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Temple Shalom Board of Trustees


President – Frederick Kraus *
Vice-President – Alyssa Brown *
Vice-President – Shelah Feiss *
Vice-President – Judy Levin-Charns*
Vice-President – Andrew Molinsky*
Vice-President - Sarah Ruderman Wilensky*
Treasurer - Eric Sprung*
Financial Secretary – Carol Berlin*
Recording Secretary - Abigail Yelensky
Corresponding Secretary – Lovelynn Jensen
* Members of the Executive Committee

Board information page


Michelle Alkon
Ofer Ben-Gai
Mark Blecher
Edmund Case
Aaron Davis
Joshua Gundersheimer
Sharon Herrick
Seth Jaffe
Will Korn
Elizabeth Newstadt
Valerie Pirri
Alyssa Saginaw


Laura Scharf
Rebecca Schulman Havemeyer
Howard Sholkin
James Shulman
Robyn Winik
Mona Yaguda-Ross

Trustees ex-officio

Past President – Scott Birnbaum *
Past President - Jo-Ann Suna

Updates from Your Board of Trustees

Executive Committee Members

Fred Kraus

As president of Temple Shalom, Fred partners with the clergy, senior staff, and lay leaders to set and execute on the Temple’s strategic priorities, and to ensure the Temple best serves its community of members. Professionally, Fred leads product management at a software company. He and his wife Jaimie live in West Newton with their eighth grader Alissa, fifth grader Lucas, and dog Zoey.

Carol Berlin

Carol and her husband Chuck joined Temple Shalom over 20 years ago.  They immediately became involved with the Social Action Committee.  Their children were involved with the religious school and SHAFTY, as well as NFTY, Northeast.  Following her retirement, Carol taught Hebrew at Temple Shalom. Carol and Chuck traveled on synagogue trips to Israel and Europe, as well as the Civil Rights trip to the South.  She co-chairs the Tzedek Team, about which she is passionate, is in her third year working as the Financial Secretary, and currently serves as one of the Executive Vice-Presidents.  In her spare time she serves on the board of the Newton Food Pantry, and coordinates all of their food drives.

Scott Birnbaum

As Immediate Past President, Scott is chair of the nominating committee, responsible for recruiting and nominating new officers and trustees. He was president of the Temple from 2016 to 2019. He is an attorney and lives in Waban with his wife Lynn, a life-long Temple member, and his Great Dane Lucy.

Alyssa Brown

Over the years, Alyssa has been very involved in Temple leadership starting with the Nursery School Parents Committee, then with FwYC and most recently serving on the Board and the Executive Committee. Alyssa shares responsibility for both the Lifelong Learning and Staff/HR portfolios. Professionally, Alyssa works in the Consumer Products Industry in Planning and Analytics. She and her husband Garrett live in West Newton with their three kids, Jonah, Julia and Clara and their cat, Lucy.

Shelah Feiss

Shelah, her husband Mark Likoff, and son Daniel joined Temple Shalom in 2002. She has served as co-chair of the first iteration of the temple's community organizing committee and co-chair of the social action committee.  Currently, Shelah is on the Executive Committee, where she serves as liaison to the music committee. Shelah and her husband met in law school and are both practicing attorneys.She has been in practice going on 40 years, for the last 30 years specializing in family law.  Her son is in the Navy, working in the nuclear propulsion program, assigned to an aircraft carrier. They love to travel, ski, hike, and read. 

Judy Levin-Charns

Andy Molinsky

Andy is a member of the Executive Committee at Temple Shalom focusing on engagement.  Professionally, he is a professor, speaker, and trainer in the field of organizational psychology and global business. He lives with his wife Jen and their kids Alice, Ben, and dog Josie.

Sarah Ruderman Wilensky

As a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, Sarah heads our advancement initiatives. In her professional life Sarah is the Director of Organizational Partnerships at PJ Library, part of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. She loves to cook (and eat), read, spend time at the beach and listen to live music. Sarah lives in Newton with her spouse, 2 children and cat named Brisket.

Eric Sprung

As treasurer of Temple Shalom, Eric is responsible for the Temple Shalom budget.  Eric works in partnership with the finance committee presenting an annual budget to the Temple Board.  The partnership among Eric, the finance committee, executive director, and board ensures our budget reflects Temple priorities and is maintained throughout the year.  Eric and his wife Aimee live in Waban with his 9th grade son Alex, seventh grade son Noah, and new puppy named Penny.

Additional Committees

Budget and Finance
Oversees the management of the finance, prepares the annual budget and recommends dues.

Caring Community
Organizes volunteer opportunities for our members to reach out in times of joy and sadness.

Deepens the engagement of congregants and prospective members throughout in synagogue life.

Maintains and operates the real estate and property of the congregation and supervises the purchase of all fine arts, furnishings and supplies.

Interfaith Connection
Engages and supports interfaith families and members exploring Judaism through special programming and individual support.

Works with the cantor to enhance the appreciation of music in our worship and in our secular activities through music programs and concerts.

Religious Practices
Provides guidance and assistance to the Temple’s clergy for services and other religious practices.

SHACHARIT Parent Advisory Committee
Collaborates with the K-6 education staff to support the SHACHARIT program and advise the professional leadership about ways to make our K-6 program most successful

Social Action
Organizes projects and activities focusing on Tikkun Olam - repairing the world.

Sustaining Membership
Raises additional donations from the Temple community to help support the Temple's programming and services. 

Fri, April 16 2021 4 Iyar 5781