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Simchat Torah Honorees 2021

Our Temple Israel community is stronger because of the devotion and generosity of our volunteers. Thank You!

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Beth Lappen
Professional Experience: Beth spent over 35 years in commercial banking, retiring in 2012 to care for her aging parents.

Family: Beth and Michael moved to Sharon in 2006 and missed no time in joining Temple Israel.  Together with their two sons (Josh and Zack), Temple Israel became their new Mishpacha.

History at Temple Israel: Thanks to the outreach of many Temple members, Beth soon found herself immersed in Temple activities,  whether it was Sisterhood events, Temple fundraisers or in the Temple kitchen (her favorite place for community-building).  She is a past co-president of Sisterhood, co-chair of Hessed, and has served on the Executive Board, and the Temple’s Board of Trustees for many years.  She is a past Vice President of Education, Jewish Communal Life and Finance, and is currently Chair of the House Committee and sits on the MAC in an ex-officio capacity.

She’s known for seeing a need, quietly stepping in and getting things done.  As COVID began to escalate in the state, she worked with the MAC to put together a PPE plan, and purchased  cases of hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and disinfecting equipment so that we could keep the Hertz and the Religious schools open during COVID.  

Once the decision was made to have remote High Holiday Services, Beth also set up a team to run a drive-by distribution of High Holiday machzorim, so that that our congregants could participate in services.  

Deeper Personal Meaning of Temple Israel Involvement: Beth reminds us that TI’s legal name is Jewish “Community” Centre (of Sharon Inc) and she paraphrased a thought from her one time mentor Bruce Moyer, who like Beth is a past President of the JCC, stating that here at TI “Community is our middle name”. Beth’s wants us all to know that her life is better because she is a part of the Temple Israel community.

Jeff Weitzenkorn
Professional Experience: Following graduation from NYU, Jeff served in the US Air Force, initially as a Radar Intercept Director, and later as an Intelligence Officer in Saigon, Vietnam. In the following five years, he served at various German air bases and performed duties in the Air Force Security Service. In 1977, he was assigned to the Foreign Technology Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio as a Special Security Officer. 

Jeff completed his MBA in Finance & Management at Wright State University and moved to Boston where he worked for John Hancock as Director of Military Marketing for 10 years. From there, he worked for the RMV as a Business Support Supervisor, until retiring in 2008.  He ultimately retired in 1996 as a Lieutenant Colonel with over 27 years of service to our nation.

Family:Jeff met his wife Judy in 1978 at a wine and cheese party given by a local Jewish singles group in Dayton. Three weeks later, they were engaged. They were happily married for 36 years until her passing in 2015. Their son, Scot, is Jeff’s pride and joy, and he and his partner Cat live in Randolph, MA.

History at Temple Israel: Jeff and Judy joined Temple Israel in 1989. Jeff began attending minyan, morning and evening in order to say Kaddish for his father that died in 1991. Even after eleven years, he continued to attend daily: “it was my reason for getting out of bed in the morning and helped to keep my head on straight". After Judy passed away, he resumed his daily attendance at Minyan which has become the anchor of his day. He voluntarily took on the responsibility of Minyan and with the support of his mentor, Rabbi Fish, has become even more comfortable in this role and looks forward to continuing for many years to come. Jeff is also active in the TI Brotherhood.

Deeper Personal Meaning of Temple Israel Involvement: His motivation for this involvement is twofold. Jeff witnessed his father, Siegfried, attending daily Minyan to say Kaddish for Jeff’s grandmother. Even though Siegfried wasn’t a davener or leiner, he did what he could to make the minyan accessible for the community (opening doors, preparing coffee and bagels, making phone calls). Both Jeff and his brother Neil are following in Siegfried’s footsteps in their dedication to the daily Minyanim. His second motivation is a result of the lack of respect and disregard Jeff felt as a young person at Minyan. Instead of giving up on this tradition, Jeff has developed his mission to welcome newcomers, especially young people, and nurture the environment by offering opportunities to participate.

Medical Advisory Committee

Mark Popovsky, M.D.
Professional Experience: Mark’s career began at  the Mayo Clinic, where he served on its staff and held a faculty appointment at Mayo Medical School. Departing for Boston in 1985, he joined the clinical staff of the Beth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where he continues to teach. He held concurrent positions at the American Red Cross Biomedical Services of New England as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer. Starting a “new” career in 2000, he became a scientific executive at the Haemonetics Corporation, filling that role until 2015. In 2015 he joined as a principal in a Boston-based biotechnology startup where he currently serves as Chief Medical Officer. He was appointed by the  Bush administration as leader on an  AIDS mission to Nigeria in 2003; by the World Health Organization on humanitarian missions to the Dominican Republic, Panama  and Honduras; by President Obama as a scientific advisor from 2009-2014, and by the Trump administration as a member of Operation Warp Speed in 2020. However, he is most proud of being recognized for teaching excellence.

