BIOGRAPHIES OF OUR PRESENTERS
Steven Baum. Steve received a degree in Cultural Anthropology and then used his marketable skill, fast typing, to enter the field of programming. He eventually found his way to Kurzweil Computer Products, the developer of the first reading machine for the Blind. While there, he also helped start Kurzweil Educational Products. He played a leading role in the development of a reading software for the Blind, and also a reading assistant and educational scaffolding tool for people who can see, but cannot fluently read. He currently serves as a Vice President of Engineering at Kurzweil. A past president of Temple Aliyah, Steve, his wife Lynn (to whom he is ecstatically married) and his son Nathaniel (of whom he is the proud father) have been enthusiastic members of Temple Aliyah for twenty years. Steve is a frequent Torah reader at Temple Aliyah.
Julie Berger. A long-time member of Temple Aliyah, Julie has guided many families through the pre-planning and arranging of funerals for their loved ones and friends. Prior to returning to school in 2002 to become a funeral director, she worked at Temple Emmanuel and the JCC. Julie has been a licensed director since 2008. Julie has been a member of Temple Aliyah since the day she was born, and she and her husband raised their two children at the synagogue.
Fred Borgenicht. Fred earned a degree in biomedical engineering, which landed him the job of his dreams with Hewlett Packard, where he initially worked on developing algorithms for detecting arrhythmias. When Hewlett Packard sold its medical portfolio to Philips, Fred refocused his work the resuscitation business. This change eventually led him to his current role as the Test Expert for the Patient Monitoring Group. Fred and his wife Ellen have three children, and one grandchild, and have been members of Temple Aliyah for over 20 years.
Lynn Dennis. Lynn, a psychotherapist in private practice in North Easton, treats 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 Hodesh group at Temple Aliyah for several years and is currently an enthusiastic member of Koleinu, a Jewish community choir.
Cantor Jamie Gloth. Cantor Gloth joined Temple Aliyah this year, 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. Active in both Kadima and U.S.Y., Cantor Gloth served as president of both groups and later served as staff member, counselor, teacher, and advisor for many regional and national youth group events. 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. While at JTS, Cantor Gloth was a member of the first cohort of cantorial students to participate in the clinical pastoral education program, serving as clergy intern at New York Hospital, Florence Nightingale Nursing Home and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 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 on the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians, and yes, even the Browns.
Rabbi Leslie Gordon. Rabbi Gordon, Temple Aliyah Rabbinic Associate, received her Rabbinic Ordination and Master of Arts from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Rabbi Gordon has been an active member of the Temple Aliyah community since 1991, teaching and leading numerous classes and workshops. She has served as our Interim Rabbi twice during Rabbi Perkins' sabbaticals, the interim Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel in Sharon and the Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Lowell. Rabbi Gordon, the recipient of many awards, also teaches several conversion classes and classes for Jews by Choice in the Boston area.
Arnie Harris. Arnie is in his thirty second year as music director at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, where he coordinates the music department, organizes concerts and events, directs two choruses and an instrumental ensemble, composes music for his groups to perform, and teaches all woodwind, string, brass and percussion instruments. He has established collaborations between his ensembles and a variety of local performing groups, both choral and orchestral, that give his students the opportunity to perform with seasoned adult ensembles. Last year, the Celtics honored Arnie as a "Hero Among Us" for his years of brining the joy of music to students who are blind and also directed his Perkins chorus in leading the National Anthem. Arnie is a long time and active member of Temple Aliyah, regularly reads from the Torah, performed in the synagogue's Fiddler on the Roof and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and takes on the task of assigning the weekly Torah readings.
Rabbi William Kaufman, Ph.D. Rabbi Kaufman, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, 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 several synagogues and then found his spiritual and professional home at Temple Beth El in Fall River, where he served for twenty-five 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.
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 thirty years, served as a past Sisterhood President, and raised her family in this, her spiritual home.
David Lintz. David and his family have been members of Temple Aliyah for over 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, it is something he enjoys doing, particularly when perusing a text for the first time.
Naomi Litrownik, MSW. For several years, Naomi has brought her many decades of professional experience to enhance the spiritual life at Temple Aliyah. A social worker by trade, Naomi has extensive training and experience in couples’ conflicts, the impact of illness, issues of aging, and stress management. She has also given numerous workshops on a wide variety issues. In addition to holding an MSW, Naomi is certified as a Level I and II EMDR clinician and completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Practicum at UMA Medical Center, Worcester. Naomi has been a member of Temple Aliyah for many years, attends services regularly, and is a frequent Torah reader and Haftorah chanter.
Melissa Patrick. Ms. Patrick is passionate about equity and social justice. She has devoted her professional life as an educator and social worker to eliminating discriminatory practices and promoting diversity and inclusion in schools and organizations. Ms. Patrick identifies as a Black Jewish woman and draws from her multiracial experience to facilitate brave conversations. She has developed a keen understanding of the range of feelings individuals may experience when discussing bias and difference. Ms. Patrick is Owner/Founder of Equity & Expectations℠ a consulting firm that provides strategic advice and professional development programs about issues related to race, class, and other aspects of identity. She has been facilitating conversations about challenging, “hot” topics” for over 20 years. Ms. Patrick is a formally trained elementary teacher and social worker. She holds a BA from University of Rhode Island and an MSW from Columbia University. She is the mother of three adolescents.
Rabbi Carl M. Perkins. Rabbi Perkins, Temple Aliyah’s spiritual leader since 1991, was ordained and awarded a masters 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.
