Biographies of Presenters

BIOGRAPHIES OF OUR PRESENTERS

 

IRINA ASTASHKEVICH, PH.D.
Dr. Astashkevich is a visiting research associate of the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry at Brandeis University. She earned her Ph.D. from Brandeis University, and received her M.A. in History, Jewish History, and Archives from the Project Judaica, a joint project of the Russian State University of Humanities, Historical Archival Institute, Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research in New York. She has worked in various archives in Russia, Lithuania, and the United States, and in the Moscow office of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian organization. She is the author of Gendered Violence: Jewish Women in the Pogroms of 1917 to 1921.

STEPHEN BAUM
​Stephen received a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago. He then discovered that his only saleable skill for a job was that he was a fast typist, and he worked as a keypunch operator. Luckily, he had access to an ancient computer where he worked and taught himself to write code. Eventually finding his way to Kurzweil Computer Products, he worked with a team that developed and refined the first reading machine for the Blind. He later helped found Kurzweil Educational Systems, still working on reading machines, but for people with learning disabilities as well as visual ones. Steve is a past president of Temple Aliyah. He and his wife, Lynn, have been enthusiastic members of Temple Aliyah for over 20 years. They now have their first grandchild, Simona, who lives way too far away for their liking.

DAVID BERNAT, PH.D.
David is the Executive Director of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and a Lecturer in Judaic Studies at UMass Amherst. He is the author of Sign of the Covenant, and co-editor of Religion and Violence: The Biblical Heritage. David lectures actively in New England and in the tri-state area, is a Meah Faculty veteran, and has planned and led Israel tours with an archaeological focus. A member of Temple Aliyah for many years, David has been a regular and frequent lecturer for Temple Aliyah adult education classes.

JANET GAIL BESSER, M.P.P.
Janet is Managing Director of Regulatory Innovation & Utility Business Models at Smart Electric Power Alliance, bringing broad energy industry experience as a regulator, clean energy business association leader, utility executive, developer, consultant, and consumer advocate. A nationally recognized expert on a wide range of energy policy issues with deep relationships across the industry, her most recent leadership roles include Executive Vice President of the Northeast Clean Energy Council; Vice President, Regulatory Strategy and Policy at National Grid; and Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, where she led electric industry restructuring. Janet earned a Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Williams College.

MARGIE BRODSKY AND GIL BRODSKY, M.D.
Margie and Gil have been volunteering at Temple Aliyah since they first moved to Needham in 1980. Margie was one of the early teachers at Holiday School, initiated the original Tots program in 2001, and has been leading “Music with Margie” for 18 years. Gil has been Ritual Chair, High Holiday coordinator, and Men’s Club President, and started the original [email protected] newsletter. He is currently Vice President of Communications. Together they have led the Temple Aliyah Chorus, produced seven cabarets, and were co-Presidents from 2001- 2003. When not at the Temple, Gil works as Associate Director for Surgical Pathology at Atrius Health, while Margie, retired from her former job as an elementary school music teacher in Newton since 2009, enjoys doting on her grandchildren and accompanying the Vintage Voices at Needham’s Center at the Heights. They are both on the Board of Directors of the Needham Great Hall Concert Series, and they both enjoy their regular gigs at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires.

LYNN DENNIS, LICSW
Lynn’s recent retirement from her psychotherapy practice is opening up time for other passions, notably art, Jewish music and exploring the confluence of psychology and spirituality. Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, Lynn had careers as a hospice social worker in Boston and as the Program Director of Temple Emanuel in St. Louis. She holds an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College, and also trained for the chaplaincy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s. Lynn led a workshop at TA last spring on Jewish Perspectives on Mental Health, has been a leader and active member of TA’s Rosh Chodesh group, and is a member of Koleinu, a community-wide Jewish choir.

