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2019 Member of the Month Spotlights

may

Hilary & Josh Zoppel

It was January 2015, I was very pregnant with baby #2, and had a very active 18-month-old who wanted to play... all. Day. Long. Being that we had just moved to Cherry Hill from Philly (transplanted from NY), we didn’t have many local friends with babies to have play dates with.

I knew it was time to look into preschool for our son, Samson. He needed more action and we needed to know he was going to have the best care. I called Ellen Berju at the ECEC at Temple Beth Sholom. I knew as soon as I met Ellen, I had found our new home.

Two kids and four years later, both of our boys are still enrolled at the ECEC and loving their experiences, just as they do year after year. They have grown leaps and bounds, and have made friendships that will last a lifetime.

Through the years we’ve gotten to know the staff at TBS, as well as so many of the amazing families. I’ve taken on some of the responsibilities of the HSA (Home and School Association), and currently co-chair the HSA in an effort to raise money for different programs in the ECEC.

We are so thankful for the opportunities given to us, and for the lifelong friendships my family and I have made. If it weren’t for the most incredible staff at TBS, YMG, Sisterhood, and all of the incredible organizations affiliated with TBS, consistently planning events to bring families together, we wouldn’t have made the friends that we have; some of our most cherished friends who are more like family now.

I have to say my favorite moment at TBS to date, was my youngest son Isaac’s first day of the January 2’s. I know what you’re thinking -- both kids off to school, Mommy is free! But that’s not it. Samson took Isaac’s hand in the parking lot of TBS, backpacks on their backs, ready to roll, and they headed for the double doors. I heard Samson say to Isaac what a fun day he was going to have on his first day of school. He was so excited to have his little brother at school with him. It was so sweet, and so special. And it happened at TBS, because of TBS.

My one word for TBS would have to be welcoming. It truly is a welcoming environment for both the adults as well as for the children.

My favorite food at TBS is Morah Harriet’s fresh baked pretzels (just one of her many specialties!)

april

Arlene & Alan Blocher

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
Having moved several times and been members of different synagogues we knew we wanted a Conservative shul with a reliable Saturday morning service and an active multi-generational congregation. Having “auditioned” possibilities in the area, we found TBS to be what we were looking for.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS?
Since joining Arlene has been involved in the Membership Committee and very involved in programming for Hazak. Alan has served on the TBS Board, been president of Hazak and serves on the synagogue Finance Committee. In addition to feeling involved we have found that this kind of service has broadened our our exposure to people we might otherwise not interacted with. We particularly like the innovative Shabbat morning services with the open discussions substituting for sermons as well as the recent introduction of breakout sessions for musical services and discussion of the new prayer book. We are impressed with the competence and friendliness of all the staff from clergy to office to maintenance.

What is your favorite TBS food?
To those who know us it should come as no surprise that our favorite TBS food is ice cream.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
If asked to describe TBS with one word it would be "hamish".

march

Abbey & David Gancz

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
We first came to TBS in 2015 when we were preparing to move to Cherry Hill from South Philly. We were looking for a new shul and also a new early childhood center for our son Eliezer who was not yet a year old. We visited and initially were sold by the ECEC alone. Then once we started attending services and events, we felt so at home that we knew we had made the right decision.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
We started out by going to Tot Shabbat, ECEC Shabbat services, and YMG events. We were becoming friendly with lots of the ECEC parents and loved that we could go to an activity where our son would enjoy himself but we could also socialize. Eventually Jen Green asked us both to join the YMG committee and we got involved with chairing some events. David loves helping with any type of food prep for Men’s Club. Abbey has enjoyed many Sisterhood events, especially Sisterhood Shabbat, and is happy to read Torah whenever Alvin needs a substitute.

We have found the culture at TBS to be very welcoming. We found ourselves getting involved just by showing up and being asked. There are so many ways to be active in synagogue life, too, so there is really a place for everyone.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
A memorable moment for Abbey was during one Sisterhood Shabbat when members were sharing their experiences with breast cancer. It was a beautiful display of bonding and a community supporting one another, and to experience it on a Shabbat morning was very spiritual. David recalls feeling very moved when Rabbi Wexler shared from the bimah his and Becca’s journey with infertility. Both experiences let us know we were in place where people really care about one another and can be supported through happy and hard times.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
David: welcoming
Abbey: heymish

