Brad Rothschild and Michele Sachar
Michele Sachar and Brad Rothschild are examples of living their commitment to their community. For years, they have each taken leadership positions in neighborhood and local organizations. Michele served on the board of their co-op for more than 15 years, and has been active in the Chabad pre-school and in the kids’ elementary schools since their children Jordan, Talia and Mia were little. She has also provided strategic guidance to non-profit organizations through the Harvard Business School Club of New York Community Partners, a volunteer organization. Brad was the PTA president at Manhattan School for Children, where Talia and Mia attended until last year, and has been on the board of Ansche Chesed since 2015.
Their connection to Israel has also been a defining characteristic of their lives. Growing up, Michele spent her summers in Israel, and Brad lived there for two years after he graduated from college. They got married in Caesaria and the family travels regularly to Israel. Early in his career, Brad served as Speechwriter and Director of Communications for Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations. He has been serving on the board of Ameinu since 2005 and has been the organization’s Policy and Advocacy Chair for more than a decade.
Brad has made documentary films on a variety of subjects, nearly all with a bent towards social justice. His latest project is about Tamar Manasseh, a community activist in Chicago who founded an organization to combat gun violence.
Brad and Michele joined Ansche Chesed in 2007 after attending a Bat Mitzvah. They were looking for a Hebrew school for Jordan, and were drawn to the synagogue’s commitment to the world inside and outside of the building, its emphasis on education, and the warmth of the kahal.
Rabbi Jules and Navah Harlow
Few of the members of Ansche Chesed have had as profound an impact on the life of our community, and on the greater Jewish world, as Navah and Jules Harlow.
A native of Iowa, Jules was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and for thirty-four years served on the staff of The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis. As the RA Director of Publications, Jules oversaw the editing, translation and publication of the key liturgical texts of our tradition – including Siddur Sim Shalom, the RA Mahzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and the Rabbinical Assembly Haggadah. His masterful translations have made the poetry and majesty of our Liturgy accessible to the non-Hebrew reader. Jules also served as Literary Editor of the Torah commentary Etz Hayim, which was awarded first prize in non-fiction by the National Jewish Book Council in 2000 and designated as The Book of the Year.
A native of Massachusetts, Navah Harlow is the founding director of the Center for Ethics in Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Her groundbreaking work in end-of-life care, medical advance directives, and the right to self-determination has been prominently featured in The New York Times, The Today Show, National Public Radio, as well as professional journals both here and abroad. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Jacob Perlow Hospice, the first hospice under Jewish auspices in Manhattan. Her overriding concern has been to humanize and personalize the hospital experience in a culturally sensitive manner. For many years she co-chaired The International Congress of Ethics in Medicine, sponsored by Beth Israel Medical Center, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and Ben Gurion Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
Jules and Navah spent many wonderful and exhausting summers on staff at Camp Ramah.
After his retirement, in 1996 through 1998 Jules served as Rabbi of The Great Synagogue in Stockholm, Sweden. Most recently, he and Navah have been teaching and meeting with a group of b’nei anousim in Lisbon, Portugal, helping the descendants of Jews who were forcibly baptized five hundred years ago return to Jewish tradition through halakhic conversion.
Navah and Jules consider their most significant contributions to the future of a better world to be their two children, David and Ilana (who chose perfect spouses), and five grandchildren.
Judith Shulevitz and Nicholas Lemann
Let’s start with the most unusual part of Nicholas Lemann and Judith Shulevitz’s relationship to Ansche Chesed. In 1836, Nick’s great-great grandfather, Jacob Lemann, age 27, left a village in the vicinity of Mainz, Germany, and came alone to the United States. He landed in New Orleans and established himself as the owner of a dry goods store in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, at the confluence of the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche. Circa 1840, he married a teenage Creole/Catholic local girl named Marie Berthelot.
The store prospered to the point that Jacob and Marie were able to buy a townhouse in New York, on 23rd Street in what we now call Chelsea. In the summers, they were members of the historic Touro Synagogue in Newport. In 1852, Marie converted to Judaism, which among other things meant she was now Miriam. They had a second, Jewish, wedding ceremony.... at Congregation Ansche Chesed.
After the Civil War, the family moved back South and the Ansche Chesed connection lay dormant for some time. In the 1980s, Judith's parents, Bill and Marion Shulevitz, became members of Ansche Chesed when they moved to New York from Miami so that Marion could study at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She was a member of the first class of women ordained as Conservative rabbis.
In 2007, Judith and Nick moved from Pelham, NY, where they were longtime active members at the Pelham Jewish Center, to the Upper West Side, and joined Ansche Chesed. They can usually be found at Shabbat services at Minyan M'at, though their teenage children, Moses and Josephine, celebrated their b’nai mitzvah in the main sanctuary.