ROBIN DEXTER
Robin has been a professional tour guide in the Greater Boston area since the mid 1980’s, when she was inspired to lead tour groups during a trip to Egypt and Israel. In addition to her Jewish North End walking tour, other popular walking tours she leads include the history of the Fort Point Channel and Boston’s Old Jewish South End, which she designed first for the Boston chapter of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Robin has been interviewed about her tours on the WHDH monthly television program “Jewish Perspective.

PETER B. FINN, ESQ.
Peter is a Senior Partner with Rubin and Rudman LLP in Boston and chairs the firm’s Life Science Group. His practice focuses on the formation of startup companies in all areas of life science, capital formation, the licensing of intellectual property from hospitals and universities along with the development of securities offerings, joint ventures, collaborations and mergers and acquisitions. His practice includes over 50 life science companies who have collectively raised in excess of $1.0B from institutional venture capital firms.

KAREN GEGGEL
Karen was a pediatric nurse for almost 40 years. In that time she was a clinical instructor and a visiting nurse to new mothers and their infants. She bookended her career at Boston Children’s Hospital first in the Intensive Care Unit and finally in Outpatient Cardiology. She and her husband, Rob, have been members of Temple Aliyah since 1989. She served on the Sisterhood Board and as Co-chair of the Religious School, and was a member of the Keruv Committee. From the beginning, Karen felt that Temple Aliyah was her home where she experienced many life-cycle events and felt the support of a wonderful community.

CANTOR JAMIE GLOTH
Cantor Gloth joined Temple Aliyah three years ago, having served as a cantor in several other synagogues. Growing up in Akron, Ohio, where he began his singing career at age 10 in his synagogue’s Junior Choir, Cantor Gloth earned his B.A. at the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Sacred Music and Investiture as Hazzan from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Married to Bina Carr, they are the proud parents of four children. When not teaching, leading the congregation in prayer, or singing his favorite Broadway show tunes, Cantor Gloth is usually relaxing with his family while rooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians, and yes, even the Browns.

ERIC GOLDMAN, PH.D.
A noted film historian and educator, Dr. Goldman lectures on Jewish, Yiddish, and Israeli cinema. He is an adjunct professor of cinema at Yeshiva University, and teaches at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Streicker Center/ Skirball Academy for Adult Jewish Learning in New York. He founded Ergo Media Inc., a film distributor introducing Jewish and Israeli cinema on video to North America. His recent books are The American Jewish Story Through Cinema, and the newly revised and expanded Visions, Images and Dreams: Yiddish Film Past and Present. He has produced and directed for radio, television, video and film, developing over a dozen DVDs, including “Yidl mitn Fidl,” “Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer,” and “Lies My Father Told Me.” Dr. Goldman received a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University, and holds graduate degrees in Contemporary Jewish Studies and Theater Arts from Brandeis University, a B.A. from Temple University, and Bachelor of Hebrew Literature from Gratz College.

RABBI LESLIE GORDON
Rabbi Gordon, Temple Aliyah’s Rabbi-in-Residence, has been an active member of the Temple Aliyah community since 1997, teaching and leading numerous classes and workshops. Rabbi Gordon received her Rabbinic Ordination and Master of Arts from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She has served as our Interim Rabbi during Rabbi Perkins’ sabbaticals, as well as the Senior Interim Rabbi at Temple Israel in Sharon. She has also served as a rabbi at synagogues in Alexandria, Virginia, and in Lowell, Massachusetts. The recipient of many awards, Rabbi Gordon also teaches several conversion classes for Jews by Choice in the Boston area.

MICHAEL JAY
Michael is a young adult living with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Growing up within the Temple Aliyah community, he left for New York City to attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, before returning to Needham to pursue a theater career in the Greater Boston Area. Michael recently garnered acclaim playing Jack in The Importance of Being Earnest at The Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain. In October and November, he will be appearing as Harold Hill in The Music Man with the Savoyard Light Opera Company in Carlisle, MA.