What is your favorite TBS food?
David: gefilte fish
Abbey: egg salad on a challah slice
Elie: challah

february

Michael Greenspun

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
My mom first brought me to TBS in her Chrysler for Hebrew School in 1965 when I was 5 years old. I was going to the JCC for nursery school and came home and told my parents we should be lighting candles and saying prayers on Friday nights and they really didn’t know what to do. So they started sending me to TBS for Hebrew School and on Shabbat I attended Junior Congregation Services led by Mrs. Spechler.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
I attended Hebrew School at TBS in Haddon Heights in the 1960’s. I also attended Hebrew High and Midrashah through TBS. I’ve sent my kids through Hebrew School and now HaMakom at TBS. I make sure to attend every parents program for each of my three children in all of their classes each year – a great way to meet and get to know all of the families while sharing a learning and life milestone event with my children. Attending Shabbat services each week is my own personal mental and spiritual workout. I highly recommend attending as often as possible. I also enjoy attending and I’m thankful we have the Project Yahad Programs – for families with members with Special Needs. Alex Weinberg, Jill Hammel and Sara Kreisman light up the lives of the people who need it the most in our community with this program.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
Having been at TBS for 53 of my 58 years I’m claiming special privilege and naming more than one - Noah’s Bar Mitzvah, Hannah and Sarah’s B’not Mitzvah, an extension of “at TBS” - Noah traveling to Israel with RMP, CJC, RBW and Jared Kaufman during his Confirmation Class trip and finally getting to “meet” his grandmother and most recently – my sister Jeanne having an Aliyah just a few weeks ago – when she moved back “home” – thank you Alvin Stern.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Welcoming

What is your favorite TBS food?
I know you are expecting me to say the soft pretzels on Sunday mornings but really my favorite TBS food is anything Morah Harriet and the Cookin’ Kiddush Committee create for Shabbat morning Kiddush lunches. You can literally taste the thoughtfulness.

January

Debra & Avi Galler

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
We moved to Cherry Hill during the summer of 2017. We looked at several neighborhood synagogues, and our main concern was finding a really strong Hebrew school program for our kids. We were so impressed with TBS's education program and its leadership, and we felt so welcomed at the Shabbat services we attended that we knew we were making the right choice with TBS.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to become involved in synagogue life at TBS. We've found ways for all of our family members to be active community members! Avi enjoys Men's Club activities and recently spent several weeks attending Shir HaLev with Cantor Cohen in preparation for Josh Warshawsky's visit. Debra is on the Lifelong Learning Committee, volunteered to help with the Capitol Steps committee, and enjoys the Prayer 101 sessions with the rabbis. Judah, our son, loves the youth group activities, being in iShir, and attending Hebrew school. We're so excited that he will be reading Torah for the first time in January in celebration of his 9th birthday! Lily, our four-year-old daughter, just loves being at shul, especially Tot Shabbat services. It's so wonderful to feel like there are activities and places for us to be part of the community as a family but also as individuals. We grew up with different experiences of Judaism, and we both feel totally comfortable at TBS.

In terms of encouraging others to become involved, the key is really just showing up. The leadership is so strong and if you're there, they find you, get to know you, and help you find activities and ways to be involved. We started by simply attending Shabbat services as often as we could, and that's how we learned the range of options for getting involved and met people who connected us to different activities and committees.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
On Judah's first day of Hebrew school, we went to the orientation as a family. We were all a little nervous. Alex Weinberg got up to give his presentation, and Lily, then just three, wandered up to the front of the room and stood next to him. We were mortified - we were this new family and our kid was interrupting the whole orientation! Alex simply smiled and said, "do you want to hold my hand?" Lily spent the entire presentation up there holding Alex's hand. It was like she knew that this was a place where she could be comfortable and just embraced that, and we all left feeling like that moment was a very good sign of what our life at TBS would be like.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Welcoming

What is your favorite TBS food?
Judah: Chicken Fingers. Lily: Lox. Avi: Whitefish salad. Debra: Egg Salad.

2018 Member of the Month Spotlights

November/December

Debbie & Howard Silverstone

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
Debbie’s parents, Evelyn and Jay Bradin, met and married at TBS in Haddon Heights. Debbie has been a TBS member literally her entire life. When it came time for Debbie and Howard to join a synagogue, TBS was the only choice!

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
Debbie and Howard share the philosophy that you get out of an organization what you put into it. Howard has chaired the budget committee and served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. Debbie has served on the Preschool Board and has chaired the Religious School Board. She also has served on the Board of Directors, the Sisterhood Board and the Personnel Committee. Involvement in the synagogue makes TBS more of a home and allows you to form friendships with congregants and clergy that wouldn’t happen otherwise. Also, it is rewarding to be part of the process that keeps the synagogue thriving financially and socially.

