L’Shanah Tovah! As we welcome in 5783, much has changed in our world, and it is easy to feel disconnected. However, one thing remains the same: WJC NEEDS YOU! Congregational involvement in a myriad of committees, groups, and programs is what has always defined WJC and continues to set it apart. Getting involved is a great way to connect with other WJC members, have an impact on WJC programming and policies, and recharge the soul!
This High Holiday season, volunteering at WJC has never been easier. Log into your ShulCloud account and you will be able to access the 5783 Participation Card preference form. On this form, you will be able to select from the following expanded list of important committees, groups and programs in need of your help (please see descriptions below).
Prefer to speak with someone instead? Simply call the WJC Office at 914-698-2960 to submit your volunteer preferences for you.
Please submit your choices by October 14.
Let’s all choose to make a difference together!
Adult Education Committee
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.
President and Vice President: Ritchie Zeitoun and Dan de Sa
The mission of WJC Brotherhood is to enhance the life of our community through a wide range of programs and activities, including seasonal speakers and an annual teach-in on a topic of interest to the community. The Brotherhood is affiliated with the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs.
Annual Dues: Members pay $36 to support our programs
Community Security Service
Chair: Mark Berger
The Community Security Service (CSS) is the leading Jewish volunteer security organization in the United States. The CSS is focused on training volunteers in basic security procedures to help protect institutions and events. Through programs developed by foremost industry security experts, and tailored to various levels of interest and ability, volunteers learn to identify suspicious activity and prevent and respond to potential threatening situations. WJC is an official CSS partner and is seeking volunteers to grow our team.
Co-Chairs: Tracey Levy and Cheryl Natbony
The daily minyan is a place for people at all stages of life to gather together. We support those who are mourning or commemorating the loss of a loved one. Those who attend also find, over time, that we are enriching ourselves. We get to know members of our community who we might not regularly see, and we enjoy time to collect our thoughts, reflect, and share those reflections with G-d. It helps us press the reset button on daily life. Every person’s presence counts. Please help us make the big 10.
Co-Chairs: Ian Winters and Joel Beckman
WJC’s ambitious initiative, From Strength to Strength: The Endowment Campaign for Westchester Jewish Center, will enhance our ability to meet our congregation’s expectations and embrace the opportunities of today and beyond. Investment income generated from our endowment fund will enable WJC to pursue innovation, advance programs and protect our WJC community from unforeseen circumstances. Help us secure our future and achieve our goal of having every WJC congregant participate.
Family Youth Education Council
Co-Chairs: Jonathan Berg and Laura Grill
The Family Youth Education Council provides a forum to improve all aspects of synagogue life and build a cohesive community for our youth and their families. Work directly with leaders and representatives of the many WJC committees and task forces on youth—from early childhood throughout the teen years—while interacting and exchanging ideas.
Chair: Kimberly Langus
The Green Committee is dedicated to increasing sustainability efforts at WJC and doing our small part to help repair the planet. Upcoming projects include planting a native butterfly garden on the WJC grounds, expanding composting efforts within the building, community clean up events and Tu B’Shevat programming. We can do even more with your help and involvement!
Holocaust Learning Center
Chairs: Amy Fastenberg and Holly Fink
The Holocaust Learning Center Committee is tasked with keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive at WJC. The Committee provides compelling programming for the community each year around the anniversary of Kristallnacht and for Yom HaShoah. It arranges for survivors to speak with the WJC community, including at special programs for our teens. The Committee has sought to record the testimonies of those whose names are etched on the WJC Holocaust Memorial to preserve these personal stories for future generations. The Committee also seeks to connect the dots between events of the past and current situations around the world involving genocide and discrimination and provides education and resources on how our community can help.
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
Chair: Amy Levine-Kennedy
Our mission is to enhance our welcoming community within Westchester Jewish Center by embracing diversity and appreciating our differences.
Chair: Linda Alpert
We are looking to inspire a connection to our Jewish homeland, and seeking new, creative and contemporary ideas to motivate future congregational participation. Past programming has included Israeli dance classes (still ongoing), parties, independence day celebrations, speakers and movies.
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 Judaica Gallery
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: 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.
Music 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.
Co-Presidents: Stephen Taubenfeld and Zachary Sigel
The WJC Parents Association serves as the primary link between WJC and parents. Their mission is to help children and families maximize their WJC educational and cultural experiences, as well as enrich parents’ and children’s religious school experiences. The Parents Association’s programs are supported through annual dues and various fundraising projects. Annual events and programs include book fairs, Passover candy sales, Purim carnival, custom-made siddur covers, and Hanukkah celebration. Volunteers are welcome.
Annual Dues: $40
President and Vice President: Glenna Lee and Joanna Shlesinger
The WJC Sisterhood is a community of women committed to the enrichment of Jewish life by providing spiritual, educational, and social programs. We also offer financial support to vital synagogue activities. The Sisterhood reaches into all aspects of synagogue life from social events, speaker series, and fundraising projects open to the entire community. Membership is open to all women in our community.
Annual Dues: Members, including Nursery School parents, pay $36; non-members may join for $48.
Chair: Susan Miller
Shabbat Greeters serve a wonderful role each week as they personally welcome all congregants and guests arriving for WJC’s morning service. Their presence at the doorway leading into the sanctuary helps foster the warm and welcoming spirit and sense of friendly community we seek to promote throughout Westchester Jewish Center. All that is required is a smile and your presence for the entire service
Spiritual Life Committee
Chair: Tracey Levy
True to its name, the WJC Spiritual Life Committee is focused on helping to meet the spiritual needs of the congregation. In consultation with our rabbis, the Committee reviews and provides recommendations on halachic issues as they arise and affect WJC. New this year, congregants can commit to attend the Committee’s monthly meetings, which include discussing issues related to the religious life of our community, or simply join a subcommittee with a specific focus area (such as spiritual life at home or contemporary services).
Teen Engagement Committee
Co-Chairs: Amy Fastenberg, Rachel Felenstein, Risa Seelenfreund and Sherry Thaler
The Teen Engagement Committee supports the work of the director of WJC’s Teen Program by providing parent perspectives. The Committee offers feedback and support related to the curriculum and administration of our weekly Teen Program and other teen initiatives, as well as helping to serve as a liaison between the program, WJC teens and their parents, other WJC committees, the congregation and the greater Westchester community.
Co-Chairs: Jennifer Winters and Rosie Smith
The Welcoming Committee reaches out to the newest members of our WJC community. We greet our newest members by delivering a tote bag containing Shabbat treats to their home, greeting them in person and/or with a phone call, and with a personal letter from the Rabbi. We engage and encourage new members to participate in the many programs that WJC has to offer. We also provide resources and contacts to facilitate easy and meaningful connections, as well as plan events for new members to further develop friendships.