eva Sartori, Tamar Shadur and Jody Wax.

Rabbi Liaison Committee
  • Barbara Burkart, Chair
  • Committee Members: Aaron Bousel, Deborah Fine, David Levit, Amy Mittelman, Ted Slovin

    The purpose of the Rabbi Liaison Committee is to:

    • Act as a channel between the rabbi and the congregation for the communication and processing of comments, issues, and complaints,
    • Further increase the effectiveness of the rabbi-congregational relationship,
    • Provide a way for people who are hesitant about contacting the rabbi directly to do so.
    We encourage you to contact any member of the committee whenever you feel there is an issue that you would like them to consider with Rabbi Weiner.
    Please be assured that all information is confidential.

Ritual Life Committee
  • Yossi (Paul) Charette, Co-chair
  • Sarah Thomson, Co-chair
  • Members: Ruth Love Barer, Aaron Bousel, Gordon Freed, Robert Friedman, Eliza Gouverneur, Batya Perman, Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser, Randi Stein, Judy Young

    The Religion Committee supports the Rabbi in meeting the needs of the religious life of the community. It meets with the Rabbbi monthly and plans most religious services and other observances, except for the High Holidays. It publishes the monthly calendar of religious services in the newsletter and makes decisions regarding religious policy in the community. It solicits input from the greater community on contoversial issues. One of the committee co-chairs sits on the JCA Board. Activities include scheduling cantors and other lay leaders for Shabbat services, organizing holiday activities such as the annual Sukkah building, maintaining ritual items, and discussing policy issues such as the Kashrut policy for the kitchen, Members of the community often take on tasks that give them the opportunity to learn more about Jewish ritual and practice, and to interpret this practice in ways that are meaningful for a pluralistic community.

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Scholar in Residence Committee
  • Michael Chernoff, Chair

    The Scholar-In-Residence Committee annually brings a guest scholar to the JCA for a weekend retreat and Shabbaton that is open to JCA members and to the larger community. Past guests have included Rabbi Arthur Green, author of Seek My Face Speak My Name, ancient religions scholar Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Sylvia Boorstein and Rabbi Alan Lew in a program on Jewish meditation, and Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of Minyan.

School Committee
  • Amy Kroin, Chair
  • Members: Deborah Evans, Sally Galman, Shari McDonald, David Mednicoff, Holly Perry, Ted Trobaugh,
    and Jody Rosenbloom (director of lifelong learning)

  • Ruth Love Barer, Chair

    Shomerim are watchers or guardians of the soul. Jewish tradition requires that the deceased not be left alone prior to burial. "Shomers" and "Shomeretts" therefore sit at the funeral home in close proximity to the deceased, reading psalms and assisting them in making the transition from life to death. This activity is considered holy.

Social/Fun Committee
  • The Social/Fun Committee plans, organizes and runs events and activities that are fun for both members and non members alike. Such events build community and provide a positive image of the synagogue for potential members. Our activities in past years have included Hanukkah parties with live music, Family Fun Day, a Family Dance and the 36th Anniversary Raffle. We also help plan events that will be both enjoyable and energetic as well as raise funds in conjunction with the fund raising committee and other committees of the JCA.

Tikkun Olam/Social Justice Committee
  • Judith Souweine, Chair

    The Tikkun Olam/Social Justice Committee is the social justice arm of the JCA. We are directly concerned with tikkun olam (repairing the world), and we operate fron the assumption that"the world" is not separate from the microcosmic world of the JCA. We examine racism, class assumptions, violence, poverty, drug addiction, and the consequences of these and many other of the world's "critical issues". We avoid the "us-them" paradigm which would separate the Jewish community from "others" whom we wish to "help". Instead, we recognize the need to look inward as well as outward for both the causes and the solutions to the world's social ills.

World Jewish Concerns and Action Committee
  • Karen Loeb, Chair
  • Committee Members: Libby Arny, Neta Bolozky, Joan Epstein, Yaffa Gunner, Frieda Howards, Nomi Kluger-Nash, Zahava Koren, Rita Kropf, Ellen Middleton, Eva Sartori, Tamar Shadur and Jody Wax.

    The committee provides a link between the JCA and the broader world Jewish community, with a focus on Israel. It brings to the attention of our members current issues of political, social and cultural significance to Jews by marking significant dates commemorating the Holocaust and celebrating Israel Independence Day. Annually, it sponsors the Rabin Memorial Lecture that addresses ongoing issues in Israel. The committee raises funds for the Jewish Federation of Independent Communities (JNF), the New Israel Fund (NIF) and for Project Rehovot, which supports a part-time teacher/ therapist for immigrant children, most recently from Ethiopia, in an elementary school in Rehovot, Israel. The committee responds to current issues as they emerge.

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