How have you been involved in the community?
Howard was recently honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by being made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (“MBE”). This honor was given in recognition for his service to British business in the U.S. Debbie and Howard, together with Jonathan, Alec and Emma recently attended his investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, where Howard received his award from Prince William.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
There are too many to list, but two stand out. First, our wedding day. Having Rabbi Lewis marry us was so meaningful because of the amazing Rabbi he was and because he had been part of every life cycle event in Debbie’s life. Second, the b’nai mitzvot of our children. It was such an overwhelming feeling to see our children lead the service and read from the Torah in a sanctuary filled with family and friends. It was a real sense of L’Dor V’Dor.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Warm

What is your favorite TBS food?
We love the egg salad after Shabbat services!

October

Minna & Ed Recht

Ed and I came to Cherry Hill from Pittsburgh in June 1968. We moved into our home, which we still occupy, with our daughter, Linda, and our son, Joel. Once we settled into our new environment, we started our shul search. We checked out a couple of synagogues and felt most comfortable at Temple Beth Sholom in Haddon Heights. We attended High Holiday services and Linda started Hebrew school at TBS and first grade at Woodcrest Elementary School. At the beginning, I was feeling like a stranger at TBS. I had to do something, so I found Herzl Hadassah. I had been active in Hadassah in Pittsburgh and these ladies were friendly and welcoming. I then decided to get involved in TBS Sisterhood. That helped me to feel like I had a place in the synagogue. I helped in the kitchen, preparing wonderful meals and parties. I began to make new friendships that have lasted through many years. I’m still in the TBS kitchen, preparing kugels for Shabbat Kiddushes. And I’m still making friends!

My involvement in Sisterhood continued past the kitchen to the creation of scrip and board meetings. I also love volunteering in the Gift Shop. It gives me an opportunity to meet younger members of the congregation.

I was then invited to the TBS Board of Directors. That brought me into a vibrant and active role. I was a VP on the Executive Board and learned the importance of representing the needs of congregants. I served on many committees and chaired many events. There are two activities that I am especially proud to have participated: the Rabbi Search Committee which resulted in the selection of Rabbi Lindemann, and the Building Committee that resulted in our Cherry Hill facility.

My favorite moment at TBS was the Torah walk from Haddon Heights to Cherry Hill. As we watched Rabbi Lewis affix the mezzuzah to the entrance door, I was filled with pride. I was the chair for the interior design committee.

The Rabbi’s Search Committee and Building Committee members worked together with love and respect. Life-long friends were formed. Today when I walk into TBS, I feel at Home. This is my family.

September

Melissa & Ted Landay

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
We first came to TBS for the religious school program. When our son, Justin, turned 7, we enrolled him in the program. Growing up in a temple that leaned more orthodox than conservative, we were also drawn to the egalitarian service. Seeing women read out of the Torah and stand on the bimah on a Saturday morning was such a welcome sight.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
For the first 14 years of our membership, we did not participate in synagogue life outside of the religious school and high holidays. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, Rabbi Peltz encouraged us to come along with the TBS Family Trip to Israel in 2016. The trip and the families who we traveled with really changed our perspective on TBS. Getting to know one another on such a spiritual journey is something that we never could have imagined. While most of the families knew each other from TBS or Kellman Brown, Ted, Jonathan and I were made to feel warm and welcome from day 1.

Since that trip, I joined the Business Advisory Council, the Rabbi Search Committee and last year, was invited to join the Board of Directors. Ted joined the men’s club as well.

Ted and I getting more involved also inspired my parents, Jay and Anita Garber, to get more involved. Shortly after I returned from Israel, I was asked to share my experience at Shabbat services. My parents came to hear my speech and after that, my dad became a “shul man”, attending Shabbat morning services nearly every weekend.

A wise woman once told me, you get out of it what you put into it. I could not agree more. I would encourage any other members who are not actively engaged to join a committee or attend an event, or a trip. I promise you will get much more out of it than you put into it.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
In January, I was thrilled to take part of the Sisterhood Pink Shabbat and read out of the Torah for the first time at 50 years old. This event became even more special to me as it was the last time I saw my father before his fatal stroke. I cannot tell you how much comfort this gave me knowing he was there to share this special moment.
 
As a result of my father’s passing, I now belong to another part of the TBS family – the nightly minyan family. Since he passed earlier this year, my husband, brother and mom try to come every night to say kaddish. I have been so blessed to meet even more families who come each night – either because they share a loss or they just come to support others who have experienced loss.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Warm and caring. When you need them the most, they will be there for you – in good times and bad.

