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Simchat Torah Honorees 2023

The TI Executive Committee is very excited to share the news about our Simchat Torah honorees.
Our tradition at Temple Israel is to honor members of our community who have volunteered in exceptional ways that lead, support, and enrich our TI community. This year, the TI Executive Committee has selected two rightfully deserved members to be honored as Kallat Torah and Kallat Beresheet:

Jane Taubenfeld Cohen & Jess Yudewitz
Our Temple Israel family will have an opportunity to celebrate these honorees during Simchat Torah on Sunday morning, October 8th.

We are kindly asking for donations towards a celebratory luncheon in honor of our Simchat Torah honorees. If you would like to contribute to the luncheon or make a donation to a Temple Israel fund of your choice in their honor, please click below.

Register for the Luncheon        Make a Donation in honor of Jane & Jess

About our Honorees

Jane Taubenfeld Cohen is a leadership coach and consultant in the Jewish day school field in North America. She also works as the Senior Mentor of DSLTI (the Day School Leadership Training Institute) and as a mentor and instructor for You Lead, Jane is the former Head of the South Area Solomon Schechter Day School and has worked for both the YU School Partnership and Prizmah. In her work as a volunteer for Temple Israel, she has served on the search that brought us Rabbi Fineberg, is on the present Second Clergy Search Committee, Co-Chairs the LDN Committee and has taught a leadership development course. Jane and her husband, David, have lived in Sharon and been members of Temple Israel for 37 years, They are the proud parents of Sara (and Mike) Onufer and Rebecca Cohen and the devoted grandparents of Dalia and Hadas Onufer.

I have been a member of a Conservative Synagogue for my entire life, primarily centered around being a shul goer. I am committed to Rabbi Fineberg’s leadership in our shul and want to help ensure that we have the infrastructure and expertise to support his growth and the growth of our community. We have already come a long way and I think the potential is enormous.

Jessica (Jess) Yudewitz wears many hats: she is a mom, a wife, a friend, daughter, a sister, a professional and -- in her spare time -- a volunteer at Temple Israel. She grew up in Newton, MA and attended Solomon Schechter and Gann Academy. She spent 12 summers at Camp Yavneh where she met Efraim Yudewitz, the love of her life, when she was merely 15. She attended Barnard College and after a brief stint in NYC, returned to Mass to attend Northeastern University School of Law.

In 2012, Jess and Efraim moved to Sharon and live here happily with their two daughters, Mia (10), Lana (8), and their dog Summer. Jess now works as an HR Director at Point32Health, the parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan. Together with her family, Jess is lucky enough to spend summers at Crane Lake Camp in the Berkshires where Efraim is the Director. When they have a free minute, Jess and Efraim k’vell as they see their daughters embraced by the magic of Jewish summer camp.

Jess and her family became members of Temple Israel in 2014. Mia and Elana have been enthusiastic members of the Hebrew School community since kindergarten, where they are learning alongside their aunt and incredible religious school educator Gila Yudewitz. Jess joined the Board of Trustees in 2020. She also served on the Senior Rabbi Search Committee from 2022 - 2022. This past year, Jess also had the pleasure of serving alongside Ravin Davidoff as the Co-Chair of the Second Clergy Search Committee. Jess is now a member of the Strategic Planning Committee that is leading a year-long initiative to help establish a mission, vision, and values for the Temple. Jess has learned many valuable lessons from her work at the Temple and is most grateful for the friendships she has made along the way.

Temple Israel has played many important roles in our life over the last 9 years. It is a place where we can bring our children and teach them to love Judaism, to learn the traditional prayers and songs, and most importantly to learn Jewish values that can be incorporated into their daily lives. It is a place where we have built community and made intergenerational friendships. Over the pandemic it saved us. The empty parking lot was where my daughters learned to ride their bikes and we spent countless hours on zoom calls while the girls played in the Woodland Wilderness. At Temple Israel, I have found mentors, learned leadership skills, been challenged intellectually, and grown in ways I could not have imagined. This is a community that I do not take for granted, and I am so excited to see it continue to grow and evolve under the leadership of Rabbi Fineberg and the dedicated Lay Leadership stewarded by Debra Getz and Harris Grandberg.

Service Times & Rituals

Erev Shemini Atzeret – Friday, October 6
Evening Services, 6:15pm, Sanctuary & on Zoom
Kiddush in the sukkah without the blessing l’eisheiv basukkah.

Home Ritual

Light Shabbat/Festival candles at home with two blessings (l'hadlik ner shel shabbat v’shel yom tov and shehechiyanu) at 6:00pm.

It is customary to light a long-burning or yahrtzeit candle as well (without a blessing) so fire will be available to transfer for lighting candles on Saturday (6:58pm) evening or for cooking on Saturday night - Sunday night.

Shemini Atzeret – Saturday, October 7
Morning Services, 9am, Sanctuary & on Zoom

Other approximate times are as follows:
9:45am, Hallel
10:05am, Torah service.
10:45am, Yizkor
Musaf includes tefillat Geshem, beginning our daily prayers for rain
Mincha Service, 5:00pm, Sanctuary & on Zoom

Erev Simchat Torah – Saturday, October 7
6:00pm Ma’ariv and Hakafot (Sanctuary & on Zoom)
Hakafot will include dancing outside (weather and light permitting) and then move inside for a Torah parade around the sanctuary for the remaining hakafot.
Following hakafot Rabbi Fineberg will lead a “Torah Tour” and a special blessing for children and Torah learners of all ages
Following the Torah tour we will have an extra sweet Torah treat- a sundae bar!

Home Ritual
Festival candles are lit at home from an existing flame at, or after, 6:55pm with the blessings l’hadlik ner shel yom tov and shehecheyanu. 
Festival kiddush is recited to begin the evening meal. Do not eat in a sukkah.
Simchat Torah – Sunday, October 8
Morning Services, 9am, Sanctuary & on Zoom
Other approximate times are as follows:
9:45am, Hallel
10:05am, Hakafot (dancing with the Torah)
We are thrilled to honor Jane Taubenfeld Cohen and Jess Yudewitz as our Kallat Torah and Kallat Beresheit - our Simchat Torah honorees.
5:55pm Mincha and Maariv in our Sanctuary & on Zoom
Havdallah is at 6:56pm

Upcoming Events

Fri, December 1 2023 18 Kislev 5784