Beth Sholom is a uniquely vibrant, value-centered community because of people like Stephen and Elaine Shizgal Cohen, and Ray and Elana Daniels Goldberg – who embody the ideal of people she’oskim b’tzorkhei tzibur b’emunah
, who faithfully devote themselves to the needs of the community.
Steve and Elaine Shizgal Cohen
Steve and Elaine are world-renowned scholars and thinkers, who live and breathe Jewish values every day. Steve, a “rodef shalom” – one who pursues peace – is President of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development, which is dedicated to conflict resolution and peace-building in the Middle East. Elaine, the Executive of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association and former Head of School at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union, has impacted thousands of students and educators on the local and national scene.
In our community, Steve and Elaine are “hands-on” volunteers. Steve regularly shares with us his deep insights into current events, enhanced by his insider access to Israeli, American and Arab newsmakers. Elaine has enriched the educational, spiritual, and social life of our congregation as chair of our Adult Education Committee and as a member of the Rabbi Search, Ritual Committee, and Strategic Planning committees, and as a former member the Board of Trustees.
Steve and Elaine maintain that Beth Sholom reflects their passions and values. All of us at Beth Sholom are fortunate to benefit from their wise counsel, their willing hands, and their good natured temperaments.
Raymond and Elana Daniels Goldberg
Elana, with training in Visual Arts, Jewish Studies, and Counseling, and Ray, Vice President, Benefits Strategy & Economics at Marsh & McLennan Companies, bring their artistic talent, outstanding organizational abilities, and fine people skills to their professional and paraprofessional roles.
At Beth Sholom they are “roll-up-your-sleeves” volunteers who get things done. Elana has enhanced our Mishloach Manot packages, our Shabbaton centerpieces, and the decorations for our annual Gala celebrations with her artistic flair and her aesthetic sensitivities. She also runs a home that serves as an informal annex of Beth Sholom, hosting new-member luncheons, parlor meetings, committee gatherings, and out-of-town-guests. Ray has provided inspiration, sound judgment, and clarity of purpose to the Rabbi Search Committee, the Rabbi Contract Committee, and the Jewish Education Scholarship Fund Committee. He served as Chair of our Shabbaton Committee, was a member of our Board of Trustees, and is a founder of – and biker for – ABBA’S ON BIKES to benefit the Alyn Hospital in Israel. His frequent divrei torah, davening, and Torah reading complete his profile of what a model Conservative Jew is all about.
Elana and Ray feel that Beth Sholom represents the ideals they embrace. We at Beth Sholom are privileged to have them as role models in our community.
Rav Barry Schlesinger
This year, our synagogue has been further blessed by the devoted leadership and inspiration of Rav Barry Schlesinger, our interim rabbi. Rav Barry’s personal warmth, his spirited participation in all of our services and programs, his meaningful innovations, and his love of learning and teaching Torah have enriched our congregation immeasurably. He has turned a transitional year into a transformational year for us. In recognition of his important contribution to the life of Beth Sholom, we are delighted to name him as the recipient of our Shofar Award.