August

Bonnie Friedman

I joined TBS in 1975. I had been recently widowed, and had moved back to Cherry Hill with my four children. I “shopped” different shuls and fell in love with TBS and Rabbi Lewis – and my love affair with TBS continues. I think my husband, Nathan, married me so he could be part of my TBS family.

I became involved at TBS from the start. In those days, we did all the cooking for shul activities. I joined Sisterhood and was on the Board for several years. When you involve yourself in synagogue life, you become a part of a wonderful new family.

My favorite moment of the week is when I open the doors on Saturday to my shul. If you want to have that really special moment, come to Shabbat services – they are amazing!

If I could only use one word to describe TBS, it would “family.”

My favorite food is Jessica Weinberg’s kugel – it’s the best!

July

Allison & Jamie Arking

We moved to New Jersey in December 2009, and looked for a synagogue that we could call home. We immediately felt comfortable here at TBS due to the warmth and the "menschy" feel of the staff and clergy.

Jamie and I have been involved in many aspects of synagogue life here at TBS. Jamie was on the Strategic Planning Committee and has been playing piano as one of Cantor Jen's famous Daddy-o's for iShir for several years. I was youth director for Kadima for two years, and served on the Youth & Family Education Committee for six. I am currently on the newly formed Lifelong Learning Committee, chairing the HaMakom (Hebrew High School program) Task Force, and starting my second term on the TBS Board. We love being part of TBS life in such meaningful ways, and being so involved has enriched our synagogue experience and made it so much more rewarding. If you are asked to join a committee, say yes! If you have not been asked, and would like to be involved, just reach out to anyone! There is definitely a place for you here.

I don't know that we have one single favorite moment at TBS, as there have been so many important ones in the last 8-1/2 years. Of course, the Bar and Bat Mitzvahs of our kids will top the list, but participating in the Torah Orah initiative where we helped repair a letter of a damaged Torah was a very powerful experience. We also really enjoy any times when we can come to TBS and socialize with our friends, or even make new ones.

What is our favorite TBS food??? I love the frozen challahs that we bake at home. Jamie's is anything that Mens Club cooks... steak, ribs, burgers... and also the whiskey. Definitely the whiskey.

May/June

Eileen & Roy Levinson

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
When we moved to Cherry Hill in 1986 from San Diego with our then lone 10 month old son, Josh, one of the primary tasks was to find a synagogue to affiliate with. Our new neighbors, Arnie and Sue Baskies, assured us there was only one choice. After a few Shabbat services and our first High Holidays in Haddon Heights we were hooked on Rabbi Lewis and Cantor Fuchs. And over our 30 plus years at TBS we have been blessed by an ongoing cornucopia of riches with each addition to our bima professionals. Off the bima, we have found our closest friends to share everything life has brought our way inside the walls of our “House of Peace.”

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
Eileen has enjoyed seeing their children become true mensches through their combined experiences at TBS and Kellman Brown Academy. Both of us have had wonderful social experiences through Sisterhood, Men’s Club and B’Emtza. Roy has been involved in Men’s Club for three decades currently coordinating each year the Saturday services on Men’s Club Shabbat. He has filled in during Cantor Cohen’s time off and has been with Makhelat Beth Sholom, the TBS adult choir, since its inception. His most recent committee chairmanship has been the TBS Sustainability Project, helping us get Hazon’s “Seal of Sustainability.” Regular Shabbat morning services are always the week’s highlight.

The best parts of being involved are 1. Showing your children how important being an integral part of a Jewish community is to being a complete person and to our people’s survival and 2. Walking into the building knowing and truly feeling that you are in your “second home.” The Sanctuary is in fact, just that.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
The obvious answer is their children’s b’nai mitzvot and Josh’s aufruf, but a close second was Roy’s getting to play “Tevye” in the TBS Entertainers production of “Fiddler on the Roof” with Ilana in the cast too. That was an actor’s dream come true.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Mishpaha

What is your favorite TBS food?
Steak & Scotch (in the Sukkah)

April/May

Randi & Gary Goldblatt

We started at TBS in 2011 when I brought our son Brett to Miss Marcia’s music class. I met many of my closest friends there and joined the ECEC the minute he turned 2. It was an instant connection from then on. We are sad that this is our last year in the ECEC since our daughter Lia will be finishing the 4’s.