RABBI WILLIAM KAUFMAN, PH.D.
Rabbi Kaufman was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary with a Masters of Hebrew Letters and obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Boston University. He served as Rabbi at several synagogues and found his spiritual and professional home at Temple Beth El in Fall River, where he served for 25 years (until retirement), and remains as Rabbi Emeritus. Rabbi Kaufman has worked as an adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Rhode Island College, has published many articles, and is the author of seven books, including Contemporary Jewish Philosophies. He and his wife Nathalie have been proud members of Temple Aliyah for almost a decade. FREDIE KAY, ESQ. Fredie is the Founder and President of the Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts; a member of the Votes for Women National Trail Committee, National Collaborative of Women’s History Sites; serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Greater Boston; the Advisory Council of Emerge Massachusetts; and the Advisory Committee, Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action. Fredie began her law practice at Goodwin Procter LLP, then served as Deputy Legal Counsel to Governor Dukakis and Governor Weld. She earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center; M.P.A. at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; and B.A. in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. Fredie served on the Board of Directors of Temple Aliyah, and as President from 2011-2013.

FRANK KING, M.A.
Frank holds a Masters in Broadcasting degree from Boston University and a B.A. from Princeton. A lifelong devotee of recorded music, he formerly hosted music programs on WBUR radio. He lectures frequently and regularly draws from the music and art from his personal collection of over 2400 record albums.

REBECCA KOTKIN, LICSW
Rebecca is a social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in Boston. She focuses on anxiety and depression, particularly among students and young adults. Having begun her professional life as an attorney, Rebecca returned to graduate school in social work after years as a stay-at-home parent. After 22 years living in Needham, Rebecca and her husband, Don, moved into Boston where they currently live. Together with her family, Rebecca has been a member of Temple Aliyah for 30 years and has served on the board in numerous positions.

ALISA LEVINE
Temple Aliyah’s Director of Education, Alisa has worked for decades in the Greater Boston Jewish community, serving as Director of Education at Temple Israel of Sharon, Program Director at the Striar JCC in Stoughton, Jewish Family Educator in Lexington, and as a teacher at several congregational schools and at The Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. Alisa holds a Masters degree in Jewish Education and a Certificate in Jewish Family Education from Hebrew College. She has been a member of Temple Aliyah for more than 30 years, served as a past Sisterhood President, and raised her family in this, her spiritual home.

KEITH LEWINSTEIN, PH.D.
Keith is Professor and Chair in the History Department at Bridgewater State University. His research and teaching focus on Middle Eastern history, with particular attention to the early formation of Islam. Keith has held a number of positions at Temple Aliyah. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees, is Vice President for Strategy & Development, and President-Elect. He and his family have been members of Temple Aliyah since 2001.

NAOMI LITROWNIK, LICSW
For many years, Naomi has brought her professional talents to enhance the spiritual life at Temple Aliyah. Naomi has been a psychotherapist for more than four decades. In addition to her clinical practice, she is a Behavioral Health Consultant, an EMDR psychotherapist, and a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher. She also trained at the Institute For Jewish Spirituality. A Temple Aliyah member for many years, Naomi attends services regularly, and is a frequent Torah reader and haftarah chanter.

ROBIN METZGER
Robin is a software consultant in the Insurance Division of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS). Her position focuses on client implementations of her company’s software. Robin is a past Sisterhood President and Ritual Chairperson from her previous synagogue and is the Torah Fund Vice President for the North Atlantic Region for Women’s League of Conservative Judaism. Robin and her husband joined Temple Aliyah in the spring of 2018. She is currently Co-Chair of the Ritual Committee of Temple Aliyah and serves on its Board of Trustees.

RUTH NEMZOFF, ED.D., M.A.
Dr. Nemzoff is a resident scholar at Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center, and the author of Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making InLaws Into Family and Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children. A frequent speaker on family dynamics, she helped co-author and taught Hebrew College’s Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens course. She is a former assistant minority leader of the legislature and former Deputy Commissioner of Health and Welfare in New Hampshire. Dr. Nemzoff holds a doctorate in social policy from Harvard University, an M.A. in counseling from Columbia University, and B.A. from Barnard College. She is on the board of directors of InterfaithFamily and is the advice columnist for the American Israelite.

