My wife Susan and I have been TBE members for over 20 years. We joined shortly after we moved to Newton to start a family. Our three daughters, Alexandra (26), Michaela (24), and Hannah (21) became bat mitzvahs in 2008, 2010, and 2013, under the guidance of TBE’s remarkable educators and clergy.
After the final b’nai mitzvah, I found myself at a crossroads. I loved TBE, but the primary drivers of my engagement—my daughters’ Jewish education—was no longer front and center.
Then, in 2016, something miraculous happened. Susan and I were invited to participate in TBE’s Atid program. I never found out who selected us, but it was transformational for me. Our congregation of over 1000 families was suddenly reduced 10 families, who could share stories about their Jewish journeys and discuss what the “TBE of the future” should look like.
Inspired by my Atid experience, I joined the TBE Leadership Council, went to Israel for the first time in 2018, helped launch the Civil Discourse initiative, and joined the Israel Strategy Group (ISG). Working with the ISG, I’ve built new connections with some wonderful people, both here and at our sister congregation, Ohel Avraham, in Haifa.
In early 2020, when the pandemic hit, I worked closely with TBE’s clergy and staff to launch the Community Connections Initiative. I’ll always remember the way members stepped up to help each other during this unprecedented time.
I am honored—and humbled—to be a member of this board, entrusted with the sacred responsibility of guiding our community into the future.
I often think about how this part of my Jewish journey began when TBE reached out to me and engaged me in 2016. In my new role, I will work to strengthen member engagement, practicing TBE’s core values—to love, listen, and connect—and do my best to ensure that every member feels a personal connection to our community.