- Beit Shalom Committee
- Committee Members: Josette Henschel (549-5059; firstname.lastname@example.org);
Kitty Talan (253-2248; email@example.com); Rob Okun (253-7918; firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
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- Contact Cara Michelle Silverberg at
Camp Shemesh was founded in 1985. Through a framework of Jewish themes and values, it provides space for youth to explore their authentic selves while learning
to be empathic and environmentally sensitive people and leaders. Camp engages music, creative arts, gardening, sports, swimming, field trips, team challenges,
Kabbalat Shabbat celebrations and more. It values diversity and prides itself in its welcoming, joyful and inclusive atmosphere for families of all backgrounds.
Camp Shemesh is located at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. It serves 6-12 year olds and offers leadership programs for teens aged 13-16 years.
Visit our website to learn more about us at:
www.j-c-a.org/shemesh.html, or contact the camp director at 413-256-0160 ext 204 or at
Camp Shemesh must comply with the regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and be licensed by the board
- 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, Robin Diamond, Judy Davis, Hans Herda,
Ellen Middleton, Amy Mittelman, Susan Myers, David Piech, 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
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- 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.
- 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: Rachael Goren-Watts, Mara Hahn, Felicia Mednik, Jane Myers, Jody Rosenbloom: Director of Lifelong Learning,
Cara Silverberg: Camp Director, Ted Trobaugh
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
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- 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.
- Fund Raising Committee
- 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
- 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
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- 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
- Nominating Committee
- Judi Fonsh, Chair
- Committee Members: Michael Burkart, Hans Herda, Flo Stern, Boris Wolfson
- Personnel Committee
- 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
- Ritual Life Committee
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- Yossi (Paul) Charette, Co-chair
- Aaron Bousel, Co-chair
- Members: Ruth Love Barer, Madeline Berkowitz, Gordon Freed, Robert Friedman, Eliza Gouverneur, Jayne Pearl, Batya Perman,
Rhonda Shapiro-Rieser, Randi Stein, Sarah Thomson
The Ritual Life Committee supports the Rabbi in meeting the needs of the religious
life of the community. It meets with the Rabbi 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 controversial issues. 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 committee 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.
- 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
- School Committee
- Mara Hahn & Talya Kingston, Co-chairs
- Members: Shari McDonald, Holly Perry, Dana Parrot, Josh Polak, Jody Rosenbloom: Director of Lifelong Learning, Ted Trobaugh
- 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
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- 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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