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Wesley R. Gardenswartz
Shira and I have always blessed our children, Nat, Davide, Sam and Jordana, with this blessing: “May you love Monday mornings.”
Don’t live for weekends. Don’t live for off-hours. Don’t live for vacations. Live for Monday mornings. Be so excited by
Monday mornings that you can’t wait to get to it.
For 24 years, Temple Emanuel has fulfilled that blessing for me. I love everything about this holy community. I love the people.
I love the prayers. I love the singing, the duets, the harmonies, that give me goosebumps for the thousandth time. I love the learning.
I love working with so many purpose-driven people to create a more just world. I love the wrestling. I love the creative tensions. I love
the aspiration to get ever better. I love my colleagues. I love our lay leaders. I love the opportunity to walk with you, the members
of Temple Emanuel, through life.
May we continue now to walk together through the darkness of 2020, slowly but surely, to ever brighter days, to many weeks of Monday
mornings that promise connection, community, friendship, learning, growing, meaning, and joy. Something magical and mystical regularly
happens at 385 Ward Street: sublime moments when together we can feel the presence of God, fulfilling the Torah’s vision: “Build me a
sanctuary so that I can dwell among the people.”
Temple Emanuel, thank you for being the answer to my deep prayer.
To access Sermons from our wonderful Senior Rabbi, please click HERE.Send Message 617-558-8103
Michelle S. Robinson
Rabbi Michelle Robinson was ordained in 1999 as part of the first graduating class of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.
Since then, she has found her home at Temple Emanuel of Newton, Massachusetts, a thriving and vibrant Conservative community. Her rabbinic passions include community building, sharing the joy of traditional text study, and facilitating personal connections to the beauty of prayer.
Rabbi Robinson has also spent three years and many summers learning and traveling in Israel, where she was blessed to meet her husband, Mike. Together they are the proud parents of four children who remind them of God’s blessings every day.
To access Sermons from our wonderful Senior Rabbi, please click HERE.Send Message 617-558-8139
Born into a musical family in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Hazzan Elias Rosemberg followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, a Hazzan, and his father, a clarinetist in a Klezmer band. In 1991, Hazzan Rosemberg began studies at Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano, and in 1994, he obtained the degree of Hazzan and Singing Professor. In addition to his vocal training, he studied music theory and harmony at the Manuel de Falla Conservatory of Music, and completed a five-year program in Pathology, Audiology and Speech Therapy at the School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires.
Hazzan Rosemberg worked as a concert and wedding performer in the Buenos Aires area, appeared on both radio and television, and is featured on several recordings and in December 1998, he won the vocal contest “Argentina Sings for Israel,” organized by the Israeli Embassy of Argentina.
In 1988, at the age of 18, Rosemberg began work as a Hazzan at Chaim Weitzman community in San Martin, Buenos Aires. From 1990 to 2000, he served as Hazzan at Lamroth Hakol Synagogue, also in Buenos Aires.
In 2001, Hazzan Rosemberg moved to the United States and joined the Cantors Assembly. From 2001 to 2007, he served as the Cantor of Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill, MA.
Since 2007, Hazzan Rosemberg has served as the Cantor of Temple Emanuel, where he has created many meaningful and exciting new programs.
Hazzan Rosemberg has served on the National Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly and is currently the New England Region Chair. He is featured on three of the Cantors Assembly’s CDs: “Encore,” “The Spirit of Jewish World Music,” and “The Spirit of Celebration.” He has performed in many Cantors Assembly conventions and missions. In addition, he is the immediate past President of the New England Board of Cantors and serves on the faculty of the Cantor-Educator program at Hebrew College in Newton, MA, as a Cantorial Coach. He is currently the President of the AJL (Asamblea de Jazanim Latinoamericanos), alumni of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano.
In 2016, Hazzan Rosemberg was the recipient of the Hiddur Mitzvah award by Masorti Olami. He is the first Cantor from Latin America to receive this distinctionSend Message 617-558-8115
Rav Hazzan Aliza Berger is delighted to join the Temple Emanuel community. She recently completed her study at Hebrew College and was ordained as both a cantor and a rabbi in the spring of 2017.