Family: Mark married the woman of his dreams, Andrea, 40 years ago. Their daughter, Erica, is married to Dan Blank and resides in Chicago, where she is on staff of Northwestern Lurie Children’s Hospital in pediatric emergency medicine. The “star” of the family is 18-month old, Lily!

History at Temple Israel: Mark has been an active member of the Brotherhood for 15 years, serving in many leadership roles.  For TI, he served on the board of directors, has co-chaired the High Holiday Task Force, served on the Shabbat Task Force, and is a Hessed volunteer. Currently, he serves on the Rabbinic Search Committee and the Medical Advisory Committee.

Deeper Personal Meaning of Temple Israel Involvement: “Temple Israel is my second home, the place where I have found community and friendships, as well as a chance to be part of the pursuit of tikkun olam.

Heather Boxerman, M.D.
Professional Experience: Dr. Heather Boxerman is the Medical Director at Beth Israel Lahey Primary Care in Sharon, where she has practiced internal medicine for over 18 years. She is an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine where she teaches competency-based apprenticeship in primary care to second-year students.  She is on the board of the Tufts Medical Alumni Association as well as being a tutor at School on Wheels, a non-profit aimed at providing academic tutoring to children experiencing homelessness.

Family: Heather is married to Dr. Jerrold Boxerman who is a neuroradiologist at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School and they have three daughters, Sophia who is in her first year of medical school and twins Eliana and Isabel who are sophomores in college.

History at Temple Israel: The Boxermans have been members of Temple Israel for the last 19 years.  Their daughters received their Hebrew school education and had their B’nei Mitzvot at Temple Israel.

Deeper Personal Meaning of Temple Israel Involvement: Heather says that it has been an honor and a pleasure to work with her three colleagues on the Medical Advisory Committee during the last 18 months, and that she has been inspired, entertained, and has learned much throughout this experience.

Rafi Kieval, M.D.

Professional Experience: Dr. Rafi Kieval has been a rheumatologist in Brockton and the Boston Medical Center for over 30 years.  He did his training in Boston and in 1989 moved to Sharon for friends, the South Area Solomon Schechter Day School, and Temple Israel.  


Family: Rafi is married to Nadine Evans and they have three children: Jacob and his wife Dani, who live in Los Angeles; Adam who lives in Brighton; and Sarah and her fiancé, Ari, who live in Somerville.


History at Temple Israel: Rafi has served on the Temple Israel Board, in roles such as financial secretary, Ritual Committee Chair, Co-chair of the Cantor Dress Gala Fundraiser and, more recently on the Medical Advisory and Rabbi Search Committees. He also enjoys leading services and reading Torah.


Deeper Personal Meaning of Temple Israel Involvement: Temple Israel has been an important part of the Kieval Family's life in so many ways. Rafi strongly believes in Jewish continuity and feels that Temple Israel has a crucial role in helping to maintain that as well as in providing a fulfilling Jewish experience which he needs in his life.


Allie Hershey, APRN, AOCNP
Professional Experience: Allie received her undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Sociology at Brandeis University. She then studied nursing at Yale University School of Nursing and graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing in 2012. She is board certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. She has been working in hematology/oncology since 2012, and specifically with patients with breast cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute since 2014. She received her Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP) certification in 2013. Her clinical interests include patient education, particularly chemotherapy teaching. To this end, she has developed a comprehensive set of teaching aids for patients with breast cancer to further their understanding of breast cancer therapies. She also serves as the Associate Clinical Director for the Breast Oncology Center at DFCI, and is involved on advisory boards and speakers’ bureaus for Sanofi Genzyme Corp., Research to Practice, and AstraZeneca Oncology.

Family: Allie moved to Sharon, MA in October 2019. She, her husband, Noah, and their 2-year-old son, Emmett, joined Temple Israel in February 2020, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their family is expecting the arrival of another baby in March 2022!

Temple Israel involvement: Immediately upon joining the congregation, Allie became involved in the Medical Advisory Committee. She also recently began volunteering with Shorashim, the parent-led group for fun family programing at TI. Emmett currently attends Hertz preschool. The Hershey family is thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant Jewish community and have the opportunity to build lifelong relationships.

Sun, May 22 2022 21 Iyyar 5782