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Burt Abrams and his wife Barbara have been members since the early 70s and have 4 grandchildren and seven grandchildren. Burt’s numerous contributions to the synagogue include:  BTBJ president (twice), Men’s Club President, and pre-school committee chair. He is our Gabbi and has also served on the ritual, H&M and building committees. Burt served on the last search committee that brought us Rabbi Grife and is excited to help us find our next spiritual leader

Geri Abrams and her husband and have been members of BTBJ for over 40 years. Their adult children attended pre-school, religious school and were confirmed at BTBJ. Geri is honored to serve on the Rabbi search committee and feels strongly that our community needs a religious leader who will continue to perpetuate our Jewish values and culture. As a member of BTBJ, she has served as a member of the board of directors and a vice president of the sisterhood. She also spent many years on the religious committee and on the school committee. Geri’s professional background includes being the Director of Parks and Recreation for Springfield Township. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, she was a physical education teacher for the Chicago Park District. She then went onto the Skokie Park District where she supervised three different community centers. During her time in Skokie Geri was the Secretary of the Illinois Park and Recreation Society. She was also recognized for her innovative programming for senior citizens. Geri is retired but you may find her in the BTBJ office or attending Temple University senior classes.

Jeff Braverman and his wife, Jill, have been members of BTBJ for 5 years. They have 2 daughters, Alexis (6) and Rylie (3). Alexis graduated from the ECC and is now at Whitemarsh Elementary and Rylie currently attends the ECC. Jeff recently served on the BTBJ dues committee, is an active ECC parent and Jill is the current co-chair of the ECC Parent Support Group (PSG). Jeff works in project management for Lincoln Financial Group, is an avid Florida Gators fan, and loves to travel. Jeff is honored to be part of the search for BTBJ’s new Rabbi and is excited to see the positive effects it will have on our community.

Richard Gersh and his wife of 28 years, Meryl, have been members of BTBJ for the last 21 years.  Both of their children Dannah (26) and Aaron (23) have been part of BTBJ since Patsy’s class in the preschool through full day kindergarten with Bernice and Amy.  They have celebrated two B’nai Mitzvot and two confirmations.  Meryl has been president of the Preschool Parent Support Group and Sisterhood, chaired a gala fundraiser and the preschool committee, served on the Board of Directors and as vice-president of our shul.  Richard has been a board member, vice-president, and president of Men’s club, served on many gala/fundraising and strategic planning committees.  He has been on the Board of Directors for many years, served as Executive Vice-President and President of our synagogue.  Over the previous two years, Richard has served as Secretary and Executive Vice-President of BTBJ again.  Most recently, he has co-chaired the Covid task force.  Richard owns and runs a small company in Phoenixville that manufactures specialty silicones for the hearing health industry, loves basketball, The 76ers, and good food.  Richard is humbled and honored by the position of trust in being named chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee.  He is so excited to work with the other dedicated and talented members of this team and to find our next spiritual leader for our Kehillah.

Matthew Hoffman has been a member of BTBJ for 14 years, with his wife, Elyse, and their three children who have all celebrated many life cycle events here. Their daughters Maya (17), Emma (14) and Naomi (14) began their Jewish education at the BTBJ preschool and continued through day camp, religious school and their B’nai Mitzvah at BTBJ. Professionally, Matthew is an executive for a pop-culture consumer product company based in Blue Bell. He is grateful for the opportunity to be involved with the Rabbi Search Committee. Through its mission of tradition, community and spirituality, BTBJ has been a very important foundation for Matthew during both good and difficult times. He is honored to work with the committee and the BTBJ community to ensure a partnership with a Rabbi who can lead us with strong spiritual leadership and inclusiveness.

Mark Levy has been a member of BTBJ for 15 years where he and his wife, Mara, have celebrated the B’nei Mitvot their sons, Samuel (19) and Jonah (16),  During his time at BTBJ, Mark has served on the Religious School Committee, chairing it for 4 years and well as being a member of the board. Professionally, Mark is a social studies teacher at Lower Merion High School and the Program Director at Ramah Day Camp. Mark is honored to be part of this process and is enthusiastic to moving the spiritual, educational and professional leadership of the synagogue to an even more positive future

Beth Schwartzman has been a member of BTBJ for 16 years along with her husband Dave, where she has experienced many milestone events, all with the support and love from her BTBJ community. Her son Ari (13) had his Bris as well as his Bar Mitzvah at BTBJ and was the first infant at the ECC full day program at its inception. Her daughter Halle (17) has also been at BTBJ since pre-school and celebrated her Bat Mitzvah as well as Confirmation. This past year she volunteered at BTBJ in the religious school. Beth has held many roles in BTBJ community. She is active in Sisterhood, and done everything from running programs, to helping with membership and acting as interim President when called upon. She was a member of the pre-school committee.  As part of the BTBJ Board she has helped lead Social Action Programs and partnered with community groups to support them when needed. Professionally, Beth is a Registered Dietitian and works at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Research. Beth is honored to be a part of the search committee and looks forward to helping BTBJ identify the next spiritual leader that will help our amazing community continue to grow.