Elana Kling Perkins, LICSW. Elana specializes in psycho-educational workshops and courses for parents of Jewish children, for those choosing Judaism, those in interfaith relationships, and grandparents of interfaith children. She has also served as a consultant to congregations, schools, and other agencies about increasing their welcome, better serving existing members, and sexual abuse in the Jewish community. Elana has worked extensively as a therapist in the Boston area. She is a co-founder of Perspectives: Jewish Living through the Lifecycle, which incorporates a Jewish dimension and sensibility in helping people successfully navigate life transitions. Elana has been a member of the Temple Aliyah community for almost twenty five years.
Devora Rohr, Temple Aliyah Shabbat Educator. Devora attended Solomon Schechter Day School (Philadelphia) and Camp Ramah in the Poconos. She spent a semester at Tichon Ramah Yerushalim (Ramah High School in Jerusalem), and a junior year abroad at Hebrew University. After college graduation, Devora served with City Year Boston in a K-8 school in Roxbury, worked at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland as the Education Office Administrator, and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Jewish Education at Hebrew College. Devora and her wife Stephanie live in Newton with their child, Yona Aliza.
Gerald C. Rovner. Admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1967, Gerry has extensive and wide-ranging expertise in the practice of immigration and nationality law. He has spent his career providing representation, guidance, and advice to 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. Among his many leadership positions in the field of immigration, he is 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. He is a Life Fellow of the Mass Bar Foundation and lectures frequently on immigration law. In 2000, he was awarded the President’s Citation by AILA. In August 2017, Gerry was given the honor of delivering the welcome speech to 401 new United States citizens as the Naturalization Ceremony held in Faneuil Hall. Gerry lives in Needham and is a member of Temple Aliyah.
Joshua Rubenstein. Joshua Rubenstein is a longtime Associate of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and is currently Associate Director for major gifts at Harvard Law School. He was an organizer and regional director for Amnesty International USA for 37 years. He has written about Soviet dissent and the Holocaust in German-Occupied Soviet territory. His biography of the controversial Soviet Jewish writer Ilya Ehrenburg, entitled Tangled Loyalties, has been translated into Hebrew, Russian, and Spanish. His book, Stalin’s Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, received a National Jewish Book Award. His concise, interpretive biography of Leon Trotsky is part of the prestigious Jewish Lives Series of Yale University Press. The Last Days of Stalin is his tenth book. It will appear in seven foreign translations, including in Hebrew.
Judy Sacks. Judy recently celebrated her 35th year at Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) where she presently serves as the Director of Professional and Jewish Community Services. For many years before that, Judy managed all of JVS’ s refugee employment services, where her team of 30 employment coaches helped thousands of newly arrived refugees from dozens of countries find work and build careers. Approximately 10 years ago, Judy was invited to join the CJP Boston-Haifa Connection where she chaired the sub-committee on employment for the Ethiopian Jewry Committee. She enjoys her work with the Ethiopian community since it takes her back to her professional “refugee roots.”
Mark Sokoll. A lifelong Jewish community advocate, activist and educator, Mark has held several posts since 1988 at JCC Greater Boston, rising to the level of President and CEO in 2000. Mark has also worked as a Senior Educator at Alexander Muss High School in Israel, as a licensed Israel tour guide, and as an educator at the Israel Defense Forces Institute for Officer Training and Education during his IDF service. Among his many achievements, Mark has been honored by Mayyim Hayyim, and has been a recipient of awards from Hadassah, the Solomon Schechter Day School, and the Hornstein Program at Brandeis University. Mark is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Lenny Zakim Fund. A graduate of Boston University, Mark earned his Master of Arts in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University and received Rabbinic ordination from the Bet Din-Bet Achim in New York City.
Harvey Shapiro, Ph.D. Harvey Shapiro is a professor at Northeastern University where he has taught in the fields of education and Jewish studies, a combination reflected in the title of his recent book, Educational Theory and Jewish Studies in Conversation: From Volozhin to Buczacz (Lexington Books). Previously, he served as a professor and Dean at Hebrew College, prior to which he was the principal of two Jewish day schools and the director of a Jewish summer camp. He has published many articles in a variety of academic journals and awaits the 2018 publication of his latest book, The Handbook on Violence in Education: Forms, Factors, and Preventions (Wiley Blackwell, in press). Members of Temple Aliyah since 2003, Harvey and his wife Abby, an English teacher at Gann Academy, have three sons: Daniel, David, and Micah (now a rabbi at University of Pennsylvania Hillel).
Harvey is Clinical Associate Professor at Northeastern University where he has taught in the fields of education and Jewish studies, a combination reflected in the title of his recent book, Educational Theory and Jewish Studies in Conversation: From Volozhin to Buczacz (Lexington Books). Previously, he served as Associate Professor of Jewish Education and Dean of the Graduate School of Jewish Education at Hebrew College, prior to which he was the principal of two Jewish day schools and the director of a Jewish summer camp. He has published many articles in a variety of academic journals and awaits the 2017 publication of his latest book The Handbook on Violence in Education: Forms, Factors, and Preventions (Wiley Blackwell). Members of Temple Aliyah since 2003, Harvey and his wife Abby, an English teacher at Gann Academy, have three sons: Micah, David, and Daniel.
Dan Winograd. Dan has been an environmental attorney and environmental consultant for more than twenty five years. He presently works as an environmental consultant with a firm in Dedham, and has also worked for as an attorney for the Boston office of the EPA and as an environmental attorney at MIT. A member of Temple Aliyah for more than twenty years, Dan has actively contributed to the synagogue community in numerous ways, including serving on the Board of Trustees for twelve years (six of which were as Co-Vice President of Education), serving as Chair of School Committee, and working on bringing family education to the community. Dan has lived in Needham since 1992 with his wife Karen Feldscher. They have three children, Adam, Ben and Rebecca.
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 in various educational settings in the Boston area.