Aliza grew up in the Jewish Renewal community of Boulder, Colorado and dreamed of becoming a rabbi from a very young age. In high school, after becoming the youngest member of the Denver Opera Company, Aliza decided to seriously pursue a singing career and enrolled at Vanderbilt University to study classical voice at the Blair School of Music and Jewish Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. It was there that she realized that her true passion is singing with others and making music together in the context of community.
After graduating, Aliza spent a year in Israel where she studied at Machon Pardes in Jerusalem and with Rabbi Levi Lauer of ATZUM Justice Works. While at Pardes, Aliza was a coordinator for the egalitarian minyan and served as a member of the musician’s circle at Nava Tehila, the Renewal community In Jerusalem, which draws Jews from all backgrounds to daven with music and kavannah.
In Boston, she has served as the Rabbinic Intern at Temple Aliyah in Needham and Nehar Shalom in Jamaica Plain and as the High Holiday Cantorial Soloist for Temple Israel in Boston and Anshe Amunim in the Berkshires.
Aliza plays piano, ukulele, and guitar and is always in the mood for spontaneous jam sessions. In her occasional free time, Aliza enjoys practicing yoga and loves to go out dancing.
To access Sermons from our wonderful Rav Hazzan, please click HERE.Send Message 617-558-8171
Daniel J. Nesson
Ritual Director & Hazzan Sheini
Dan Nesson joined the professional staff of Temple Emanuel in the fall of 1989.
Previously, he served as Ritual Director at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut. He has served as Ba’al Koreh for Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill and at Adas Hadrath Israel, the oldest continually attended synagogue in Boston.
Mr. Nesson taught Adult Education at Hebrew College and presented workshops at the Adams Street Shul for numerous Havurot.
He has studied Nusach Ha’Tefillah with Cantors Don Gurney, Scott Sokol, Charles Osborne, and the pedagogy of T’amei HaMikrah with Professor Joshua Jacobson.
A lover of music, Mr. Nesson has studied voice with Patricia Stedry, sung with Jan Peerce and performed with the Boston Light Opera Company. He has been a member of the Zamir Choral of Boston since 1979.
Dan and his late wife, Susan (z”l), are the very proud parents of Emma Rose Jiang-Man.Send Message 617-558-8104
Before joining the Temple Emanuel family, Jeff previously served as the Executive Director of Temple Israel in Albany, New York where he is originally from.
Prior to that experience, Jeff served as the Deputy Clerk of the Legislature as well as managed various political campaigns in the Rochester, New York area.
In 2008, Jeff transitioned from government work to the Jewish professional world becoming the Young Leadership Director for the Rochester Jewish Federation where he was tasked with getting young adults involved in Federation initiatives and Jewish life. Additionally, Jeff led the Federations annual Super Sunday fundraiser and served on the financial resource development team.
Jeff’s firm belief in Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh (all Jews are responsible for one another) and tzedakah was inspired from his grandparents who were educators and leaders in their respective Jewish communities.
Jeff lives in Concord with his wife Kelly.Send Message 617-558-8110
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Erin has always been involved with Jewish life.
Inspired by her involvement throughout high school and then a birthright trip during undergrad, Erin moved to Israel to pursue her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During her time in Israel, Erin, reinforced and strengthened her connection to Israel, Judaism and explored and gained a stronger understanding and passion of non-profits and management. Since returning to the states in 2012, Erin has worked exclusively in the world of Jewish non-profits, combining her passion for Jewish Life and non-profits.
When not at Temple Emanuel, Erin can be found going on adventures and spending time with her husband, her amazing son and their pets Sophie, Gus and Lobo.Send Message 617-558-8127
Director of Early Childhood
Andrea Shapiro is Temple Emanuel’s Director of Early Childhood. Andrea was born in South Africa and grew up with a strong sense of Jewish identity. While she never imagined herself working in the Jewish Education sector, she has truly found her home. Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from Hofstra University and a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education with a specialization in early childhood from Hebrew College. She has spent the past 15 years working with children and families in various educational settings and has a passion for working with families with young children.