While our children attended the ECEC I became involved as much as I could because I wanted the opportunity to watch them grow in every way. I wanted to see how they learned and interacted with their friends. I was the room parent each year and while doing that it made me realize that I wanted to do even more for the school and the synagogue. Ellen Berju asked me to run Transportation Day and I have been running it every year since. It has been truly amazing watching the kids enjoy seeing all the exciting vehicles. I also joined Sisterhood for a year as well as the Young Members Group. I enjoyed the Young Members Group so much that I recently accepted the offer to chair the group next year. I am eager to come up with new ideas and am hoping to have a large committee -- so if you are interested come see me! I recently was on the committee for the Shul of Rock and really enjoyed seeing this incredible event come together with the most amazing team and the very talented Cantor Cohen. This has been an incredible year and I am looking forward to many more successful years to come.

I would have to say one of my most favorite aspects of TBS are the friendships that our family has built over the years. These friends have become family. I can’t imagine where I would be today without the love and support from each and every one of them. Also, watching Brett and Lia sing the prayers not only in school but at home and in the car. I have never been more proud to be Jewish and to hear these prayers I learned as a kid coming from our children. It truly warms my heart. The time and dedication the teachers and staff put into our children education is unbelievable. Gary and I are so grateful for the love they have shown to our children and the guidance that has been given to them to succeed in the future.

One word we would use to describe TBS would be engaging. We feel as though TBS offers so much to engage family members with different types of programs for all ages.

A family consensus of our favorite TBS food would be the challah that the children bake every Friday. Our dog Montana has even been known to unzip the school bags and eat the challah while left unattended. True story.

March

Jo-Ann & Howard Waxman

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
We moved to Cherry Hill from Baltimore in 1984 to pursue our professional careers. When our oldest child, Sarah, was ready to begin her formal Hebrew education, we searched for the synagogue that offered the best fit for our religious and educational needs. Temple Beth Sholom was the natural choice. The Religious School had a fantastic reputation throughout the community, the clergy was engaging and welcoming, and the egalitarian aspects of synagogue life gave us everything we had hoped for.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
Sisterhood has been the biggest attraction for Jo-Ann. She became involved shortly after joining the synagogue by assisting in promoting and running the Tot Shabbat program. From there, she joined the Sisterhood Board, chairing many committees and eventually serving in several different roles on the Sisterhood Executive Committee. Jo-Ann went on to become active on the Youth Commission and received a TBS Service Award for her work on hosting USY Fall Convention and International pre-Convention at TBS. Throughout the years, Jo-Ann has served on many different committees at TBS: Hanukkah Bazaar, Shalah Manot, Torah Fund, Fashion Show, Women’s Seder, Sisterhood Shabbat, and many more. Jo-Ann also served as co-manager of the Sisterhood Gift Shop for five years. Her proudest achievement has been to co-chair the newly transformed Sisterhood Shabbat into its current Shabbat morning format. Most recently, she has become an active member of the B’Emtza committee while also maintaining her duties to Sisterhood as the Torah Fund Secretary. Jo-Ann also participates in many Adult Education programs, including Lunch & Learn with the Rabbis and Conversational Hebrew with Morah Hedva Levin.

TBS has something for EVERYONE no matter what your interest is or what age group you are in. Find something that gives you joy and just do it! When you show up, you will be received warmly, you will meet people with similar interests and you will become a part of something very special!

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
Jo-Ann’s favorite moment at TBS was reading Torah for the very first time in her life at her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in 1998.

Howard’s favorite moment was the summer trip to Israel with Rabbi Lindemann in 2004. The beauty and diversity of Israel, combined with Rabbi Lindemann’s insight, made the trip life-changing and reinvigorated Howard’s faith.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Jo-Ann: Community
Howard: Warmth

What is your favorite TBS food?
Jo-Ann: Kugel
Howard: Gefilte fish with horseradish

February

Jenn & Jason Green

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
When we first moved to Cherry Hill we wanted to find a religious home with a thriving preschool and religious school. We wanted a place that would feel like a second home to us, especially our children. When we looked at TBS's website I recognized one of my Ramah bunkmates immediately and knew we were on the right track. We were impressed with the friendliness and approach-ability of the clergy, and remain so to this day.

From there, we attended our first High Holiday services where we were honored as new members by joining the Torah parade. We immediately felt the warmth of the community. Shortly thereafter, the preschool expanded their hours, at which point we couldn't wait to transition our daughter and then enroll our son when it was his turn. Both of our children are as comfortable at TBS as they are in our own home. Jason and I have also found our niches with the vast volunteer options and opportunities for involvement that TBS offers.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
Once we got settled in with our work and school routines we started attending events and meeting more people. We learned about different committees from casual conversations and I told people I wanted to get more involved. I joined the EBJ ECEC and Young Members Group committees and said yes to helping out as much as I could. I was honored to receive an application for and, in turn, participate in the PLI program.

