Lenny and his wife, Suzi, and their four grown children have been members of the shul for four decades. Lenny grew up in Yekke Washington Heights but has grown to love cholent, the Red Sox, and everything Boston. He has also chaired or worked on various YI committees, including Membership, Hospitality, Youth, and Rabbinic Search. He is a graduate of YU and BU. Most important, the Young Israel was and remains the center of his Jewish life in Brookline. Email Lenny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joan and her husband, David, have been members of Young Israel
for over 35 years. They have four daughters and six grandchildren. Though she grew up in New York, Joan is an avid Red Sox fan through good times and otherwise. Joan graduated from Finch College, and from Columbia University with a Masters Degree. Following her teaching career (first at The Dalton School in Manhattan and then at Westchester Day School), Joan moved to Boston in 1977 and immediately became involved in the Jewish community. Joan has served on the board of CJP Women’s Division, was chair of CJP’s Synagogue Program Fund, and was active at the Maimonides School. She directed YIB’s successful mishloach manot project for two years. She is currently a realtor with Coldwell Banker's Brookline office.
Jonathan and his wife Sarah joined YIB when they moved to Brookline in 2003. Having both grown up in Route 128 suburbs, they were eager to live in a full-service Jewish community with trolley-ride convenience to work and school in Boston. Over the years, Jonathan has led YIB's Programming and Cholent committees, has served as Board member with two stints as Vice President, and, in 2017, helped launch the Green Street Deli, YIB's pop-up kosher delicatessen. He leads user experience design at a healthcare startup downtown and enjoys perennial vegetable gardening, Texas-style barbecue, reading, and cheesemaking.
Merv is originally from South Africa and is an electrical engineer. For the past 14 years he has been working at Maimonides as the Director of Operations. Merv has been a member of YIB since 1984, and has served on the Board for over 25 years. For the first five years as a member, he worked on various committees, including hospitality, singles, kiddush, the Rabbi’s house, and seating, and has been running the house and security committees for the past 20 years. Merv also served as the VP of YIB for approximately 10 years. Merv is married to Sharon, who is a Brookline native. They met at Young Israel and have been married for over 26 years. Sharon also has been involved with YI for the past 20 years, and was the sisterhood president for two years. They have three great kids: Joshua, Avishai, and Michal.
Ari Behar is originally from Sharon, MA, and has been attending the Young Israel of Brookline for about 15 years, since he moved to Brookline for law school. In his capacity as Clerk, Ari chairs the Governance Committee, which is responsible for proposing changes to the governance of the synagogue and for interpreting our governing documents and making sure they are adhered to. Ari oversaw the recent process of drafting our new Constitution (replacing our outdated old one) and setting up the entirely new Board Bylaws and Congregational Bylaws. Ari has also served on the Programming Committee and the Scholar in Residence Committee. He has been assisting in the shul kitchen for many years, including being a Cholent Captain and cooking for shul events, including the Green Street Deli.
Carrie Benedon and her husband, Matt Sienkiewicz, have been active members of the YIB community since they moved to Brookline in 2012. A native Wisconsinite, Carrie enjoys cheese and beer, and fortunately also running, skiing, and yoga. Carrie is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, and is an Assistant Attorney General in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, where she is the Director of the Division of Open Government. Carrie has been involved with membership and programming at YIB, and is constantly working to make YIB a more welcoming, inclusive community.
As Gabbai of the shul, I have the opportunity to meet out of town visitors and local non-members at the daily Minyanim. This affords me the chance to highlight some of our Shul’s unique qualities and to answer any questions that they might have. Meeting new people on Shabbos, both men and women, allows me to get to know people and then connect them with the membership and other committees. My goals this year are to continue to work with other committees such has House, Membership and Finance to help sustain financial stability of our Shul and to help the new administration succeed with the new vision plan.
Aaron Feuerstein has served YIB in numerous capacities, and was instrumental in the rebuilding of YIB, contributing to the building design, leading fundraising efforts and generously contributing towards the new sanctuary. Aaron has been recognized nationally in the press and was praised on TV’s 60 Minutes for his unbelievable altruism to his employees in Malden Mills, longstanding service to YIB, and commendable leadership in the Greater Boston community.
Jennifer and her husband, Dror, have been members of YIB since 1997. Their three children all grew up with YIB as their shul, enjoying the many family-oriented activities over the years, and eventually taking on roles as teen minyan and youth group leaders. As a native of Brookline, Jennifer has fond memories of YIB from her childhood. She particularly appreciates the diverse membership at YIB and the many friendships that her family has built at the shul, as well as the excitement and inspiration that Rabbi Hellman and his wife, Ariella, have brought to the shul. As a member of the Board, Jennifer would like to contribute to efforts to expand the membership of the shul, and in particular, to enable the success of Rabbi Hellman in inspiring and leading our community in the years ahead.
Ezra Zuckerman Sivan has been a member of Young Israel of Brookline since 2001, when he moved to Brookline with his family in 2001 from Palo Alto, California. He became president of YIB in July 2014. Over the years, he has been involved in various activities at YIB, including helping to manage its relationship with National Council of Young Israel. Prior to moving to Brookline, Ezra and his wife, Lisa Wasserman Sivan, previously lived in Chicago as graduate students and in New York as undergraduates. Ezra grew up in Providence and attended the Providence Hebrew Day School and the New England Academy of Torah. Lisa and Ezra have four children: Libby and Jesse, who attend the Jewish Community Day School of Boston; Nina, who attends Gann Academy; and Jack, who attends the Rhode Island School of Design. Ezra is a sociologist who is on the faculty of MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Leah Solodokin was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and moved to beautiful Brookline, MA, two years ago. While her original intention was to go shul hopping, as soon as she jumped into the Young Israel of Brookline (YIB), she quickly realized the precious jewel that she had come upon. Since becoming a member of YIB, Leah has volunteered for several shul activities, which have been rewarding experiences. Leah is tremendously honored to have been elected as a YIB Board Member and is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the shul and work toward helping the shul potentiate and advance its visions of being a center of ruchniyut, chesed, and achdutfor the entire community.