Andrea spent many of her formative teenage years growing up as part of Temple Emanuel and is excited to be back and part of the community. Andrea is committed to educating families with young children about Jewish life and experiences and looks forward to creating enriching and developmentally appropriate experiences and opportunities for children and families in the preschool. In her free time Andrea enjoys spending time with her daughter and reading.Send Message 617-558-8130
Harry Kraft Director of Informal Youth Education & Chai385 Director
Over a span of 25+ years, Wayne Goldstein has served in various capacities in leading, educating, and inspiring children both in the public and private sector. Currently in his 17th year as the Harry Kraft Director of Informal Youth Education at Temple Emanuel in Newton, MA, Wayne has held numerous other positions including Children’s Director at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton, MA, Director of JCC Camp Kingswood in Maine, Regional Director of Operations for Mulberry Child Care Centers in New England, Operations Coordinator for the JCC Maccabi Games in Boston along with other staffing and leadership experiences with USY, Camp Ramah in NE (which he also attended and was on staff for 10 years) and Camp Young Judaea in Amherst, NH as the Head of Judaica from 2005-2019.
Wayne attended the Hebrew Academy and Yeshiva High School in Atlanta, GA where his knowledge and love for Judaism first began. He made the move North to New England where he received his BA in Psychology from Clark University in Worcester, MA, a MS in Counseling from Springfield College and a Certificate in Jewish Informal Education, Youth Leadership and Camping from Hebrew College. He is the proud father of Jonathan (Muhlenberg College 2020) and Eli (UMass-Amherst 2023) and the lucky husband to Robin. In his spare time, he loves to travel, play tennis and basketball, listen to music, attend concerts, watch sports, read, and go on long walks with his golden retriever, Millie!Send Message 617-558-8121
Assistant Ritual Director
Tessa Amantiado has been traveling since the young age of two. This has created a lifelong passion for people, cultures, religions, and languages. Tessa did a short stint in Ukraine and has lived in Minnesota (a beacon of culture!) and Israel. Seven years ago, Tessa decided to call Massachusetts home base. Tessa is a book lover and is always looking for a new book to read, from Russian literature to Philosophy to cozy mysteries, all is attention worthy.Send Message 617-558-8111
Security & Facilities Director
Originally from the Island of Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean, Aji moved to the United States after receiving his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Bradford University in England. Aji is well-traveled and is fluent in English, French, Hindi and Mauritian Creole.
Aji is a martial arts enthusiast and a nature lover. When not working, Aji can be found hiking, going on adventures, playing video games and spending time with his family.Send Message 617-558-8129
Event & Logistics Manager
Katelyn Bellina is a New Jersey native who has been planning outstanding events since 2016. She graduated from Lasell University in Newton and earned a degree in Event Management. Event planning has been a life-long passion and she began her journey through interning at events in her early teens. Through the years Katelyn has worked on several different aspect of the event industry from weddings, nonprofit fundraising, trade shows, corporate events, and catering. Katelyn’s favorite part of working events are the creativity of the design process and building lasting partnerships with her clients.
Katelyn is fearless and always looking for a new adventure, while vacationing in Hawaii she went cliff diving and swam under waterfalls. In her free time Katelyn can be found either reading a mystery novel or dancing around at concerts in Boston with her friends.Send Message 617-833-5158
Director of Finance
Jill was born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts. After high school, she attended the University of Vermont where she majored in Elementary Education and French.
Being in Vermont allowed her to do a lot of skiing which was one of her passions. She then went on to work in the business world since teaching jobs were scarce at the time. Her friends encouraged her to study accounting and ultimately, she graduated from Boston College with an MBA, majoring in Accounting, spending many years in Public Accounting as a CPA before moving to the nonprofit sector.
Jill joined Temple Emanuel over 13 years ago and finally traveled to Israel two years ago with her daughter, Hayley. She is Director of Finance in charge of all accounting functions and human resources.
