Throughout our history, volunteerism has been one of the hallmarks of Jewish community. Participation in committee work is the key to ensuring that we succeed in our mission of being a welcoming community. Committees offer the opportunity to expand one’s circle of friends and contribute in very tangible ways. There are a variety of committees at Westchester Jewish Center that span a wide range of interests. Some committees evolve over time to meet our changing congregational needs, while new committees arise in response to membership requests.
In addition to committees, we are aligned with organizations, better known as “arms,”that provide educational, social, and spiritual programs that directly enrich the quality of Jewish life in the synagogue. Below you will see the full listing of our congregational arms and committees. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the individuals listed as chairs.
As always, we welcome you to participate in the many programs and services that our arms and committees have to offer. Our website, www.wjcenter.org, contains complete information regarding the most up-to-date program schedules/fees and details for registration. As always, if you have any questions, please call the office at 914-698-2960.
Seth Schafler, WJC President
WJC Officers and Trustees
Adult Education Committee
Co-Chairs – Myra Glajchen and Karen Everett
The Adult Education Committee engages all members of the synagogue community to make them comfortable with religious and ritualistic elements of Judaism through rich and varied programming. The Committee helps congregants familiarize themselves with Halacha (rules that govern decision making); develop or deepen an understanding of Jewish history and culture; and find avenues for Hebrew and Jewish literacy.
Chair – Meri Sirkin
The Green Committee has worked collaboratively with other groups to educate the community on how to sustain and respect the environment. The past chair is willing to help someone reestablish its past work—events included monthly meetings, a weekend of learning during the Scholar in Residence Program and having a meaningful Tu B’Shevat seder; learning about composting and gardening; sustainable practices for the home and WJC; monthly Review articles to educate our community; and participation in shul wide celebratory events.
Israel Affairs Committee
Chair – Linda Alpert
The Israel Affairs Committee is dedicated to educating congregants about Israel and celebrating the state of Israel through weekly and monthly programs, yearly celebrations, fundraising, and topical speakers. The programs include ongoing Israeli dance classes, topical speakers, movies, as well as specific events for Yom Ha’Aztmaut, etc. Events are for all ages and interests.
Chair – Jill Caslin
The Archive Committee maintains the files that hold the history of the Westchester Jewish Center. Each month, memories are pulled from the archives and shared in a column in The Review. These memories are dedicated to looking back at some aspect of our community’s past.
Bikur Cholim Committee
Co-Chairs – Cindy Heller and Mindy Feldman
The Rabbis and fellow congregants are happy to bring cheer and warmth! The committee helps organizes these visits and meals for those who are ill, just had a baby, or are homebound.
B’nei Mitzvah Committee
Chair – Jacqui Kaplan
The B’nei Mitzvah Committee works with the clergy to help set policy and dates for B’nei Mitzvot.
Comfy Spaces Committee
Robin Nichinsky , Susan Lewen, Bonnie Silverman
The Comfy Space Committee improves the ambience at WJC to make it more comfortable, welcoming, and a vibrant environment for our members.
Chair – Evan Schapiro
Utilizing traditional and new media, the Communications Committee develops and designs collateral to inform our community about WJC events.
Spring Gala Committee
The committee is responsible for organizing and overseeing the Annual Spring Gala, a wonderful evening celebrating WJC while honoring those who have contributed significantly to our community. The event is also one of the largest fundraisers for WJC.
Early Childhood Committee
Co-Chairs – Julie Graham and Jackie Staub
The Early Childhood Committee aligns the lay leadership, the staff, and the children and families of the Early Childhood Center (ECC) in order to promote the ECC and respond to questions and concerns with greater agility. This committee is a sounding board and a parent-friendly place to address a variety of issues pertaining to the ECC and its intersection with the WJC.
Family Youth Educational Council
Co-Chairs – Jonathan Berg and Laura Grill
The Family Youth Education Council provides a forum for leaders and representatives of the many WJC committees and task forces with youth—from early childhood throughout the teen years—while interacting and exchanging ideas. They work to improve all aspects of synagogue life and build a cohesive community for our youth and their families.
Holocaust Learning Center
Co-Chairs – Amy Fastenberg and Holly Rosen Fink
The Holocaust Learning Center seeks to record the testimonies of all the names etched on the WJC Holocaust Memorial to ensure that these personal stories from Nazi-occupied Europe are never forgotten and shared with members of our community for future generations.
