Our members are actively involved in a wide range of committee activities, from Social Action to Adult Education to our Book Club and haMinyan, and more.
For information about West End Synagogue's Committees, e-mail our administrator, admin [at] westendsynagogue.org (Joan Erber).
This committee plans a comprehensive schedule of programs that promote Jewish learning and foster creative Jewish living. Offerings cover Jewish history, culture, and arts, Hebrew language, text study, and more. Our events draw on a range of voices, including those of visiting speakers and Scholars-in-Residence. Whatever your Jewish interests, you’ll find something that appeals to you.
For more information, please visit the Adult Education page or contact chairpersons Tris Farnsworth and Irene Liberman.
Anti-Semitism Task Force
The task force organizes programs which discuss anti-semitism in a variety of areas such as higher education and media, as well as programs which show how the law can be used to fight it. The task force also puts on joint programs with the Israel Committee and the book club.
Contact chairperson Susan Prager for more information.
The Bikkur Cholim committee reaches out to WES congregants facing health challenges. The committee provides friendly phone calls, visits, help with shopping, transportation to doctor appointments and more.
If you would like to volunteer, or would like more information on the committee, please contact chairperson Susan Prager.
The WES Book Club meets approximately 4 - 5 times a year. Members of the Book Club select the book which is usually fiction and historical fiction and occasionally non-fiction. All our selections have a Jewish theme or Jewish author. At times members of WES who have a professional literary background facilitate a meeting. We have been meeting on Zoom for the past 2 years and expect to resume meeting in members’ homes when it is safe to do so.
Contact Barbara Gish-Scult to learn how to join.
The Building Committee manages the space, indoors and out, that we currently occupy at 190 Amsterdam Ave. We are concerned with technical aspects of minor and major building maintenance, and with making the building spaces multitask for us through thoughtful use of square footage. Throughout, we keep in mind the comfort and aesthetics appropriate for our Reconstructionist house of worship.
Contact chairperson Gary Mindlin to learn more.
The WES choir is a vibrant group of talented singers who are members of our community. We are passionate about Jewish music spanning from the traditional to the contemporary, including compositions and arrangements by choir members. We sing at the High Holidays, Hanukkah, and special events.
Interested in singing with us? Reach out to choir director Brian Kreiswirth.
The Communications Committee publicizes current and future events at WES through the WES website, the monthly newsletter HaHodesh, and the weekly newsletter HaShavua.
If you're interested in helping out, please contact co-chairs Connie Goldfarb, Ellen Pundyk, and Susan Van Doren.
The committee works on the development of activities and services to include the very young in synagogue life.
For more information, please contact chairperson Marcia Weller.
The HaMinyan Committee creates lay-led, participatory and often experimental services. Each service is unique. HaMinyan presents a lay-lead Kabbalat Shabbat service on the fifth Friday evening in months where there is a fifth Friday (approximately four times per year).
For more information or to become involved in organizing HaMinyan services, please contact chairperson Susan Schorr.
The Israel Connections Committee expresses our community’s concern for and connections to the State of Israel. We provide programs and activities that include the history of Israel and current issues and developments facing Israel.
For more information or to become involved, please contact chairpersons Amy and Arnie Weintraub.
Jewish Family Life & Learning (JFLL)
The JFLL Committee acts as a lay leadership advisory group for all JFLL programming. The committee is made up of those who have children in the JFLL program as well as synagogue members who do not.
The Membership Committee seeks to attract, retain, and grow a vibrant, diverse, and committed membership. We welcome visitors to services as well as to all our programs. We hold open house Shabbat services each fall for prospective members and a new member Shabbat in December.
For more information or to become involved, please contact chairpersons Marjorie Schulman and Susan Van Doren.
Each June, our community has a weekend-long retreat to the Berkshires where we escape from the city, decompress, and get to know each other in a relaxed environment. In consultation with the clergy and education director, the Retreat Planning Committee develops the retreat theme and sessions, recruits session leaders, coordinates with the site, and takes care of all the logistics for a successful retreat. The Committee operates from December through June and we are happy to welcome new members each year!
For more information on the retreat and how to get involved, contact co-chairs Alfred Redd and Lorna Ronald.
The Ritual Committee is concerned with the conduct of all religious services of the congregation, offering advice and guidance to the clergy regarding the character and mode of Shabbat, holiday, and special services. Individual committee members also create innovative liturgy and encourage congregants to compose original prayers and poetry for use in services. The committee aims to maximize the engagement of our members in all aspects of the synagogue’s spiritual life, and to expand the circle of people actively planning and carrying out our religious services.
For more information or to become involved, please contact chairperson Joshua Greenberg.
Devoted to raising the consciousness of our members regarding environmental and social justice issues and creating volunteer opportunities to channel this consciousness into meaningful activity. We organize clothing drives, support organizations that feed the hungry, arrange interfaith discussions, invite speakers on various human rights issues and plan events to commemorate national holidays such as Martin Luther King Day and Earth Day. These are just a few of the ways we join together to promote tikkun clam, healing the world.
For more information, please contact co-chairs Amy Chasanoff and Jocelyn Jacobson.
This committee plans social events for the synagogue, coordinates Chanukah candle-lighting parties, and facilitates Passover seder arrangements for WES members. A subcommittee also offers help with shiva arrangements.