In her free time She loves to host family dinners, garden, play mahjongg and is a member of a Book Club. When not doing any of these things, her happy place is sitting on a beach reading a good book.Send Message 617-558-8112
Director of Marketing
Originally from New York, Erica graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017. Erica started her marketing career at a New York publishing company before making her way to Temple Emanuel. With a passion for creativity and making connections, working in marketing has a been a rewarding experience. In her free time, you can find Erica hiking with her dog, adventuring through the city, or her newfound hobby of playing the bass guitar.Send Message 617-558-8156
Senior Marketing Consultant
Lisa Einstein grew up in a small town in Upstate, NY as one of only a handful of other Jews her age. This lead Lisa to become active in her synagogue, USY and Jewish life. Having been born to Israeli parents and grandparents who were Holocaust survivors only pushed this desire further.
She graduated from Binghamton University in 2003 and later decided to immerse herself in the most Jewish place she could find outside of Israel, Brookline, Massachusetts. While there, she met her soulmate in the apartment down the hall, and the two later married and moved to Sharon, MA where they currently live with their three kids, dog, cat, and the occasional other pet.
Before joining Temple Emanuel, Lisa worked as the Director of Marketing for the American Heart Association. She has always loved being creative. Marketing allows her the chance to turn her visions into reality while making an impact for an organization she believes in.
When Lisa is not coming up with social media and marketing ideas, she can be found singing a cappella with her group, Shir Rhythm or hiking with her dog, Maya. She loves adventure and travel and has enjoyed being at Temple Emanuel.Send Message 617-558-8172
Shaun Sander, born and raised in Danbury, CT, has been instilled with a strong sense of community from a young age. Whether it was his journey to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, or welcoming new generations of students as an Orientation Leader, working with others to learn and grow has always been his passion. After receiving his B.S.B.A. in Economic-Finance & Accounting from the University of Hartford, Shaun spent his early career cultivating his skills with the Danbury Public School System before joining our community as the Database Specialist.
Looking to maintain a balanced lifestyle, Shaun can be found doing anything from running with local groups and snowboarding the snowy peaks of the Green Mountains, to settling in for a movie marathon with a large plate of nachos.Send Message 617-558-8102
Creative A/V Director
Andrew is the Creative A/V Director at Temple Emanuel, where he produces video content for the temple’s religious, educational, and marketing programs. After graduating from Ithaca College with a TV and Radio production degree, he pursued documentary filmmaking in New York City, then pivoted to covering local news and promoting programming at WNDU-TV in South Bend, Indiana.
Andrew is excited to be back in his home state with his wife and his dog, where they all enjoy finding new hiking trails to explore, and he’s excited to have a positive and meaningful impact on the Temple Emanuel community.Send Message
Special Projects Coordinator
Adele Newman has been at Temple Emanuel in various fundraising capacities for about 20 years now. Previously, she did a lot of volunteer work in the Jewish Community, especially with CJP Women’s Division and the JCC where she held leadership positions in both. Most recently, Adele was on the board for many years at JCDS, The Jewish Community Day School.
In her spare time, Adele loves to read, attempt to play bridge and spend time with her family, especially her grandchildren. Adele’s grandchildren are always making fun of her Boston accent and think she is the best cook.
In the winter, when Adele is not working on the Annual Appeal, she spends time on the east coast of Florida with her husband where she enjoys being out of the cold.Send Message 617-558-8165
Assistant to Rabbi Gardenswartz
Joan was born and raised in Waltham moving to Newton in 1964 with her Husband when he opened his Veterinary Hospital, where he lovingly treated so many household pets over the next 46 years. Together they raised three sons and bred Golden Retrievers, keeping two and adopting a few more along the way, all of which made for a very lively household. When their youngest started school, Joan re-entered the work force and has worked in the Jewish world for nearly her entire career. Working in the Jewish world is not just a vocation for her, it is a way of life that has given her the opportunity to continue her Jewish learning with some of the most amazing scholars.
