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Clergy & Staff

Rabbi Ron Fish (Senior Rabbi) came to Temple Israel and Sharon on July 1, 2015.

The son of a Conservative rabbi, Rabbi Fish grew up in various communities across the United States, but his summer "home" for more than a decade was Camp Ramah in New England where he was a camper, counselor, unit head (rosh edah), and teacher. He also served as the Head of Education at Camp Ramah in Canada.

Graduating cum laude from Brandeis University in 1991, Rabbi Fish served as the gabbai (leader) of the egalitarian minyan and a member of the Hillel Board and Student Senate. Following his sophomore year, he participated in a mission to the former Soviet Union in which he and a group of students offered support to the Jewish communities of Estonia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Rabbi Fish was ordained in 1996 from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His third year of study was spent in Israel at the Beit Midrash of the Conservative Movement, now known as the Schecter Institute for Judaic Studies. He received awards in Jewish Theology for his work with Dr. Neil Gillman and in Israeli society for his work at Neve Hana, a home for Israeli children from dysfunctional families.

Preparation for the rabbinate also included work in Washington, D.C. with the Religious Action Center, where he lobbied the US government on issues of importance to the Jewish community.

During the course of his studies, Rabbi Fish was a member of two Jewish a cappella groups, Pizmon and Neranena. Twice during these years he was privileged to travel to Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria with Pizmon, where the group performed and reached out to the newly reborn Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.

Rabbi Fish has served as the president of the Norwalk Clergy Association and was the first president of the Rabbinic Council of Norwalk and Westport. He was the driving force behind a number of crucial communal projects such as Taste of Torah, an evening of learning involving the entire community. Rabbi Fish also headed the organization of a communal basic Judaism course involving rabbinic educators from the entire religious spectrum.

In 2006 Rabbi Fish successfully organized a synagogue trip to Israel during the second Lebanon War. The trip was the subject of a documentary on American Jews' experiences in encountering Israel called, Eyes Wide Open.

Currently, Rabbi Fish is working on a doctorate in Jewish Thought at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He can be found rooting for the Red Sox, biking, and playing basketball in the backyard whenever possible. Rabbi Fish is married to Leah Bieler, his wife and partner. Leah is a Jewish educator and scholar who brings her voice, humor, wisdom, and hospitality to Temple Israel and Sharon. She graduated from Northwestern University and has a Masters in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

They are the parents of two daughters and two sons. Get to know the whole family! They open their yard to the entire community for a warm, relaxed Shabbat afternoon experience, including Shabbat afternoon basketball. They hope their enjoyment of Shabbat, and Jewish life as a whole, will continue to be as contagious in their new home of Sharon as it was in Norwalk, CT.

On December 6, 2015, the Temple Israel community celebrated the installation of Ron Fish as their new Senior Rabbi. The video of that joyous day can be viewed here.

Rabbi Rachel Silverman (Rabbi) joined the Temple Israel community in July of 2016. Having grown up in Easton, Rabbi Silverman received an undergraduate degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, a Master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Davidson School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary.  She earned a Certificate in Organizational Management from Boston University’s Institute of Nonprofit Management and Leadership, in conjunction with Hebrew College. 

Prior to coming to Temple Israel, Rabbi Silverman served Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline as their Rabbi for Congregational Learning for five years. In that capacity, she was part of the founding team that built KICKS (KI Community Kabbalat Shabbat), an award-winning Friday evening prayer experience, and transformed the educational program. Before that, she served as the Associate Director of Prozdor and the Director of Makor, at Hebrew College. 

Over the years, Rabbi Silverman has demonstrated creativity and leadership in a variety of ways. While in rabbinical school, she created the “Real Men Marry Rabbis” t-shirt which caused an enthusiastic stir when it debuted and can be seen in the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. In 2010, she was a PresenTense fellow and founded Homegrown Judaica, an online store for Jewish artists. After learning how to “paint with fabric,” Rabbi Silverman partnered with an artist friend to design and sew the parochet (ark curtain) for the Washington Square Minyan in Brookline, MA. And during her days off from Temple Israel, she can usually be found in a pottery studio, throwing pots, plates, mugs, and other functional ceramic pieces.

Rabbi Silverman lives in Sharon, with her husband, their three children, and their yellow lab. Watching her kids grow, learn, and become a part of this community has been one of her greatest joys.  

She very much looks forward to getting to know you and welcoming you to the Temple Israel community! Please reach out to find a time to meet for coffee, to share a Shabbat meal, or to share your hopes for the Temple Israel community. (In these COVID times, we can meet outside or on Zoom.)

Karen Nahary (Executive Director)

Hello from Karen!