I'm currently the Chairperson for the Young Members Group and a TBS Board member. Both of these positions have provided opportunities to meet and connect with different members of TBS to learn about other aspects of the synagogue. We would encourage everyone to attend events and talk to people. Let them know what you're interested in.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
Our favorite moments at TBS are our son's bris and our daughter's KE Review. It was wonderful to have a place to hold the bris where we were comfortable and knew everything would be taken care of. Our daughter's KE Review was adorable and funny and truly highlighted the wonderful education Ellen, Alex, and all of the teachers, staff, and clergy provide at TBS.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Hamish. We have always felt very welcome at TBS.

What is your favorite TBS food?
The individual challah our kids come home from preschool with every Friday. They are so proud to have made our Shabbat challah and share the special shape/letter they focused on. It's also the catalyst for our Shabbat celebration every week. We love the ongoing home-school connection!

January

Jeannie & Larry Teller

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
Jeannie and Larry moved to Haddonfield after they got married. Neither was from this area, and they did not know anything about the local conservative synagogues, but Jeannie knew one of the NJ shore rabbis, Rabbi Alan Lucas, who grew up in Cincinnati as did she. She asked for his recommendation, and he immediately said that they should go to Temple Beth Sholom with Rabbi Lewis. He then recounted some personal experiences with Rabbi Lewis.

Not long after Jeannie and Larry joined TBS, they were invited to Rabbi and Mrs. Lewis’s home to meet some other young couples. Rabbi Lewis suggested that the couples form a Chavurah to share social and religious experiences. Their Chavurah grew and shrank as people moved into the area and then departed, but many of these couples have remained among their closest friends. Jeannie and Larry have been fortunate to celebrate britot/baby namings, B’nai/B’not Mitzvah, and weddings with them. And, they also support each other at times of bereavement.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
Larry and Jeannie have been involved in many synagogue committees and activities and regularly attend Shabbat services and the daily evening minyan. Larry coordinates driving for the Hesed committee to assist members in need of transportation to doctor and other appointments; their motto is “You Call, We Haul.” Jeannie is currently chairing Mitzvah Day on January 15. She has been a long-time member and past chair of the Social Action Committee (and its Cook for a Friend program) and also serves on the Ritual Committee and Membership Committee.

Jeannie and Larry would encourage new members to attend Shabbat morning services, where they will have an opportunity to meet other congregant during Kiddush and find out about the many options for community involvement. When they first joined the synagogue, a small group of members were actively working to establish an adult education program. Jeannie was drawn to that mission and participated in that committee for many years. They have found that participating in one activity leads to another and another and another.

Please describe your favorite moments at TBS?
Their daughter Abigail’s Bat Mitzvah on May 27, 2000 and daughter Miriam’s Bat Mitzvah on October 25, 2008. They enjoyed celebrating their daughters’ accomplishments with their family and friends.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Family

What is your favorite TBS food?
The Cookin' Kiddush committee’s corn pudding.

December 2017

Rabbi Micah Peltz

10 years living in New Jersey. Something us midwesterners thought would never happen!

Here are some things Micah and I have learned from our TBS family during our 10 years in Cherry Hill:

1. Cherry Hill is, in fact, a great location. Close to NYC, close to the shore, and convenient enough to DC. Though we never thought about living in Cherry Hill before we moved here, we actually find ourselves in a central location for family and friends!

2. Time moves quickly. Everyone keeps telling us this. In the 10 years we've lived here, we've had three children, lived in two houses, and have been to countless appointments with our pediatrician and quadruple that number of trips to ShopRite! During Kiddush, we often hear that our children will grow up before we know it. When we had to submit our form for Yael's Bat Mitzvah date this past week, that sure rang true!

3. TBS is the best shul around. When we first came to TBS on Micah's interview weekend, we had a feeling right away that Rabbi Lindemann would be a truly wonderful mentor. And we had the blessing of spending time with Rabbi Lewis and Sarah. Ten years later, we appreciate even more how Rabbi Lindemann, as well as Jane, are one of a kind. Additionally, getting to work closely with Cantor Cohen, Ron Safier, Alex Weinberg, Jill Hammel, and Ellen Berju is as fabulous as it gets -- and now with Rabbi Wexler, the team is even better. Not only that, there is something so special about the TBS family. TBS congregants value the importance of l'dor va'dor -- they take their commitment to Judaism and Jewish learning seriously and understand that being there for one another is what community is all about.