In her free time, Joan is happiest spending time with her kids and grandkids.Send Message 617-558-8101
Assistant to Rabbi Robinson
Shira Starobinski is a native Israeli (from our sister city Haifa) who was born on Shabbat Shira. She graduated from Haifa University in Hebrew and French Languages & Literature and earned a master’s degree in Library Science. Shira enjoys the warm, Jewish atmosphere at Temple Emanuel and uses her diverse skills to assist Senior Rabbi Michelle Robinson and members of the community.
In her free time, she can be found reading, exercising, singing, and traveling.Send Message 617-558-8141
Young Adult Programming Coordinator & Assistant to Rav Hazzan Berger
Samantha Price grew up in Mansfield, MA and graduated from UMass Amherst in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Throughout her time at UMass, she was highly involved in Hillel Life. Samantha was the Vice President of the student organization, ‘Challah for Hunger’, where she enjoyed baking challah to raise funds and awareness for food insecurity among college students. She was also a Birthright Intern and a TA for a Jewish learning fellowship. At Temple Emanuel, Samantha is the Yisod Programming Coordinator as well as Assistant to Rav Hazzan Aliza Berger.
Outside of Temple Emanuel, Samantha is an advisor for the local Challah for Hunger chapters, and enjoys hiking, cooking, and thrifting.Send Message 617-558-8123
Young Families & Youth Programming Coordinator
Cayla has been heavily involved in her Jewish community for her whole life. Growing up in Westchester, NY, she was a member of her temple’s youth board throughout high school. She attended Franklin & Marshall College, where she studied government and international studies and served as an Engagement Intern for Hillel. After F&M, she joined Teach for America, where she taught English as a Second Language and Special Education in Springfield and Holyoke, MA. While living in Western, MA, Cayla hosted several interfaith Shabbat dinners for coworkers, friends, and community members. Cayla holds a Master’s of Education from Boston University. She looks forward to continuing her work with children and Jewish programming at Temple Emanuel!
In her free time, Cayla enjoys hanging out with her pup, Noodles, whipping up new recipes (ask her about her coffee cake cookies!), exploring new hiking trails, and watching Netflix with her roommates.Send Message (617) 558-8140
Rita was born and raised in Boston, MA. She earned her degree from the UMASS Boston in Public Sector/Human Service Management. Rita enjoyed a long career with the Department of Mental Health working with human service agencies as liaison with DMH which she found very rewarding.
As her family grew, Rita turned to work closer to home allowing for a more balanced family life. In addition to more family time, this moves lead to deeper involvement within her community. Rita served on committees for JBBBS, and as a board member at her congregation. Rita was thrilled to become part of the TE community as an Administrative Associate, a role that provides variety and interest in supporting administrative leadership and serving the needs of the congregation in a rich Jewish environment.
In Rita’s free time she enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends often at her favorite beach!Send Message 617-558-8128
Erica grew up in Lexington MA and after spending time in rural Pennsylvania, New York City, Denver and Baltimore has found herself raising her own family back in Massachusetts. After over a decade of accounting roles at various companies ranging from a hedge fund to a foundation, Erica has found her spot helping the accounting team at Temple Emanuel.
Erica has two children and is currently enjoying spending extra time with them. They can often be found exploring the outdoors on nature walks, bike rides and downhill skiing.Send Message
Cantor/B'nei Mitzvah Tutor
Steve Thompson was born and raised in Newton. He attended the Newton Public Schools and grew up at Temple Emanuel.
He had the distinct pleasure of pursuing parallel careers as a public-school history teacher/administrator and as hazzan for two Conservative congregations for over forty years. Steve taught in the Chelmsford Public School System from 1971-2006 specializing in Political Science, AP American History, AP European History, Psychology, and the Holocaust, and served as Curriculum Coordinator for Social studies, Grades 5-12. He served as hazzan from 1972-2012 at Temple Beth El of Lowell, Massachusetts for twenty-five years and Temple Reyim of Newton, Massachusetts for fifteen years.