RABBI CARL M. PERKINS
Rabbi Perkins, Temple Aliyah’s spiritual leader since 1991, was ordained and awarded a master’s degree in Talmud and Rabbinics from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Before pursuing the rabbinate, he practiced law for several years in Boston. Rabbi Perkins teaches and lectures widely in the Boston area and is currently an Adjunct Instructor at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School. He is the author of the revised edition of Embracing Judaism and also of many articles and sermons published in various journals, and responsa published on the Jewish Values Online website.

ALAN ROSEN, PH.D.
Dr. Rosen is a distinguished scholar, and the author or editor of 14 books. He is currently writing two books focusing largely on the legacy of his teacher and mentor, Elie Wiesel, and is the editor of Elie Wiesel: Jewish, Literary, and Moral Perspectives and of Literature of the Holocaust, both finalists for the National Jewish Book Award. He is the recipient of scholarly awards for his research on the Holocaust from YIVO, Bar-Ilan University, Boston University, and the National Center for Genocide Studies. He has taught at universities and colleges, yeshivas and seminaries in Israel and the United States and lectures regularly on Holocaust literature and testimony at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies and other Holocaust study centers. Born and raised in Los Angeles, educated in Boston under the direction of Elie Wiesel, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.

GERRY ROVNER, ESQ.
Gerry has extensive expertise in the practice of immigration and nationality law, having spent his career representing, guiding, and advising a wide range of clients concerning immigrant and non-immigrant visas in business, student, and family related matters, as well as naturalization and consular issues. His many leadership positions include Past Chair of the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and served as a member of the Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Council on Immigrants and Refugees. A Life Fellow of the Mass Bar Foundation, he lectures frequently. In 2000, he received the President’s Citation by AILA and, in 2017, had the honor of delivering the welcome speech to 401 new U.S. citizens at the Naturalization Ceremony held in Faneuil Hall. He is a past president of Temple Aliyah Men’s Club, and is presently the Chair of the Immigration Committee. Gerry and his wife Miriam are longtime members of Temple Aliyah.

KAREN SHAPIRO, MPH, ESQ.
Karen is a retired attorney who has spent the past 15 years as ombudsman in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, serving as an advocate for the elderly in nursing homes. Karen is active in the Needham community and serves as a town meeting member. Deeply committed to Jewish causes and Israel, Karen is Co-Chair of Temple Aliyah’s Kesher Committee and also serves on the Ritual Committee. Among her many outside interests, Karen is a political history buff and has a large collection of political memorabilia, including political buttons, some dating to William Jennings Bryant and the 1912 conventions.

BETH SOLTZBERG, MSW, MBA
Beth directs the Alzheimer’s/Related Disorders Family Support of Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS). Beth’s work includes facilitating the JF&CS Memory Café and Balancing Act group in Waltham, and coordinating the Percolator Memory Café Network, a resource for those starting and sustaining memory cafés across Massachusetts and nationally. Beth also co-coordinates the Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative, where she is an active member of an Access, Equity & Cultural Inclusion working group. Beth earned her MSW and MBA from the University of Chicago and a certificate in end-of-life care from the Smith College School of Social Work. She holds an advanced credential in hospice and palliative care social work (AHPC-SW).

MURRAY SPIEGEL, PH.D.
Dr. Spiegel is a noted author with a lifelong passion for Judaism, Passover and language. A telecommunications speech researcher with a reputation for innovative seders, Dr. Spiegel has led more than 40 seders, each one different. His family has transformed their house into a Bedouin tent, a jumbo jet taking the Israelites out of Egypt, and an ancient Egyptian tomb. His book, 300 Ways to Ask the Four Questions, has transformed thousands of seders around the world. His innovative seders have been featured in the New York Times and on PBS.