Karen comes to us from CJP where she was the Associate Director of Israel Engagement. There she built and maintained relationships with over 100 constituencies both locally in Boston and abroad. Additionally, she was responsible for major recruiting, marketing, and leadership programs, coordinated weeklong trips, worked closely with CJP volunteers in leadership roles, engaged with 2,400 individuals in community wide initiatives, oversaw staff, and managed multiple grant programs. Prior to that role and also at CJP, she was Associate Director and Senior Program & Development Office for Young Adults. Before CJP, Karen was the Director of Regional Services and Student Engagement for the Hillel Council of New England and before that was a Portfolio Administrator for State Street Corporation. Karen has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Keene State College and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership as well as a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from Southern New Hampshire University. She was chosen to take part in the inaugural Next Gen Jewish Federation Fellowship from Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). 

Karen grew up in Southern Connecticut, fluent in Hebrew thanks to being the second of three children to Israeli immigrant parents and a third generation Holocaust survivor.  She attended Ezra Academy and was a member of B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge. In high school, she served as Religious Education Vice President and Regional President of the Hanefesh region of United Synagogue Youth (USY).  She has especially fond memories of her time studying abroad in Rome, Italy.  She is particularly proud of her work as a volunteer with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters where she had a Little Sister for four years, and is still volunteering in the MAGIC program for the past two years. Although she will never forget her time as a Resident Assistant at Keene State College and a Residence Director at Southern New Hampshire University, nothing was quite as formative as the over twenty trips she has led to Israel in the course of her career.

In her free time, Karen enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, watching movies, walking, hiking and has recently started biking again. If you dare, ask her about skydiving and her two jumps! She is thrilled to be joining the Temple Israel community and getting to know all of its members.

Leisa Glass, Director of Early Childhood Education

Leisa comes to Temple Israel with a wealth of experience and glowing recommendations. Her experience, credentials and early childhood development expertise are a great match to foster Hertz Nursery School as a warm, nurturing, innovative and exceptional institution for our youngest learners.

Leisa graduated from UMass Boston with a degree in education. When her children were young, she ran her own home daycare for eight years. She then became a preschool teacher, teaching two-year-olds and running the enrichment program at the Striar Hebrew Academy in Sharon for ten years. For the past three years, she was the three year-old lead teacher at the Maimonides ECC. During the past twelve summers, she worked at Camp Grossman, where she ran the Archery program.

Leisa lives in Sharon with her husband Mark and her children—David, just graduating Brandeis; and daughter Shari, just graduating Maimonides School. In her free time she likes to draw, cook, and spend time with her family. She looks forward to meeting you and becoming part of the Temple Israel and Hertz community.

As an experienced educator, Leisa is passionate about helping children discover their world through creative play, experiential learning, and cooperative work. “It is important to me to ignite a love of learning and help each child develop a positive sense of self. In my work, I strive to teach the whole child, challenging and inspiring them intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. I am looking forward to working in a preschool in which I can collaborate with and learn from others while offering my extensive experience and unique skills.”

Ella Levy, Director of Youth Education and Programming

Dr. Levy was born in Jerusalem, Israel. In Israel she attended Wingate Institute for Physical Education. She completed her BA degree in Physical Education at Florida International University (FIU) while fulfilling CAJE requirements to become a Hebrew and Judaic studies teacher.

Throughout the years, Dr. Levy have created, developed, and implemented many formal and informal Jewish Educational programs, and inspired and facilitated the Jewish educational journey of many students of diverse age groups. She was an active Board member of the Central Agency for Jewish Education in Miami and a member of the Office of the President for the Hebrew Alliance Teachers. In 2004, Dr. Levy earned the reputable Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. In 2005 Dr. Levy presented The Effectiveness of Incorporating Music in Teaching Hebrew and Judaic at the Network Research in Jewish Education (NRJE) conference at Brandeis University.  In 2006, she earned the Torah Aura Award in Curriculum and Administration. Dr. Levy holds a Master and Doctoral degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University. She is specializing in Organizational and Educational Leadership. Dr. Levy also holds a Principal’s and a Jewish Family Educator’s License from the National Board of License for Teachers and Principals of Jewish Schools in North America. She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and volunteered as a Guardian ad Litem.

Gila Yudewitz, Family Educator

Gila has fallen in love with the Temple Israel community. She loves leading Tot Shabbats, playing at Hertz, and practicing Tfillot with 5th grade. Gila's goal is to infuse love and enthusiasm for Judaism into each of her students while showing them how to use their passions for Tikun Olam (repairing the world) and spreading joy.

Office & Business Office Staff

David Landry, Accounting Services
David has been with us since the fall of 2017. He had his own Accounting Services company for 30 years. Having spent 10+ years at Congregation Mishkan Tefila performing accounting services and budget management, he semi retired when CMT relocated from Chestnut Hill. David lives in Plymouth with his wife Sandra. They have 2 daughters, 2 granddaughters and 2 grand puppies. He is a Vietnam Veteran.