In 2014, he started working at Temple Emanuel, where he has been tutoring bar/bat mitzvah students, training and coordinating young children, teens and adults to read Megillah verses for the Purim Family Service, to lead the Rosh Hashanah Family Service and read Torah for Simchat Torah evening and morning. He loves attending Shabbat and Holiday services and is so thrilled to be part of the Morning Minyan.
Believe it or not, Steve has a life outside of TE. Steve made Aliyah in 2012 living in Israel for six months and the U.S. for six months, but due to personal reasons, now travels to Israel once or twice a year to visit family and friends. He loves to travel (not during COVID-19), especially to be with his children, step-children and grandchildren. He is an avid Boston/New England sports fan and plays golf regularly with his fellow retired teachers. Loves going to the movies and concerts. Huge NCIS (all of them) fan. Reads historical fiction and non-fiction as well as spy thrillers.
Steve is the very proud father, stepfather and father-in-law of Jeremy/Lili, Marni/Adam, Josh/Julia, Rachel/David, Libbie/Tzachi, Aaron/Stacy, Anna/Aaron and the very, very proud grandfather of thirteen (soon to be 14) grandchildren.Send Message
Eugenia Gerstein has been at Temple Emanuel for 25 years as the Choral director and music educator. She conducts various children and youth choirs, Kol Emanuel, the adult choir and Zamira, the TE women group; and teaches music at our Religious school.
Seven years ago, Eugenia’s creativity lead to a new program – iGenesis studio. The recording studio is equipped with the latest technology for audio and video production. The iGenesis video program has become a major component in for Temple Emanuel during the Pandemic, producing numerous music videos for Holidays, bringing Temple Emanuel community together in the virtual time.
Eugenia graduated from Ural Conservatory magna cum laude with a Master’s Degree in choral conducting and received her Bachelor degree in music education and in Teaching music theory from Moscow Music teachers’ College. She also holds a diploma in Piano playing from Moscow Music school.
Native of Moscow, Eugenia came to the USA in 1994 with her son Kirill Gerstein, a music prodigy, who became the youngest student at Berklee College of Music at age 14. Kirill Gerstein became a world- renown pianist, performing with leading orchestras. In 1997 her husband, Leonid was allowed to leave Russia, and was reunited with Eugenia and Kirill.
In addition to her work at Temple Emanuel, Eugenia works with Solomon Schechter Day School and has a private piano studio in Newton.Send Message
IT & Security Associate
Zosh is a Boston native, born and raised in Sharon. Zosh graduated from the University of Hartford and is thankful to be able to be a part of a Jewish community where he is able to use his passion for helping people and giving back on a daily basis. You likely recognize Zosh from greeting you as you walk in the building or helping around the office using his toolbox of skills in all areas of Temple Emanuel support – from Security to IT to marketing to setting up for events.
In his free time Zosh likes to travel, having visited 38 of the 50 states and a goal to visit all 50, going on hikes, cooking, playing video games or spending time with parents or two brothers.Send Message 617-558-8170
Mike was born and raised in Worcester. After high school, he attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and worked in commercial landscaping. Mike joined the security team in 2019 and many may recognize him as they enter the building.
When not at Temple Emanuel, Mike enjoys anything that keeps him active. He loves outdoor activities especially skiing and hiking, enjoys working out and staying fit, and tries to take day trips to explore new places whenever he has the chance.Send Message 617-558-8170
Zerihun Simano is originally from Ethiopia and has been a part of the Temple Emanuel Facilities team for almost two years. Zerihun brings his depth of experience from his degree in Advanced General Mechanic to the job every single day. In his free time, Zerihun is involved in his Church and spends time reading and watching and making videos online. Zerihun welcomed his first child, a son, in December of 2020.Send Message
Rich was born and raised in Massachusetts graduating from Brockton high and attending the Art Institute of Boston for college. After graduating, Rich worked for the B&D Deli and the Catering By Andrews, eventually landing at Temple Emanuel, where he has worked for over a decade.
When not a Temple Emanuel Rich enjoys going on long walks and exploring the city and working on Art projects.Send Message