STEVEN D. SPITZ, D.M.D.
Steve is founder/principal of SmileBoston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry. As a Prosthodontist, his focus is on dental implants/lasers and he was the first in North America to utilize laser assisted dental implants. Dr. Spitz received his DMD at Tufts and his Prosthodontic Certificate through Harvard. Outside of the office, Dr. Spitz is International President (2019) for Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, MDDS Treasurer, and VP/Board of Directors of Bright Spirit Children’s Foundation. He is a member of the Advisory Board for both the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, working on exotic animals in sanctuaries and zoos, and at Zoo New England, as the dentist on call for the animals. Steve and his wife, Laurie, have three children, Hayden, Jocelyn and Kayla.

SHAYNA WEISS, PH.D.
Dr. Weiss is the Associate Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University. Previously, she was the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Israel Studies at the United States Naval Academy. She earned her Ph.D. from New York University in Hebrew and Judaic Studies, and completed postdoctoral fellowships in Israel at Bar Ilan University and Tel Aviv University, where she taught courses about Israeli history and society. Her research interests converge at the intersection of religion and gender in the Israeli public sphere, as well as the politics of Israeli popular culture. She is completing a book on gender segregation in the Israeli public sphere.

DEBORAH WOLLNER.
Encouraged by her first teacher’s motto — “all you have to do is show up and breathe” — Deb developed a yoga practice that has enabled her to touch her toes and emotions more gracefully. A member of the Zamir Chorale of Boston for over 20 years, Deb’s classes offer a lyrical, light-hearted vinyasa flow that is accessible to all levels. Deb completed South Boston Yoga’s 200 hour training with David Vendetti and Todd Skoglund. Deb holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Simmons College and is a Registered Nurse and Certified Care Manager.

ERELA YAHALOM.
Erela received her Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. She was a flute teacher in the Performing Arts Department at the Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna and has performed throughout Israel and on stages around the world. Erela is passionate about music and the Hebrew language, and has taught extensively and at many levels and in various educational settings in the Boston area.

YEVGENIYA (ZHENYA) ZASTAVKER, PH.D.
Born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine, Dr. Zastavker came to the United States in 1990 having received two years of education at the Kiev Pedagogical College and a degree from one of Kiev’s Schools of Music. She graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in physics and holds a Ph.D. in biological physics from MIT. She is an Associate Professor of Physics at Olin College of Engineering, and her current research interests lie in the field of STEM education with emphasis on innovative pedagogical and curricular practices at the intersection with issues of gender and diversity. Her recent autoethnographic work led her to gain voice and redefine her identity as a refugee in the current political climate, a Jew in an era of increasing antiSemitism, a woman and scientist in a historically masculinized world of science and engineering, a qualitative scholar in a domain where quantitative scholarship is being privileged, and a dancer engaged in spiritual exploration in a world where mind-bodyspirit connections are often intentionally severed.

PRESENTERS/FACULTY IN PRIOR YEARS

 

REBECCA E. AMARIGLIO, Ph.D.
Rebecca is a clinical neuropsychologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Assistant Professor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Her work focuses on using sensitive subjective and objective cognitive tools in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. After completing her doctoral degree at the University of New Mexico, she trained as an intern at Yale School of Medicine and as a post-doctoral fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Her work is funded by the NIH and the Alzheimer’s Association.

KEN BALTIN
Ken is a lifelong professional actor, director, and acting teacher, and trained with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof at HB Studio in New York City. After earning a Master of Fine Arts degree at Brandeis University in the mid-1970’s, he has performed regularly on Boston area stages, including Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Central Square Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Co., Gloucester Stage Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Jewish Theatre of New England, Lyric Stage Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, and SpeakEasy Stage Company. His most recent film credits include Equalizer 2, Vault, and A Case of Blue. Ken recently retired from his post as Associate Professor of Acting at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he taught for eighteen years. Prior to that, he taught at Bridgewater State College, Curry College, Franklin Pierce College, Northeastern University, SUNY Fredonia and UMASS Boston. He has lived in Needham since 1993 with his wife Margie Glazer and daughter Dara Baltin.

