Kerem Shalom is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Board of Directors is responsible for temple governance including budget, staffing and long-range planning. Board members are all congregants and are all volunteers. Most Board members serve for two years. Board members for the coming year are voted in by the congregation at the June Annual Meeting. The Board meets monthly, usually (but not always) on the third Monday of each month at 7:15 PM. All congregants are welcome to attend board meetings. Please check the calendar to confirm the meeting date if you would like to join us.
The Board cannot function without the participation of the membership at large. You do not need any special knowledge or skills to become a Board Member -- just a commitment to Kerem Shalom, the willingness to be part of the governance process and a readiness to develop new, rewarding relationships. Please be in touch with one or more Board members who are involved in areas of interest to you, and volunteer to serve on her or his committee. Committees include Membership, House, Spiritual Life, Finance, Communications, Education, Family Education, Adult Programs and Social Action. Your involvement will be a rewarding experience for you and and a meaningful contribution to our Kerem Shalom community.
If you have any questions or are interested in joining the board or participating on one of our committees, please call our temple administrator, Jessie Busiek, at 978-369-1223 or email her at: ksadminkeremshalomorg.
Kerem Shalom Board
President: Cherry Muse
Cherry and her husband, David Orlinoff, have been members of Kerem Shalom since 1978. In recent years she has been involved with the Rabbi Search Committee, the celebrations around Rabbi Darby’s installation, Get Connected!—with a special focus on developing a volunteer data base and the new member dinner—and fundraising. In her professional life, Cherry has practiced law and mediation and worked at various nonprofit organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, YouthBuild USA, The Wellness Community and Public Conversations Project. Her nonprofit experience includes program development and implementation, fundraising and executive leadership. Cherry and David have three daughters who grew up in Kerem Shalom. Their first grandchild was named at a Shabbat service in November 2015. Cherry and David live in Waltham.
President Emertis: Marty Plotkin
Marty and his family have been members of Kerem Shalom since 1995. He is known to many of us for his musical contributions – at Shabbat services as a member of the Mostly Music ensemble, on Kol Nidre with the Tiferet String Quartet, and at festivals with the Kerem Shirim klezmer band. Marty has been active in synagogue leadership for many years, most recently on the Board as Vice President for Spiritual Life. He was also Chair of the Rabbinic Search Committee that brought Rabbi Darby Leigh to Kerem Shalom.
Co-Treasurer: David Matias
David joined Kerem Shalom in 2011 after spending 20 years in the audience at High Holiday services with this mother, a long-time member. After completing the Me’ah program, David determined that it was time to become a full-fledged member of KS. He quickly became involved in the KS community and joined the Interim Rabbi Search Committee. David brings tremendous professional skills to his role as Co-Treasurer. He is a Certified Public Accountant and runs an investment management firm located in Concord Center. He also teaches management seminars in Finance and Risk Management to Fortune 100 companies.
Co-Treasurer: Ted Barten
Ted and his wife, Iris Werbalowsky Barten, have been members of KS since 2013. Iris and Ted have found KS to be very welcoming for interfaith couples. They both enjoy Rabbi Darby’s dynamic and moving services, the beautiful music provided by KS Cantor Rosalie and the KS musicians, and have participated in a number of the adult ed offerings. Ted is an environmental engineering, who has served on Boards in his technical field and for the Deaconess Abundant Life Communities, based in Concord. Iris and Ted live in Bolton, where they enjoy walking, gardening and the sunsets over Mount Wachusett.
Member at Large: Jenifer Goldman Fraser
Jenifer Goldman Fraser and her family joined Kerem Shalom in 2010, upon moving to the neighboring town of Harvard. Jenifer participates in temple life in many different ways: as a member of the Rabbi Search and Spiritual Life Committees and, in 2016, is an "Ambassador" to new members for the Welcoming Committee. She volunteers at the High Holidays and events throughout the year and participated in the Hebrew College course offerings of both Parenting Through a Jewish Lens and Parenting Your Teen Through A Jewish Lens held at KS. Her two older children became Bar/Bat Mitzvah at KS, her younger daughter has been in KS Hebrew School since Kindergarten, and her teenage children are active in KS's high school programs, Shevet Achim and Rosh Hodesh. Jenifer was an ardent advocate for bringing Shevet Achim (unity) to KS. In Spring 2016, Jenifer volunteered to be a liaison between KS and Temple Beth El in Sudbury to do outreach to families about Beth El's Israel-Boston exchange program for teens (known as HiBuR). Jenifer is a developmental psychologist and lives with her husband, Gus, and their three children currently age 17, 15, and 9.
Adult Programming: Scott Sancetta
Communication and Outreach: Jill Mirman
Jill has been a member of Kerem Shalom since 1997. Her son, Sam, was Bar Mitzvah in 2002 and she was in the adult Bat Mitzvah group in 2005. Jill works as a teacher coach in Boston and other cities in the Northeast. She is originally from Norfolk, Virginia, and now lives in East Arlington.