4. Our TBS family has taught us that we are very lucky to be where we are in our lives -- geographically and spiritually. We are grateful that Yael, Ari and Ilan have taken some of their first steps on the TBS bimah and even learned to climb stairs in order to get bim-bom at the end of services. (When our kids were younger they actually thought that the word for "chocolate" was in fact "bim-bom" -- thanks Alvin!) They will forever associate going to shul with treats, with lots of people knowing who they are, enjoying watching them grow and watching to make sure they don't walk out the front door. (Thank you to all of those who have stopped Ilan when he has tried to make a break for it.)

Most of all, we have learned so much from all of you. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, your kindness, and your love of TBS.

Cantor Jen Cohen

I owe my introduction to the Temple Beth Sholom family to Rabbi Lindemann. Our home town connection - growing up at the same synagogue in Easton, PA - caused us to meet at the Jewish Theological Seminary (over coffee, of course!), and the rest, as they say, is history! My first two years as a commuter cantor, while finishing cantorial school, led to 8 ½ more as a Cherry Hill resident and full-time TBS family member, and what a wonderful decade it's been!

The warmth and open arms I've felt here at TBS, especially as the first female clergy person in the shul's history, has been incredible from day one. Every relationship - from early childhood to bnai mitzvah and every lifecycle event beyond - has taught me so much and helped me grow. Being with you in major transitions in your lives, from the saddest to the most joyful, means the world to me. Having the opportunity to do one of my favorite things on the planet - travel - both with adults on three different overseas trips and with our Confirmation class on our 10 trips (and counting!) to Israel has been exciting and enriching, and, most of all, has created bonds I treasure.

And we've had a LOT of fun together here at home! Hilarious and creative Purim themes (and wigs), social events from A Night in Nashville to the YMG 80s dance party to Sisterhood fashion shows to Broadway nights to Shul of Rock to B'Emtza days on the town, and laugh-out-loud Soul Sisters sessions... I can count on the amazing TBS lay leaders and staff to create unforgettable events that sometimes challenge, sometimes entertain, and always bring us together.

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank TBS for feeding me - what would I do without soft pretzel dinners, Sisterhood brunches, and ice cream after shul on Shabbat? But please don't make me choose between the corn souffle and the black beans and rice at Shabbat Kiddush. My endless thanks to the hard-working Cooking Kiddush committee!

In the end, I'm thankful for whatever was in the water of Easton to grow two clergy people out of a proud but tiny community, and grateful for my time here at TBS!

November 

Sarah & Lanni Barkow

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
When we moved to Marlton 13 years ago we knew we wanted to belong to a synagogue that had the same feel as our synagogue in Center City. TBS had everything we wanted. A vibrant preschool and Hebrew School, along with the family feel that we wanted.

From the moment we joined we have felt welcomed and included. We have met some of our best friends at TBS and feel very fortunate.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
Lanni has been involved with many Men's Club and Young Members Group programs. Sarah has been involved with the HSA Marketplace, Sisterhood Fashion Show, Franny's Shop, Shalach Manot, Sisterhood Passover Seder, and Chocolate Seder to name a few!

Sarah is currently co-chairing Sip n Shop on November 30th sponsored by Sisterhood and Young Members Group.

I think the best way to get involved is to volunteer for something that you are interested in. I have found my niche in Sisterhood and they have welcomed me with open arms. I have met the most amazing people and surprised myself by doing things I never thought I could.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
There are so many, but our favorite is when we walked with the Torahs during our son Milo's bar mitzvah. There is nothing like seeing people there to celebrate a wonderful simcha with you.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Family

What is your favorite TBS food?
The challah of course!!

October

Hope & Dan Ivler

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
Dan and I moved to Cherry Hill having just had our first child and were looking for a synagogue that fostered a sense of family and community. After meeting several other members, it became apparent that culturally, TBS was the perfect fit for us.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
I have worked for seven years at the Early Childhood Education Center at TBS teaching children ages 2-5. It has been a pleasure to help educate so many children in the TBS community. I also have developed many relationships with the parents of my students.

Currently, Dan and I are co-chairing "An Evening with Max Weinberg" which is taking place on October 19 at 7:00 PM at TBS. Getting involved with this special and important event for TBS has been rewarding! We expect to have a wonderful and memorable evening!

There are so many wonderful educational, charitable and social events and programs at TBS. We encourage members to select an event or program in which they have an interest as a way to initially get involved.

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
Building and decorating the sukkah in the outside courtyard during Sukkot. It is an amazing event and we enjoy seeing the parents and children working together.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Family.

What is your favorite TBS food?
The challah, of course!