Marla Sones has been a member of BTBJ for over 30 years, joining the shul when her oldest son Matthew was in our preschool and when she experienced first-hand our warm and supportive synagogue community.  Both of her sons, Matthew and Jordan, (now a pediatric dentist and technology director, respectively) are BTBJ preschool graduates and have celebrated many milestones including their Bnai Mitzvah and confirmation at BTBJ.  Marla has been an active member of the Board and Executive Committee, a past president of the congregation, and has chaired or sat on virtually every committee of the synagogue, most recently revitalizing our congregational learning committee and program.  She chaired the synagogue’s Capital Campaign and oversaw the renovation of the shul, served as chair of the Torah Fund committee of our Sisterhood for many years, and has participated on the search committees for our current clergy.  In addition to other volunteer and community involvement, including founding the Wellness Community of Philadelphia (a support organization for cancer patients and their families), Marla was a member of the previous Bux-mont Federation Board where she chaired the Buxmont Jewish Community Fest, the Kallah, and the Kehillah (formerly Yahad).  Marla continues to serve on the Buxmont Kehillah committee.  Marla is a practicing attorney as well as a Jewish educator, a labor of love that she has enjoyed for the past 15 years. In addition to receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester, she received a teaching degree from Gratz College and graduated from Temple Law School.  Marla is a lifelong learner and has pursued post-graduate work in teaching at Arcadia University, Jewish learning through coursework at Gratz College and professional development workshops and seminars in Jewish Education, including a yearlong Jewish Education Technology Fellowship. Marla has been privileged to be a presenter at several of the annual Yom Limmud: Conference for Supplementary School Teachers and has led workshops for other Jewish educators. Marla looks forward to serving on the search committee and working with our congregational family through a process which leads us to our next spiritual leader.

Jeff Walters has been a member of BTBJ for over 35 years where he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation.   He and his wife, Sara, have 2 children, Andrew (15) and Jason (12). Sara has worked in the Early Childhood Center for 3 years.  His children attended BTBJ Pre-School and Religious School.  His son Andrew had his Bar Mitzvah in 2019, works as a teaching assistant in the Religious School, and will be confirmed next year.  Jason, who had his Brit Milah at BTBJ, will become a Bar Mitzvah in December.  Jeff was the Religious School Chairperson for 4 years and has been on the committee for 7 years.  He also served on the Board of Directors for 4 years.  He has been honored to be BTBJ’s shofar blower for the past several years.  He was a Hebrew School teacher and Junior Congregation leader for 5 years.  He was also a High Holiday Cantor for 10 years.  Professionally, Jeff owns and directs a large group psychology practice in Pottstown and Collegeville.  He is honored to be part of the Search Committee in order to help identify the right person to lead our congregation to great places.

Amy Wine has been a member of BTBJ for six years, along with her husband, Sandy, daughter, Talia, and sons, Asher and Jude. Amy is a religious school and preschool parent, serving on the Board of Directors, previously participating on the Ritual Committee, and now on the Congregational Learning Committee. Professionally, Amy is a School Psychologist, working for Central Bucks School District for the past eleven years. As a person who loves Jewish tradition, and is committed to incorporating aspects of ritual into everyday life, Amy is thrilled and honored to be participating on the Rabbinic Search Committee.

 

Michael Drossner is the President of the Board of Directors at Beth Tikvah - B’nai Jeshurun, where he will serve from May 2020 until May 2022.  Michael is married to his high school sweetheart, Mindy, and they have two children; Maya (16) is a junior at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and Brandon (12) is in the 7th grade at Colonial Middle School.  Michael and Mindy attended preschool together but became friends when they were religious school classmates at Ohen Shalom, a conservative congregation in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Mindy attended Michael’s bar mitzvah in 1989, and they attended confirmation class together a few years later (Michael did not go to Mindy’s bat mitzvah because he was on vacation with his family!) During the day, Michael is the principal of Drossner Law, PC, where he represents individuals and organizations under investigation by the government.  Michael has operated his own private law practice since 2008, with offices in Norristown and Center City Philadelphia.  Prior to that, Michael started his career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, representing indigent criminal defendants in their pursuit for justice.

Michael is passionate about community service.  In addition to serving on the BTBJ Board, he has served as an elected official on the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors since 2015.   Ever since his kids could hold a bat or play with a ball, Michael has helped lead various youth sports organizations in the community, including coaching Maya in softball and basketball through the Whitemarsh Girls Softball League and the Whitemarsh Girls Basketball League.  Michael continues to coach Brandon in basketball, through the Whitemarsh Youth Basketball League, and serves as both Brandon’s baseball coach and the President of Whitemarsh Little League, where they recently won the District 22 Championship!  Michael previously served as the President of the Villanova Law School Alumni Association in 2015 – 2016, on the Law School’s Board of Advisors, and on the executive committee for the J. Willard O’Brien American Inn of Court, an organization which teaches civility and ethics to members of the bench, the bar and to law students.  Michael is honored to help lead our Kehilla in the search for a new religious leader at BTBJ.

Sat, December 4 2021 30 Kislev 5782