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Committees & Work Groups

 

Committees are the location of most of Beth El's activities and decision-making. In response to pressing issues, or at the direction of the board, our committees form policy suggestions and take action to support our communal needs. They plan and help carry out programming within the Beth El vision. Our committees are like staff persons in other non-profits, making all the magic happen!

 

Working Groups (short term- single purpose)

 

Rabbinic Futures

  • Proposed Duration: Jan - Aug 2016

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with interim and previous rabbis

  • Contact: Jeff Teitel, lawyer1env@aol.com

 

  • Description: The Rabbinic Futures Working Group is made up of a cross section of Beth El congregants. Their charge is to meet regularly; gather viewpoints from the wider Beth El community; research possible rabbinic models; assess fiscally, spiritually, and practically appropriate options for rabbinic presences at Congregation Beth El for the immediate and long-term future.   When and if directed, this committee may also provide the seed from which a Search Committee can be created.

 

Library Work Group

  • Proposed Duration: Dec 2015 - Dec 2016

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with the rabbi

  • Contact: Judith Frangos (jmfrangos@gmail.com)

 

  • Description: The Library Working Group has been meeting weekly to sort through dozens of boxes of books that have been stored  in the basement of the social hall since the renovation.  They have rediscovered a wonderful collection of books related to all aspects of ritual, Jewish history, practice, spirituality, biography, memoir, fiction for all ages and much more. The goal of this workgroup is to establish a user friendly library in the upstairs conference room and display books of high interest in the entry hall to promote Jewish study and exploration.


 

Standing Committees (as designated by the bylaws)  

 

Cemetery Committee

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with the administrator and rabbi

  • Contact: Lora Block (lblock@sover.net)

 

  • Description: This committee supervises and coordinates maintenance and other landscape projects with the manager of Park Lawn Cemetery and sells plots to purchasers using established policies. It prepares for the board a suggested cemetery policy as well as a scale of fees for purchase of cemetery plots. It also provides for maintenance of cemetery records, along with the manager of Park Lawn. It is responsible for assuring that the funds deposited for perpetual maintenance in the Cemetery Fund within the Beth El endowment remain protected for solely for that purpose.

 

Communication Committee

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with the administrator and rabbi

  • Contact: Awaiting a contact (This could be you!)

 

  • Description: This committee helps coordinate, update, and create effective print, email, and web-based communications to keep congregants informed and engaged in Beth El events and programs, and to share information of interest to members.  The committee also works with local press to publicize events to the community.

 

Education & Family Committee (works in conjunctions and rabbi)Contact:

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with the educator(s) and rabbi

  • Contact: Robyn Kozierok (robynkoz@gmail.com) or Dianna Ivey (CBEDianna@gmail.com)

 

  • Description: This committee helps to shape learning initiatives for our youths and provides channels for ongoing feedback.  Additionally they counsel, direct and support the administration of the congregation's religious education for families, youths and adults on various matters including curriculum, staffing, programming, fundraising and school operations.

 

Facilities Committee

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with administrator and rabbi

  • Contact: Peter Rubin (mahnishtanah@gmail.com)

 

  • Description: This committee manages the space, indoors and out, that we occupy. It shall provide for the regular maintenance and upkeep of Beth El building and grounds. It shall inspect the said building and grounds and present to the finance committee the estimated cost of any needed repairs or improvements. Upon board approval, it will organize contracts for and oversee execution of such work.

 

Finance

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with administrator

  • Contact: Al Bashevkin (abashevkin@gmail.com)

 

  • Description: This committee prepares and presents the annual budget to the Board of Trustees, designates the financial institutions that receive money paid to the synagogue, plans and oversees the synagogue’s investments, and performs other duties relating to the synagogue’s finances.

 

Fundraising Committee

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with administrator and rabbi

  • Contact: Awaiting a contact (this could be you!)

 

  • Description: This committee focuses on exploring and creating special events, obtaining sponsorships, and coordinating entertaining and innovative projects that develop relationships, community and raise funds for our Beth El community. With specific fundraising goals in mind, committee members collaborate and explore new ideas to make each event/project a success!   

 

Hevre Kadisha Committee

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with the rabbi

  • Contact: Suzy Yucht (syucht@yahoo.com)

 

  • Description: This committee, depending on the needs and wishes of the family when a death occurs, may provide assistance with funeral coordination and ritual preparation of the body, working with the rabbi.

 

Ritual Committee

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with the rabbi

  • Contact: Mark Koffman (mark@vermont.com)

 

  • Description: This committee is concerned with specific questions around ritual observance whose purpose is to offer advice and guidance to the clergy  regarding the character and mode of the various services. The committee aims to maximize the engagement of Beth El members’ spiritual life, and to expand the circle of people actively planning and carrying out our religious and ritual services.

 

Task-Force (not designated by the bylaws)  

 

Tikkun Olam Task-Force

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with the administrator and rabbi

  • Contact: Andrea Kolbe, Miriam8171@yahoo.com

 

  • Description: This phrase means “repairing the world” (or “healing the world”) which suggests our community’s shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world for the better. The task-force coordinates our Monday night dinners and seeks to find opportunities to pair our holidays, events, and learning opportunities with social action projects. We have collected food items for local food banks and supported local community social agencies. We are always looking for good ideas, projects and ways to coordinate social action in our community.