September

Sandee & Bob Chalik

We came to TBS in 1996 from central Jersey when Bob's job was transferred to Philadelphia. We knew we wanted a synagogue where our family could feel welcomed and comfortable and we found it! We chose TBS because the services were warm, inviting and a great place for us to learn. The teaching "drasha" on Shabbat mornings clinched the choice because the rabbis always teach something that we probably haven't thought about before and we learn from them and from our fellow congregants. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, although we each have different religious beliefs, we each feel included in the Rabbis' messages.

We are involved in TBS in a few different ways. Sandee is a regular at Shabbat morning services and sings in the choir. Together we are part of the Hazon CSA and Sandee takes an active role in the Sustainability Project Team. This project is part of the synagogue's application for the Hazon "Seal of Sustainability." Hazon is a Jewish environmental organization whose mission is "to create healthier and more sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond." Hazon's Seal of Sustainability is a way for us to do our share to take care of our planet while actively engaging in the mitzvah of "ba'al tashchit", the commandment not to destroy or waste items from the natural world. This project has led the sustainability team to completely organize all the TBS kitchens and to put a system in place to use food and equipment in a more sustainable and efficient way. The system will help us monitor our use of ingredients and equipment by the schools and committees that work with food, maintaining clean working spaces and equipment, eliminating waste and the duplication of ingredients.

We would encourage others who may have an interest or a desire to make a difference to look to TBS to find a way to contribute their time in their own way, as we did. There are many different opportunities available. The sustainability project was one way that worked for us.

Favorite moment at TBS: Participating in the siyuum for the Holocaust Torah with our family

One word: Thoughtful

Favorite TBS food??? Cookin' Kiddush food!

August

Melissa Brown & Stephen Mohler

What first brought you to Temple Beth Sholom?
Melissa grew up in a very small Jewish community in Wildwood where she was a third-generation member of the synagogue and everyone was mispacha. Steve married into her loving crazy Jewish family. As we moved to the Cherry Hill area for work, we were looking for a community that was welcoming to us as a young family. We have twins who were a year old at the time. Our first introduction to TBS was through Jill. There is something about Jill that makes you feel warm and so welcome. As she gave us the tour and when we were talking in the sanctuary, she handed the kids bags with toys to entertain them. The fact that these bags had a place in the sanctuary and that children were encouraged to attend services was so welcoming to us. We left that day thinking we had found something special. Our second visit to TBS was for a Friday night service. It was Rabbi Peltz who made an impact then. Our son had cruised over to him and was standing next to his chair flipping through a siddur. When Brendan started to climb, Rabbi Peltz helped him up and they sat flipping through the siddur together. That's when we knew Rabbi Peltz was remarkable. Shortly after, Melissa attended services to say Kaddish for her mother. Cantor Jen made a point of coming over to comfort and embrace Melissa not knowing who she was or if she was a congregant. That's when we learned what a compassionate and caring community TBS is. On our first Shabbat morning, Alvin invited our whole family to the bimah for an aliyah, not just Steve or Melissa but all four of us together as a family. We felt as though TBS was welcoming our whole family into the community. It's really not what brought us to TBS that's important. What's important is why we chose TBS as our spiritual home. Simply put, TBS welcomed us with open arms.

How have you become involved in synagogue life at TBS? How would you encourage others to become involved?
TBS has provided so many welcome opportunities for us to become involved individually and as a family. We regularly attended Tot Shabbat where we began to develop havarot in the community. Our Tot Shabbat days were so special and we still enjoy signing many of those songs around our Shabbat table. Over the past year, we began attending Early Childhood services and Hebrew school where the kids are learning so much.

Melissa is a member of the Young Members Group and the Youth and Family Education Committee. It has been fulfilling to become an active part of the TBS family. We would encourage you to become involved. You will not regret it!

Please describe your favorite moment at TBS.
It is difficult to select one moment as our favorite. We feel as though every service with Alex is our favorite but one does stand out. One Shabbat morning during an Early Childhood service, Gabriella and Brendan were holding Torot and standing next to Alex on the bimah as they led us through baruchu. It was in that moment that we felt such joy that we are passing our traditions to our children, that they were excited to learn and that they have such a tremendous mentor in Alex. Whether singing under a parachute, tossing children in the air or creating mezuzzot, Alex truly creates many moments that we will cherish for a lifetime.

What is one word you would use to describe TBS?
Family. While we are still new members who are developing meaningful and lasting relationships, we are looking forward to creating special memories with our new extended family.

What is your favorite TBS food?
This one is easy! We all enjoy the Jewish star soft pretzels.

Mon, June 17 2019 14 Sivan 5779