DAVID BERNAT, Ph.D.
David is the Executive Director of the Synagogue Council of Massachusetts and a Lecturer in Judaic Studies at UMass Amherst. He is the author of Sign of the Covenant, and co-editor of Religion and Violence: The Biblical Heritage. David lectures actively in New England and in the tri-state area, is a Meah Faculty veteran, and has planned and led Israel tours with an archaeological focus. A member of Temple Aliyah for many years, David has been a regular and frequent lecturer for Temple Aliyah adult education classes.

SANDRA DEJONG, MD. Dr. DeJong, a former high-school English teacher, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in practice since 1999. She completed her training at MGH and McLean Hospital, and helped to build the child psychiatry service at Newton-Wellesley Hospital before joining Cambridge Health Alliance as a director of child psychiatry training in 2004. She has been in private practice in Metrowest since 2001, seeing primarily adolescents and their families. She has provided consultation to a number of different school systems, particularly around issues of digital technology use in teens. She has numerous publications and has received recognition for her teaching, including the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society Outstanding Psychiatrist in Education Award (2016).

LYNN DENNIS, LICSW
Lynn has been a psychotherapist for ten years, most recently in private practice in North Easton, treating both adults and couples. Before opening her practice, she worked for five years as a social worker for Caritas Good Samaritan Hospice in Boston. Lynn has also served as Program Director of Temple Emanuel in St. Louis, Missouri, where she developed and led programs for all age groups, developing a special interest in working with interfaith couples and their families. Lynn earned an MSW degree from Washington University of St. Louis, a Masters Degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College, and also trained for the chaplaincy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. She facilitated the Rosh Chodesh group at Temple Aliyah for several years and is currently an enthusiastic member of Koleinu, a Jewish community choir.

KAREN FELDSCHER
Karen works as a writer for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health communications department, where she writes press releases and articles for the School’s website about topics ranging from health policy to nutrition to climate change. Karen and her family have been members of Temple Aliyah for 20 years. She is currently a member of the Sisterhood Steering Committee, serves as Co-Chair of Publicity for the Temple, and is extremely grateful for this wonderful kehillah.

SETH GALE, MD.
Dr. Gale is a behavioral neurologist and a Study Physician and Investigator at the Center for Alzheimer Research & Treatment at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, as well as an Instructor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gale’s clinical focus is in the degenerative dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. His interests span a broad spectrum of cognitive and behavioral disorders.

CANTOR JAMIE GLOTH
Cantor Gloth joined Temple Aliyah two years ago, having served as a cantor in several other synagogues. Cantor Gloth grew up in Akron, Ohio, where he began his singing career at age 10 in his synagogue’s Junior Choir. Cantor Gloth earned his B.A. at the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Sacred Music and Investiture as Hazzan from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Married to Bina Carr, Cantor Gloth is the proud parent of four children. When Cantor Gloth is not teaching, leading the congregation in prayer, or singing his favorite Broadway show tunes, he is usually relaxing with his family while rooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians, and yes, even the Browns.

RABBI LESLIE GORDON
Rabbi Gordon, Temple Aliyah’s Rabbi-in-Residence and Temple Aliyah’s Interim Rabbi again for the first half of 2019, has been an active member of the Temple Aliyah community since 1997, teaching and leading numerous classes and workshops. Rabbi Gordon received her Rabbinic Ordination and Master of Arts from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She has served previously as our Interim Rabbi twice during Rabbi Perkins’ sabbaticals, as well as the Senior Interim Rabbi at Temple Israel in Sharon. She has also served as a rabbi at synagogues in Alexandria, Virginia,
and in Lowell, Massachusetts. The recipient of many awards, Rabbi Gordon also teaches several conversion classes for Jews by Choice in the Boston area.

