Committee Chair
Archives Tim Baker
Building/Maintenance To be filled
Care Sylvia (Fragner) Williams
Capital Campaign David Goldman
Cemetery Debbie Adelstein
Communications Melissa Schapiro
Connectivity Vermeda Fred
Kesher Center for Jewish Learning Nora Mazonson
Library Joan Wayne and Sarah Witte
Membership Ann Suloway, Rita Spitzer
New Synagogue Task Force Warren Rosenthal
Nominating Committee Mitch Press
Oneg Joan Wayne, Sarah Witte, Miriam Zderic
Programming Margaret Bikman, Rakefet Richmond, Emily Weiner
Ritual Committee Rabbi Joshua Samuels
Scholarship Emil Hecht
Scrip Program Joan Wayne
Security Jeff Jaffe
Social Action Linda Blackwell
Strategic Planning Lynn Korner
University Liaison Steven Garfinkle

Check the membership directory in the members only section for contact information, or Contact a Committee chair via the main office.

About Our Committees

Building Committee: Focuses on the maintenance, functional improvement and aesthetic enhancement of the synagogue building and grounds.

Capital Campaign Committee: Raises money to build our new Synagogue. David Goldman, Chair

Care Committee: Coordinates assistance and support for members experiencing illness, loss, natural disaster or major life change. Sylvia (Fragner) Williams, Chair

Cemetery Committee: Oversees maintenance and improvement of the Jewish cemetery and sale of cemetery plots. Assists families in the selection of a plot, funeral arrangements, scheduling the graveside funeral and notifying the Care Committee telephone tree. Debbie Adelstein, Chair.

Communications Team: Assists and supports in maintaining current communications and marketing tools and looks at other innovative ways to enhance communications both within the Synagogue community and with the outside community. Oversees content, development and administration of the Synagogue’s website. Melissa Schapiro, Chair.

Connectivity Committee: Enhances members connections with one another, including establishing friendship groups (chavurot), expanding social and business connections, and supporting Membership and Care Committees so members experience the level of community that best suits their needs. Vermeda Fred, Chair.

Executive Committee: Board officers meet at least once each month to provide vision and leadership for the board by looking at pertinent current and upcoming issues and determining how and when these issues are addressed.

Finance Committee: Collects synagogue dues and monitors the annual budget on a monthly basis. Prepares the Congregation’s annual budget, audits it as needed and determines appropriate investments for the Synagogue’s reserves. Terri Weiner, chair.

Kesher Center for Jewish Learning Committee: Works with our Rabbi and the Kesher School Administrator to support the religious school program and coordinate holiday celebrations for the children. Nora Mazonson, Chair.

Library Committee: Seeks acquisitions and maintains the synagogue library. Collects donations for the library. Joan Wayne and Sarah Witte, Co-Chairs.

Membership Committee: Welcomes new members and works with prospective members. Expands community awareness of Beth Israel and the benefits of Synagogue membership. Encourages interested families and singles to become members through hospitality and Jewish programming efforts. Ann Suloway and Rita Spitzer, Co-Chairs.

Nominating Committee: Identifies current and potential Synagogue leaders to serve as Board members and Board Officers. Dan Ohms, Chair.

Oneg Committee: Organizes and oversees Oneg celebrations that follow Shabbat services and other observances during the synagogue calendar year. We maintain a schedule of onegs and assign responsibilities for theses among our members. Tours of the kitchen are available for new members by arrangement. Joan Wayne, Sarah Witte & Miriam Davids, Co-chairs.

Programming Team: Organizes cultural, educational and human interest events for the Congregation Beth Israel. These events can be ongoing or one-time events dependent upon the interests of the congregants (e.g. Israeli folk dancing, musical artists, films and lectures). Chair, currently vacant. Members: Margaret Bikman, Rakefet Richmond, Emily Weiner.

Religious Practices Leadership Team: Works with the Rabbi to establish Religious policy, practices and prodcedures used in our Congregation’s practice of Judaism. Rabbi Joshua Samuels, Leader.

Ritual Committee: Rabbi Joshua Samuels, Leader.

Scholarship Committee: Provides financial assistance via the Rabbi Fred Gardner Scholarship fund to qualifying Congregants. Applicants who attend post secondary schooling and would benefit from financial assistance are potential recipients. Applicants should participate in synagogue activities, be Jewish, and strive for academic excellence. Emil Hecht, Chair.

Security Committee:…………Jeff Jaffe, Chair.

Social Action Committee: Takes a leadership role in involving our Jewish community and Congregation in community projects that focus on key social needs such as hunger and housing). By working through existing organizations, we maximize our resources and build important alliances with the greater, non-Jewish community. Linda Blackwell, Chair.

Strategic Planning Committee Recomends long term goals and objectives for the Synagogue given the input of our committees, Rabbi, and Board. This plan forms the basis for the Board’s annual plan. Lynn Korner, Chair.

University Liaison Committee: Maintains a channel of communication between the congregation and WWU students. Works informally with the University Hillel Group as well. Steven Garfinkle, Chair.

Task Forces and Other Groups:

Chevra Kadisha: Provides ritual purification for the dead (tahara), when desired by the family of the deceased. Three volunteers, either all-male or all-female, are in attendance. Debbie Adelstein, Leader

Congregation Archivist: ……..Tim Baker.

Governance Task Force: Examines the organization structure of the Congregation and works with the Committees, Board, and the Rabbi to help create Job Descriptions, Policy, Mission statements and Procedure to help the Congregation operate in an objective, visible and inclusive manner. Mitch Press, Chair.

New Synagogue Task Force: Oversees and supports the construction of our new facility. Warren Rosenthal, Chair.

Scrip Program: Supplements Synagogue operating income through using a successful scrip program. Joan Wayne, Coordinator.

Youth Group: BAY (Bellingham Area Youth), for Jewish teens, is a social group that engages in a variety of social and Jewish community activities. Affiliated with NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth). Advisers: Amanda Robins and Daniel Zagnoli.

Sisterhood: Beth Israel’s Sisterhood is a woman’s group interested in female camaraderie and activities that support the synagogue. Among its many projects and activities, Sisterhood provides a Jewish calendar for all congregants, helps maintain the social hall and kitchen, and arranges for refreshments at Oneg Shabbats and other special occasions. Joan Wayne and Miriam Davids, Co-Presidents.

Brotherhood: The Brotherhood of Congregation Beth Israel is a men’s group dedicated to having fun and participating in casual activities together and simply getting to know one another on a deeper level. Some past activities have included father-children bowling, meeting at restaurants, sponsoring the Sunday School picnic, and going to Seattle Mariners games. Isaac Konikoff, President.

Committee chair contact numbers are listed in our monthly newsletter, The Shul Shofar