Chair – Marc Karell
The House Committee oversees the operation of the buildings owned by the WJC, including its parish houses. It is responsible for ongoing maintenance, repairs, renovations, service contracts, and preventive maintenance planning.
Inclusion Task Force
Co-Chairs – Heather Gold and Louise Cohen
Our mission is to enhance our welcoming community within Westchester Jewish Center by embracing diversity and appreciating our differences.
J.O.Y. – Just Older Youth Committee
Co-Chairs – Howard Zweig and Judy Zweig
The J.O.Y. Club is a new, dynamic, and participatory organization of WJC members who are 70 years old and older. The group is committed to making new friends and re-establish old relationships during through events and monthly meetings (held June through November).
Kiddush Enhancement Committee
Chair – Jennifer Winters
The Kiddush Enhancement Committee shops and cooks side dishes during the week for upcoming Shabbats throughout the year. In the past, the committee has made everything from kugels to soufflés, quiches to parfaits.
Koslowe Gallery Committee
Chair – Amy Levine-Kennedy
The Koslowe Gallery aims to enhance Jewish study and learning through its programs and exhibitions featuring works by world-known and emerging Jewish artists. As a member of the Council of American Jewish Museums, the Koslowe Gallery shows focus on contemporary, historic, and social themes.
Chair – Cheryl Lewy
The Landscaping Committee is responsible for maintaining the beauty of our five-acre property. Our grounds include natural green space, a network of paths, multiple parking areas, playgrounds, and quiet seating.
Chair – Ilene Bellovin
The Library Committee meets regularly to facilitate the operation of The Hendel Family Library. The committee plans programs, including book reviews and presentations by guest authors in coordination with all arms of the synagogue, and acts as a resource for programs and exhibitions.
Musical Enrichment Committee
Chair – Alison Gottsegen
The Musical Enrichment Committee enhances the role of music—vocal and instrumental—in all aspects of synagogue life. In consultation with the clergy and other committees, the MEC suggests ways for music to enhance the spirituality of our prayer and other services; deepen our understanding and appreciation of Jewish culture; engage the community through concerts, workshops and other learning experiences with contemporary Jewish musicians; and create a welcoming environment for current and prospective members.
WJC is a national PJ Library partner, which provides Jewish books and music for families with children ages six months through 8 years old. The PJ Library Committee is a collaboration of professional and lay leaders devoted to promoting PJ Library at WJC through professional leadership, volunteers, grants, and programming, including Sunday Morning Story Time and Sing-Along, holiday programs, special events, and after school programs.
Religious School Parents’ Committee
Co-Chairs – Erica Sigel and Susie Miller
The Religious School has its very own committee to discuss school-related issues such as family programs, school budget, and curriculum development. The committee meets four times during the school year on Sunday mornings during school hours. While Religious School parents are encouraged to attend all the meetings, any member of the community is welcome.
Co-Chairs: Al Sassoon and Beth Jaret
The WJC Spiritual Life Committee meets monthly to discuss issues related to the religious life of our community. In consultation with our rabbis, the committee reviews, and provides recommendations on halachic issues as they arise and affect WJC.
Social Justice Action Committee
Chair – Sharon Silver
SOJAC is committed to involving WJC membership in social justice action endeavors reflecting our Jewish heritage. We seek volunteers to provide time and skills to support our local partner organizations. SOJAC also participates in interfaith activities including: The Read-Talk-Act Book Group, an interfaith and interracial social justice book and action group; multi-faith worship services, both those organized by the AJC Westchester/Fairfield Interfaith/Intergroup Committee; the Thanksgiving Interfaith program; the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Interfaith Council; and others.
World Jewry Committee
Chair – Holly Rosen Fink
The World Jewry Committee continues its focus on refugees. Alongside the local group, Neighbors for Refugees, which consists of eight local multi-faith congregations, the committee supports efforts to provide a safe haven for those in need as well as promoting educational, and advocacy-oriented opportunities.
Teen Engagement Committee
Co-Chairs – Amy Fastenberg and Rachel Felenstein
The Teen Engagement Committee supports the work of our Director of Teen Engagement. We seek to build bridges and further relationships among young community members, their peers, their community, and the congregation at-large.
Co-Chairs – Jennifer Winters and Rosie Smith
WJC’s Welcoming Committee offers a warm welcome to new members and helps them make connections with current synagogue members as well as the clergy in the larger Jewish community.