HARVEY GREENBERG
Harvey Greenberg spent three decades with Polaroid Corporation; one in engineering, one in manufacturing, and one in Human Resources. During that time, he led an effort to restructure and redesign Polaroid’s largest manufacturing plant, a 1,000 person workplace, from narrowly defined roles to a team based environment. That experience led him to pursue a second graduate degree
in human resource and organization development, followed by a decade working in Polaroid’s Human Resources, culminating as Senior VP of HR. After leaving Polaroid in 2001, he became an independent consultant working with leaders in both for profit and not-for-profit organizations, with a primary focus on synagogue leaders and their boards, helping improve leadership and organization effectiveness. He has also served as president of the Board of Jewish Family & Children’s Services and has been active as a Temple member for the last 41 years.

LENORE JACKSON-POPE, RN
Lenore is the Co-Director of Primary Care Outreach at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment, and the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She is instrumental in educating primary care physicians about the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and direct referral networks. Lenore is the former Manager of Research and Medical Education at the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and has supported clinical research operations for more than 30 years. She is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Emmanuel College in the Graduate and Professionals Management Program, and a registered nurse who has worked in both acute and long-term care settings. Lenore is passionate about the importance of clinical trial participation and is forever grateful to the many wonderful research volunteers she has been privileged to work with over the years.

LEAH LEVINE
Leah is a Recruitment Assistant at the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment (CART) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She works to recruit and screen participants for clinical trials and observational studies, as well as aiding with both outreach and education efforts in the community and day-to-day operations at CART. She received a BA in Health: Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) and Psychology from Brandeis University in 2017. In the future, she plans to pursue a dual MBA/MPH degree to further her goal of working in community health programming with the aging community.

KEITH LEWINSTEIN, Ph.D.
Keith is Professor and Chair in the History Department at Bridgewater State University. His research and teaching focus on Middle Eastern history, with particular attention to the early formation of Islam. Keith has held a number of positions around the synagogue, and he currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees. He and his family have been members of Temple Aliyah since 2001.

DAVID LINTZ
David and his family have been members of Temple Aliyah for more than twenty years. A lawyer by training (and temperament), he currently manages a technology group at Raytheon BBN Technologies in Cambridge. Although his training for studying biblical and apocryphal texts is limited (though increasingly less so), it is something he enjoys doing, particularly when perusing a text for the first time.

NAOMI LITROWNIK, LICSW
For many years, Naomi has brought her professional talents to enhance the spiritual life at Temple Aliyah. Naomi has been a psychotherapist for more than four decades. In addition to her clinical practice, she is a Behavioral Health Consultant, an EMDR psychotherapist, and a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher. She also trained at the Institute For Jewish Spirituality Center. A Temple Aliyah member for many years, Naomi attends services regularly, and is a frequent Torah reader and Haftorah chanter.

RABBI CARL M . PERKINS . Rabbi Perkins, Temple Aliyah’s spiritual leader since 1991, was ordained and awarded a master’s degree in Talmud and Rabbinics from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Before pursuing the rabbinate, Rabbi Perkins practiced law for several years in Boston. Rabbi Perkins teaches and lectures widely in the Boston area and is currently an Adjunct Instructor at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School. He is the author of the revised edition of Embracing Judaism and also of many articles, sermons in various journals, and responsa published on the Jewish Values Online website.

RACHAEL ROSNER, Ph.D. Rachael’s unusual academic career—a B.A. in Ancient Greek from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in History from the University of Rochester, a Ph.D. in Psychology from York University (Toronto) and a National Science Post- Doctoral Fellowship in the History of Science at Harvard University—led to her pursuit of interdisciplinary research as an independent scholar in the history of psychotherapy. Having developed an expertise in this unique area, Rachael was guest-editor of a special issue of History of Psychology (August 2018) on the history of psychotherapy  in North and South America, which is being coordinated with a special issue of History of the Human Sciences (Sarah Marks, guest editor, October 2018) on the history of psychotherapy in Europe. She is currently at work on a biography of Dr. Aaron T. Beck, father-figure of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Rachael, her husband, Larry Denenberg and their children, Ayla and Eli, have been members of Temple Aliyah since 2010.