Development: Mark Stein
Mark has been a member of Kerem Shalom for more than twenty years and is continuing in another term as a KS Board member. He has previously served as Clerk/Member at Large and more recently as VP Development. During the past several years, Mark has played a critical role in enhancing Kerem Shalom’s fundraising capacity, developing a culture of charitable giving that is more in line with synagogues. Mark’s expertise in international corporate law has been a great asset for the KS Board. He lives in Concord with his wife Rosa, and their two daughters.
Development: Matt Daniel
Matt has been a member of Kerem Shalom for six years and is continuing for another term as a Kerem Shalom Board member. After many years of “temple-shopping”, Matt and his wife Val found the inclusive culture of Kerem Shalom ideal for their interfaith family. Matt is a corporate lawyer with a life science company, and enjoys coaching youth baseball and soccer. He lives in Bedford with wife, Val, and their two boys, Riley and Parker.
Education & Family Education: Carol Leandro
Carol and her family have been Kerem Shalom members for many years. Carol is a long-time volunteer, including being a room parent, serving on the Education Committee, the Family Education Committee, and providing coffee and baked goods to all on Mitzvah Day. Carol continues on the Board representing both Education and Family Education.
Family Education: Susan Deysher
Susan and her husband, Doug Cohen, joined Kerem Shalom in 2008, a few years after their oldest child was born. After visiting many synagogues, they were excited to find a warm, welcoming, and supportive community for their interfaith family. Their two children currently attend Hebrew school at KS and participate in many of the synagogue's family education activities. Susan joined the combined Education & Family Education committee in 2014 and was asked to join the Board in 2015. Prior to starting a family, she worked in educational software research and development at an organization focused on using technology to improve learning outcomes for people with disabilities. She and her family reside in West Concord.
Education: Sara Wiener
Sara and her husband David joined Kerem Shalom in 2010 and have two young children who attend KS Hebrew School. Sara has been a member of the Education Committee for 3 years. She decided to expand her role to become a member of the Board in May 2014. By profession, Sara is an attorney specializing in child welfare law. She and her family reside in Concord.
House: John Langell
John has been a member of Kerem Shalom since 2013 and, for some years before, was a frequent visitor and attendee with his partner of 30 years, Kitty Stein, and her service dog Charger. Prior to becoming a member, John studied Hebrew and took many other Adult Ed classes at Kerem Shalom, including completing Me'ah in 2014. Trained as an Electrical Engineer, he was a computer programmer for many years before becoming a Product Manager and Director. Although he has no children, he takes great pride in the work of Kerem Shalom's Hebrew School. He lives in Lincoln with Kitty, Charger and his pet golden retriever, Fig Newton.
Administration: Ray Phillips
Membership: Nina Englander
Nina Englander has been a member of Kerem Shalom since 2004. In the past 10 years, she has been involved in various aspects of temple life – most notably as a co-organizers of the KS Retreat. Nina also participated on the Community Conversations Committee, which ushered the community through the process of picking a new rabbi. She has served on the Welcoming Committee and made music at many Mostly Music Shabbat services. In 2014, a few months before her second child became a Bar Mitzvah at Kerem Shalom, she herself became a Bat Mitzvah. Nina is a chiropractor in Lexington and lives in Acton with her husband, John (a former Board Member) and their two children.
Spiritual Life: Elisabeth Sackton
Elisabeth has been a member of Kerem Shalom since she and her spouse, Liz, and their two children joined in 2001. She has long been a member of a small interfaith conversation group at KS, and was honored to serve as a member of the Rabbinic Search Committee. Her children are now in high school and college. Elisabeth brings her enthusiasm for new possibilities, her long standing interest in consensus building, and her commitments to inclusion and community building. She has been a clinical social worker and couple and family therapist for more than 25 years and has also been very active in local schools. She and her family live in Lexington.
Governance & Leadership Development: JoAnn Simon
JoAnn has been a Kerem Shalom member with her husband and two children since 1996. She served on the Education Committee for a couple of years and on the Social Action Committee for many years. She also serves as chair of Yad b' Yad (hand in hand), helping families in the community who are in need or have experienced a death or illness. Previously, she co-chaired the Social Action Committee with Sally Edwards and recently agreed to bring the position back to the Board. Sally remains as Chair. JoAnn and her husband live in Westford.
Social Action - Yad b’Yad: Wendy Taubes
Wendy is well known to many Kerem Shalom members for her tireless organizing of our Bat and Bar Mitzvah schedule. Wendy’s terrific organizational skills, professional social work experience, and commitment to KS make her a valuable part of our Board. She has served as Co-VP of Membership, organizing programs and activities that reach out to new members, as well as keeping our current members engaged. She has moved into this new position on the Board. Wendy, her husband, Ken, and three children live in Concord.
Social Action - Yad b’Yad: Sheara Friend