 

Kitchen Task-Force

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with administrator

  • Contact: Awaiting a contact (this could be you!)

 

  • Description: This task-forces organizes and maintain the contents and equipment in the CBE kitchen. It keeps track of inventory and supplies and communicates to the administrator supplies that need to be ordered/organized.

 

Garden Task-Force

  • Coordination: works in conjunction with administrator

  • Contact: Awaiting a contact (this could be you!)

 

  • Description: This task-forces organizes and maintain the CBE flower beds and ornamental  plants. It keeps track of inventory and supplies and communicates to the administrator supplies that need to be ordered/organized.

 

                                               

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                                                                            Beth El Community Profile

                                                                             Alice and Alan Greenspan

                                                                      (aka Al and Al by family members)

                                                                                                                                               As told to Susan Armstrong

 

Alice and Alan both grew up in Perth Amboy, NJ, around the corner from one another. Al is four years her senior. When they were young, the Depression was in full force, but both considered themselves privileged because they had comfortable lifestyles, despite all the want and need throughout the country. Their families belonged to the same Conservative temple – Beth Mordechai. Alice’s father was Treasurer of the board, “forever.” Al was bar mitzvahed and tutored in Hebrew by Cantor Efron, a well known composer of liturgical music. Because bat mitzvahs were rare at that time, Alice was confirmed.

Alice had a beautiful sister, seven years her senior, named Jacquie. Alan was quick to comment that she looked like Ava Gardner. On Friday nights she would sit on the front porch and the boys would line up to talk to her. Mischievous Alice sat up in a second floor window throwing notes out to the boys. Alice said, “I grew up in the shadow of my beautiful sister.” 

When asked if anything had ever happened in their lives that changed everything, Alice immediately described a giant explosion that occurred on two barges in the Raritan River, just two blocks from her family’s home. She was talking on the phone on the second floor, wearing only a slip, when suddenly the force of the explosion blew out all the windows in the entire house, including the room where she was standing. She was covered in blood from the shattered glass and ran downstairs to see if everyone was okay. Her mother and father had both escaped injury. She threw on her new spring coat and they all ran outside. Being without shoes, she ended up with bleeding feet as well. The city was put under martial law when it was discovered that the barges that had collided were smuggling arms to Pakistan. First aid stations were set up and Alice was able to receive the necessary care. Her brand new spring coat was ruined by the blood, but her mother dyed it blue and solved the problem.

Congregation Beth El  107 Adams Street  Bennington  VT  05201

 

Tel: 802-442-9645     Email: cbevtoffice@gmail.com

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Both Alan and Alice attended Jewish summer camps, Alice in Monterey, MA and Al at Camp Kiowa in Honesdale, PA. They each had dogs in their families and remain dog lovers to this day. They attended local Perth Amboy schools until Al was sent away to a private school, as his mother wanted to shield him from his father’s illness. He attended the George School in Newtown, PA, founded by Quakers. Two of his classmates were Stephen Sondheim and Blythe Danner. Al tells the story that Oscar Hammerstein’s son, Jimmy, was also a student there. Stephen had written some music for a class play, and Oscar Hammerstein himself just happened to be in the audience. And so began Sondheim’s brilliant musical career. The Greenspans attended Sondheim’s play, "Applause," on Broadway years later, and Stephen was in the audience. Al went over to say hello and was greeted by name immediately. It was impressive to be remembered after all those years.

 

In his teen years, Alan sported a pompadour hair style a la Elvis. Walking by Alice’s house one day, he saw her outside. Al flipped her a nickel and said, “Call me when you’re 16.” What a move! He went off to Washington University, then on to graduate school at Northwestern, where he earned a degree in Macroeconomics. Next Al served in the 101st Airborne Division and fought in North Korea. After putting up with freezing conditions in that country, he was sent to Oklahoma City, where he roasted. There Al taught combat intelligence – how to interrogate prisoners. By this time, both he and Alice had married other people and each had three girls of their own.

 

Al had a sterling career on Wall Street with Rothchild & Co., Oppenheimer & Co. and was a Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley. For years he oversaw the NYC Pension Fund, where he was tasked with foreseeing the economic future. Alice owned a successful interior design company, all the while raising her girls. In fact, she has an assignment right now to design the interior of a home in Burlington. Her creativity never stops.

 

They had not seen each other for twenty one years, but their parents had their fingers crossed that the two would re-connect, because each was getting a divorce. As soon as they saw each another, Al said, “We know each other well. Let’s get married.” But Alice gave him a hard time. She resisted until they finally wed eleven months later. Together they raised their daughters and shared their common interest in mountain climbing. They even traveled to New Zealand, where they scaled some of mountains in the Southern Alps and hiked the Greenstone Track out of Queensland.

 

It has now been forty seven years that Alice and Alan have been married. Their families have melded together – all six girls. They have thirteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren. They have remained happily together for over half of their lives.

 

They moved permanently to Wilmington, VT in 2003, after having spent years coming up to to Mt. Snow from New Jersey with their family to ski. In 1999 they began their association with Congregation Beth El. Al volunteered to manage the CBE investment funds over ten years ago and has done a stellar job. Alice is a trustee on the Board of Directors. We are indeed fortunate that the Greenspans continue to enrich our congregation.

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