LESLEY SACHS
Lesley Sachs is the 2014 recipient of the National Council of Jewish Women Jewel Bellush Outstanding Israeli Feminist award and was one of the founding members of “Isha L’isha – Haifa’s Feminist Center.” She has worked in the Israel Women’s Network; served as Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC); served as Vice President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism; and was founding director of Project Kesher, Israel. She has also served on the board of directors for both the Jerusalem Women’s Shelter and Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael. She currently works as the Executive Director of Women of the Wall and is Chair of the pre- army Mechina Michmanim in Jaffa.

HOPE SCHWARTZ
Hope is a program coordinator for the Brain Health Champions Study at the Center for Brain/Mind Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which focuses on improving brain healthy behavior, especially exercise, diet, and social and cognitive activity, in patients with cognitive concerns. Hope graduated from Harvard College in 2016 with a BA in economics, where she conducted research in public health and education policy. She plans to apply to medical school next year.

RABBI DONALD SPLANSKY, Ph.D
Educated at Columbia College and Hebrew University, Rabbi Splansky was ordained and obtained a Ph.D. in rabbinic literature at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He also received a Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union and a Doctor of Theology from the New England School of Law. Now retired, he served congregations in Cincinnati and Temple Beth Am in Framingham, and served on the faculty of St. Marks School in Southborough. He is married to Greta Lee and is the father of three children, including Temple Aliyah’s Karen Farbman.

RONALD S . WAIFE
Ron is the great-grandson of Sholom Aleichem, and is steeped in the history and literature of the famous Yiddish writer. His grandmother Maroussia is the author of the definitive biography of her father. Ron’s grandfather and father were also writers (in journalism and medicine, respectively), and much of his own career
is based on the family imperative to write! Ron received his Masters in Public Health from Harvard, spent nine years in international public health, an equivalent time in high tech corporate management, and founded a consulting company for clinical research companies, Waife & Associates, Inc., which is in its 25th year. A frequent speaker at clinical research conferences, he has been writing a regular column in industry publications since 1996. Ron and his wife, Susan Maxwell, and daughters Emily and Madeline have been Temple Aliyah members for over 20 years and Needham residents since 1980.

KAREN WASSERMAN, LICSW
Karen, a licensed independent clinical social worker, founded the Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) Care Management program in 1999, and has managed its growth into one of the Boston area’s leading Care Management practices. She is the Director of Your Elder Experts of JF&CS. A respected expert in her profession, she leads educational programs in the community about elder services, housing, and Care Management, providing insight into the complicated medical, emotional, and logistical concerns around aging. Karen is a nationally certified care manager (C-ASWCM), and is a member of the of National Association of Social Workers and both the national and New England chapters of the Aging Life Care Association.

 

Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!

Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.

Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members. Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.    

Not a member? We invite your family to join our family!

Join Us

Did you know...?

Did you know that Temple Aliyah is a member of Mayyim Hayyim, a beautiful mikveh in Newton? Did you know this entitles a limited number of congregants to a free immersion gift certificate? To learn more about the benefits and reasons behind an immersion, please visit the Mayyim Hayyim website. To schedule an immersion 1) request your immersion appointment online  2) wait 24 hours for a response, 3) show up at the designated time, and 4) let them know you are a member of Temple Aliyah.

Want to learn more fun facts about Aliyah? Click here!


Shabbat and Weekday Services

 

Shabbat Morning Services  9:15 am
Sunday Morning Minyan* 9:00 am
Monday Morning Minyan   7:00 am
Weekday Evening Minyan 7:30 pm

* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


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Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education.  Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.


Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you.