Ana Marusich-Zanor, Accounts Receivable & Administration
Ana joined Temple Israel after many years in retail. In addition to her work, she's also a self-employed artist, specializing in portraits of people's pets, and is passionate about dog rescue. She lives in Stoughton with her husband of 25 years, four dogs, two cats, and a snake.
Contact Ana Marusich-Zanor.

Ari Rogers, Communications Manager
Ari joins Temple Israel after ten years in the fields of graphic design, retail and health/wellness coaching. When not working, she can be found immersed in her two passions – fitness and family. As a current Sharon resident, you will often see her running around Lake Massapoag. Ari lives with her husband Ben, her children Emmett and Willow and two cats.
Contact Ari Rogers.

Clergy & Staff Emeriti

Hazzan Steven W. Dress (Cantor Emeritus) was attracted to religious life and hazzanut as a protégé of Hazzan Charles Lew, z"l, in Medford, MA. Commissioned as hazzan by the Cantors Assembly, Cantor Dress was awarded a Bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, MA and a Master's Degree in Judaic Studies from Hebrew College, Brookline, MA. He also studied Judaica, Music, and Pastoral Counseling at a variety of universities and ulpanim in New England and Israel, including the Fuchsberg Center's Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Cantor Dress studied voice while expanding musical repertoire for nearly 18 years under the guidance of Hazzan Gregor Shelkan, z"l, Newton, MA.

Cantor Dress began serving Temple Israel, Sharon, MA on August 1, 1991. For nine years he previously served Temple Am David, Warwick, RI. He is widely regarded for retaining teenagers in the synagogue setting. Temple Israel's numerous Torah Reading Corps, and its Adult and Youth Choral groups developed under Cantor Dress' direction. Cantor Dress prepared approximately 1,700 b'nai mitzvah during his career.

A lyrical tenor, Hazzan Dress is a baal-nusah in the Eastern European style. His CD recordings and educational cantata video production, contributed to United Synagogue Solomon Schechter Cultural Arts Awards presented to Temple Israel. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Mentor Award by the American Association of University Women, and the Kehillah Schechter Academy Partner Award. Cantor Dress was honored by Temple Israel upon completing his first decade of service, and in April, 2012 he was jointly honored by the synagogue and his New England Region Cantors Assembly colleagues marking his 30th year in the cantorate.

Cantor Dress organized and participated in many New England Region Cantors Assembly concerts. He has served multiple three-year terms on the Cantors Assembly National Executive Council, served as New England's Cantors Assembly Chairman (Conservative Movement), and is a Past President of the New England Board of Cantors (Commissioned Conservative, Orthodox, Reform Cantors). He has lectured on aspects of Jewish liturgy and its potential influence on human behaviors and relationships. During winter 2008, he was the guest hazzan-scholar in residence during a sabbatical leave at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, NC. He has also volunteered annually as Cantor-in-Residence at NERUSY's Summer Encampment since 1988. A former activist for Soviet Jewry, Cantor Dress advocates for the chronically mentally and physically disabled. Cantor Dress served on the international Board of Directors of the Masorti Foundation as its National Chairman of Israel's B'nai Mitzvah preparatory program that serves profoundly special needs children. He voluntarily teaches Torah cantillation at the Kehillah Schechter Academy. Cantor and Myrna Dress periodically lead inspiring trips to Israel celebrating life cycle events and advancing worthy causes. Cantor Dress organized and facilitated nusah practicum sessions lecturing at USCJ and USY National Conventions. The USCJ Review, 2006 published excerpts of Cantor Dress' Convention paper entitled: "K-Date: the Embrace of Keva and Kavannah in the Conservative Synagogue". Cantor Dress is an American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) activist, and is a member of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains and The Phoenix Society.

In the spring following Cantor Dress’ 26th year of service at TI, the Jewish Theological Seminary conferred an honorary doctoral degree (honoris causa) during a NYC convocation. Since his transition to Boca Raton, FL, Cantor Dress has returned to TI for special services and functions, and has happily officiated at weddings of former students at venues around the country. Cantor & Myrna Dress are proud of their daughter, Melissa, a diabetes nurse educator in San Diego, and their son, Jonathan, a Chicago architect who lives with daughter-in-law Ilana and grandsons Isaac (“Yitzi”) & David.

Listen to Cantor Dress's Prayer Melody and Religious School Recordings.

Celebrate Cantor Dress, April 1-2 2017
During the weekend of April 1-2, Temple Israel honored Cantor Steven and Myrna Dress, which included special Shabbat services and a festive kiddush and, on Sunday, April 2nd, a musical program and a celebratory brunch.

Contact Cantor Dress.

 

Harold Lew (Cantor Emeritus)

Deborah Astor (Executive Director Emerita)

Olavo Gomes (Senior Custodian Emeritus)

Wed, June 16 2021 6 Tammuz 5781