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Our Leadership & Committes

Barbara Portnoy Spector

Norm Bell

Sandra Melnick Seitz


Cheryl Kramer


Ben Schlesinger

Immediate Past President

Board of Directors 2023-2024


Barbara Portnoy Spector President

Norm Bell

Vice President

Sandra Melnick Seitz


Cheryl Kramer Secretary



  • Jim Brodsky
  • Jeff Quartner
  • Matt Lehman
  • Jeffrey Gibbs
  • Liz LaCorte
  • Laurie Lewis
  • Megan Berman
  • Ron Schechter
  • Sandra Melnick Seitz
  • Ben Schlesinger IPP
  • Rabbi Peter E. Hyman
  • Carolyn Amacher, Executive Director

Temple B’nai Israel Board meetings are held once a month. Unless the meeting is in executive session, it is open to members to observe. Meetings are usually scheduled on the third Sunday of the month at 10:00 a.m. at the Temple. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please check the calendar to verify the date of the meeting, and let the Board Chair know you are attending.


Note: The President is an ex-officio member of all committees.

Advancement (Fundraising) Committee

Co-Chairs: Stewart Sachs and Ben Schlesinger
MISSION: Responsible for fundraising for annual operating needs and special campaigns directed by the Board of Directors.

Building and Grounds

Chair: Arna Mickelson

MISSION: Responsible for selecting and supervising contractors and volunteers to maintain the physical facilities of the Temple building and the surrounding grounds.  Prepares and annual facilities budget to be submitted to the Treasurer.

Communications Committee

Chair: Maury Schlesinger 

MISSION: Generates all communication for the congregation, including the website, Shofar, email, public relations, and publicity campaigns for events, pictures, and/or articles in local newspapers or other media and weekly announcements.

Investigates potential new vehicles for communication.

Finance Committee

Chair: Norman Bell

MISSION: Advises the Board and the Treasurer on fiscal and financial governance matters. Oversees the work of the Treasurer. Manages Temple's investment portfolio. Recommends cash management strategies. Approves preliminary budget prepared by the Treasurer.


Chair: Merry Danaceau

MISSION: Responsible for providing and coordinating volunteer help and support for members in the event of sickness, hospitalization, incapacity or death of family members. Activities include: informing and working in concert with the Rabbi, galvanizing support from other congregational members, and providing for meals and transportation needs when appropriate. Prepare and maintain a checklist for shiva and mourning.

Lifelong Learning Committee

Chair: Cheryl Kramer

MISSION: Responsible for planning the annual adult education program for the congregation. The program aims to deepen our understanding of Jewish religion, culture and history and how we as Jews relate to our community and other religious communities. The program may include themes for year-long study, periodic lectures and/or get-togethers, scheduled Torah study meetings, musical programs and sponsored lectures.

Membership Committee

Chair: Open Position

MISSION: Responsible for identifying and recruiting potential new members and maintaining a list of friends of the Congregation. Coordinates with the Communications Committee the development of appropriate membership and recruitment literature. Coordinates the programming, scheduling and organizing of membership and new members' events.


Chair: Cheryl Kramer

MISSION: The Governance Committee's responsibilities include nominating Board and Officers for approval by the membership, ongoing Board and Officer succession planning, assisting with Board self-evaluation and orientation,  and Policy recommendations and changes as needed from time to time.

Programming Committee

Chair: Norm Bell

MISSION: Oversees planning and organization, in cooperation with the Rabbi and Temple committees, of special social, cultural, membership and celebratory events. Coordinates with the Office Manager the scheduling of those events.

Onegs and Kiddush Luncheons Subcommittee

Chair: Linda Kappesser

MISSION: Recruit and schedule hosts for Onegs and Kiddushes.

Religious School

Chair: Laurie Lewis 

MISSION: Responsible for the operation of the Religious School, in consultation with the Rabbi, including staffing, curriculum, educational policies, creation of B'nai Mitzvah classes, human resource policies and scheduling special events for the school.

Ritual Practices

Chair: Rabbi Peter E. Hyman

MISSION: Consults and coordinates with the Rabbi on oversight of the ritual practices of the Temple, including the character and conduct of religious services, Bimah honors and Yahrzeit records.

Funeral Practices Subcommittee

Chair: Rabbi Peter E. Hyman

MISSION: Consults and coordinates with the Rabbi on policies and practices regarding funeral practices, including the funeral and shiva period following Jewish tradition.
High Holy Days Subcommittee

Chair: Marcia Shapiro

MISSION: Organizes and oversees the assignments and arrangements for the High Holy Days.

Safety and Security

Chair: Ron Schechter

MISSION: To prepare and maintain a security policy for the Temple. To develop programs for habits of safety for people coming to the Temple. To secure the building and grounds to maintain freedom from danger.



Belinda Frankel, our liaison with the Talbot Interfaith Shelter, asks volunteers to provide dinner for 10 to 12 people. As a congregation, we have committed to providing dinner to the shelter on the 25th of each month. Dinner can be purchased and delivered by a restaurant, or you can create a homemade meal and deliver it in person.

Fri, April 12 2024 4 Nisan 5784