Rabbi Brian Beal will serve as our Interim Rabbi through June 30, 2020. Youth, social justice, and community service programming, as well as building a strong relationship with the interfaith community, remain at the core of Rabbi Beal's rabbinate. His concern for each individual, personal warmth, love of children, deep faith, and desire to make a difference in the world are personal characteristics that he brings to Congregation Beth Chaim and its members.
Rabbi Beal grew up in Monmouth County, NJ, and served as the JFTY (now NFTY-GER) Chaplain. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Emory University and went on to serve as a professional fundraiser for his alma mater for seven years. Following his ordination at the Hebrew Union College in 1998, Rabbi Beal served Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, NJ, where he was particularly focused on engaging youth and young families. He then served Temple Beth Torah in Nyack, NY--now called the Reform Temple of Rockland--for thirteen years, where he worked with staff and volunteers to develop award-winning social justice experiences, initiated an interfaith symposium in partnership with local synagogues, churches and a mosque, and fostered a welcoming environment for people with disabilities. Most recently, he served as the interim rabbi at Temple Beth-El in Jersey City.
Rabbi Beal was a consultant for RespectAbility (a not-for-profit that advances opportunities for people with disabilities), a Guest Lecturer at Alliance Theological Seminary and Nyack College, Chair of the Nyack Clergy Association, a member of the Internal Review Board (IRB) and Pastoral Care Committee of Nyack Hospital and the Ethics Committee of United Hospice of Rockland, Chaplain of the Valley Cottage Fire Department, and as a Little League and travel baseball coach.
Above all, Rabbi Beal is a dedicated and loving husband and father. Naomi Adler, his wife, is President and CEO of Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Their three sons, Joshua (a freshman at Tulane University) and Ari and Benjamin (high school sophomores who are active in NFTY-PAR) are their greatest blessings and joys of their lives.
Rabbi Beal will work with our clergy, staff, lay leadership and members to ensure that Congregation Beth Chaim's period of transition will be a time when our sacred community will continue to thrive and soar.
Rabbi Adena Blum grew up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and began her Jewish journey at Har Sinai Temple. She is an alumna of The Lawrenceville School and Brandeis University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and a minor in Religious Studies. She received Master of Arts degrees in Hebrew Literature and Religious Education from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where she was also ordained in May 2014.
Prior to her service at Congregation Beth Chaim, Rabbi Blum served as the rabbinic intern at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, NJ, and Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, NJ. She has also served a number of other Reform synagogues, one Hillel, two hospitals, two URJ summer camps, and several other institutions where she engaged in teaching, preaching, leading worship, and programming for people of all ages and stages.
Rabbi Blum is a member of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, the Women’s Rabbinic Network, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. She is passionate about education, Israel, spirituality, and forging meaningful relationships. In her free time, Rabbi Blum enjoys good food, traveling the world, indoor cycling, and spending time with her husband Sean and sons Jonah and Ari.
Cantor Stuart Binder was born in Bethlehem, PA. and grew up on the North Shore of Chicago. He studied songleading at Camp Kutz, and was a youth group songleader through high school and college.
Stuart holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Iowa State University, and a Master of Sacred Music degree from the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. He was awarded a Doctor of Music degree from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in April of 2015.
Stuart has been with Congregation Beth Chaim since his ordination in 1990. He oversees training of all Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, teaches Religious School and Adult Education classes. He has composed many camp and synagogue melodies, and is also the creator of Shabbat Workshop, a comprehensive collection of Shabbat music and liturgy.
Aside from music, Stuart's hobbies include digital recording and photography.
Stuart lives in East Windsor, NJ, where he loves spending time with his daughters Hannah and Lillie.
Rabbi Eric B. Wisnia became Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Beth Chaim in February 2019. He retired as Senior Rabbi after serving 42 years in that positon.
Rabbi Wisnia was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1949 and was raised in Levittown, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Religious Thought from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
Rabbi Wisnia was ordained at the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1974 and served as assistant Rabbi at Congregation Shomer Emunim, Toledo, Ohio before joining Congregation Beth Chaim as Senior Rabbi in 1977. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1999.
