July 31, 2015 Congregation B’nai Yisrael of Armonk is opening its doors to the community on Sunday August 2 from 10:00 a.m. to noon to introduce their new rabbi and educator. New members and old friends will be treated to brunch, children’s activities and ice cream. Prospective new members are also welcome.
Cantor Hayley Kobilinsky spoke with Melissa Cohavi, the temple’s new Director of Education. Kobilinsky asked Cohavi about running an educational program “to help create the next generation of Jewish adults.”
“There are many different ways to look at Judaism,” said Cohavi. “There’s the religion piece, the rituals, and then there’s cultural Judaism of holidays, foods, and music. Bringing all of these pieces together and creating positive Jewish experiences is important. Our children should look back on our time at CBY, thirsting for more.”
Born in Westchester, most of Cohavi’s years have been spent in Rye where she graduated from Rye Country Day. She attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and has a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies. She also spent years living in Israel. The CBY Armonk website mentions her additional degrees: a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work; a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from SUNY Purchase. She is also a licensed social worker in the State of New York.
Cohavi and her husband have two children, an 18-year old daughter and a 15-year old son. She says she is passionate about Judaism, Jewish education, and building community by working together with families.
“I always knew I wanted to work in the Jewish community,” she answered Kobilinsky when asked what made her want to become a Jewish educator. “Once I got into the classroom, I absolutely loved it. Working with the kids and meeting the parents is important work. Family involvement is a key component in education as parents are their children’s role models. When children see their parents occasionally learn with them in the classroom, it’s engaging.”
She spent ten years at Temple Sinai in Stamford, CT and said she looks forward to bringing different types of programs to Congregation B’nai Yisrael. “Social gatherings are intended to build relationships and friendships, encouraging young families to get to know one another better.” She said doing Havdalah and desserts with adults at people’s homes focuses on different groups within the community.
Cohavi is looking forward to meeting the Congregation’s members. “My door is wide open. I will be reaching out to all of you. Please come in and say ‘Hi.’”
Congregation B’nai Yisrael is located at 2 Banksville Road at Route 22 in Armonk. For more information please visit their website.
Congregation B’nai Yisrael of Armonk Elects New Rabbi May 21, 2015 Congregation B’nai Yisrael (CBY) of Armonk announced today that its congregation elected Rabbi Joshua Strom as its new permanent Rabbi, effective July 1, 2015.
Rabbi Strom is currently serving as an Associate Rabbi for Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Colgate University and was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2008.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Rabbi Strom to our congregation and local Jewish community,” said Lisa Broomer, president of CBY. She added, “We think that Rabbi Strom will bring just the right combination of new ideas and respect for tradition to our congregation with boundless amounts of enthusiasm and passion for our shared Jewish values and beliefs. We are looking forward to many years of fulfilling worship, meaningful learning and heartfelt outreach both within and beyond our community with Rabbi Strom, in partnership with our beloved Cantor, Hayley Kobilinsky, who just celebrated ten wonderful lyrical years with CBY.”
“I am both humbled and thrilled to be joining this strong congregation and local Jewish community," said Rabbi Strom. "CBY has a rich history for upholding both cultural and social values rooted in Jewish beliefs and traditions. I am eager to help lead and build CBY’s congregation and presence as it embarks on the next great chapter of its future.”
Rabbi Strom replaces Rabbi David Katz, who has been serving as CBY’s Interim Rabbi while the temple conducted its search for a permanent Senior Rabbi.
Founded in 1970, Congregation B’nai Yisrael of Armonk is a Reform congregation with nearly 350 family members.
The Children's Jewish Education Group SUNY Purchase Campus 735 Anderson Hill Rd. Purchase, NY (914) 864-1267 www.cjeg.org
Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service
November 23, 2015 Armonk's Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service will take place at St. Stephen's Church at 50 Bedford Road, on Tuesday November 24 at 8:00 p.m.
The service is a collaboration among St. Stephen’s Church, Congregation B'nai Yisrael, The Church of St. Patrick, Hillside Church, St. Nersess Armenian Orthodox Seminary, the American Muslim Women's Association and the Thornwood Mosque.
Now, more than ever, our world needs faith communities to come together in solidarity as witness of the love of God that our traditions share – a love that cannot be extinguished by hatred and terror.
All are welcome! A dessert reception follows the service.