Eric B. Wisnia was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and was raised in Levittown, Pennsylvania. He graduated with a B.A. in Religious Thought from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia in May 1970.
Education & Youth
Anne Berman-Waldorf, Director of Lifelong Education, has served in this role since July, 1998. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing the Pre-School and the Religious School as well as Adult Education, Family Programming and Youth Activities. She teaches 8th and 9th grade, facilitates adult education programs and conducts many workshops throughout the year. Anne serves on the board of the National Association of Temple Educators and is involved with Camp Harlam, the Reform Movement's camp in the Poconos.
The older daughter of Steve and Marion Berman, Anne grew up in South Windsor, Connecticut, at Temple Beth Hillel and attended both Kutz Camp and the Eisner Camp Institute, where she went through the ranks from camper to Unit Head. She received her Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987, where she majored in Religious Thought. Anne holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Arts Degree in Jewish History from Baltimore Hebrew University. She is a graduate of the Baltimore Institute of Jewish Communal Service.
During her career, Anne has spent time as a Social Worker, working with battered women and their children. She worked in Community Relations at the Baltimore Jewish Council and served for 7 years as the Program Director at Temple Isaiah in Columbia, Maryland. Prior to working at Beth Chaim, Anne was the Director of Family Programming at Beth El Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was Director of the Berman-Lipovsky Project Mispacha, an alternative family education track within the Religious School.
Anne is married to Joshua Waldorf and they are the parents of two children, Sam and Lily.
Robin Resnick, Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education, joined the staff at Congregation Beth Chaim’s Preschool as a teacher in 2012. As a preschool teacher, her passion for making a difference in the lives of children and their families grew. Robin believes that every child should have a positive learning experience so that they can become lifelong learners. She has been in her current role since 2015 and is thrilled to work with a dedicated group of teachers and administrators.
Robin graduated with honors from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. As an undergraduate Robin did extensive research on the socialization of children and its impact on early education. Robin furthered her education by taking graduate courses at the College of William and Mary.
Her interest in working with children extends beyond the preschool, Robin is also a Girl Scout leader, a certified Kid’s Yoga instructor, and a cheerleading coach.
Robin is married to Dr. Michael Resnick and has three daughters Lucy, Molly, and Abby.
Please stop by and check out our amazing preschool and meet our fabulous teachers!
Darra Lipper, Lifelong Education Administrative Assistant
Darra was born in New Orleans, LA, and grew up in Freehold Township. She graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a major in Communication and a minor in Hebraic Studies. Darra is married to David and has two children, Ethan and Becca. When she is not schlepping her kids to activities, she loves reading with her Goldendoodle, Molly, perched on her lap.
Diane Fardice, Office Manager, joined Beth Chaim in July 1998. Diane loves feeling as though she is making a difference and working for a synagogue that truly desires to do great things for its congregants and the Jewish community at-large—and does!
Having grown up in the farmlands of New Jersey, Diane acquired a true love of all things furry and four-legged. Advocating for animals is one of Diane’s great passions, leading to a longtime relationship with the Morris Animal Foundation, a global leader in supporting scientific research that advances veterinary medicine.
Linda Gehrlein, Administrative Assistant, joined Beth Chaim in February 2005. She previously worked at Prints of Windsor (a local printing business) for 20 years. This company worked with Beth Chaim to produce print materials. As it so happens, in 2005, when the print shop had to close, a position in the Temple office opened up. And the rest is history!
She lives in the hinterlands of Northwestern NJ with her husband and 2 cats. She is addicted to Cheerios, crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
Wendy Levenkron, Bookkeeper, joined Beth chaim in June 2019. She grew up in Central New Jersey and graduated from University of Delaware and then attended Villanova University. After living in Philadelphia for a few years where she met her husband, she moved back to Manalapan and raised her two sons. Wendy enjoys travelling, the beach, Broadway musicals and spending time with family and friends.
Seidy Arauz, Facility Manager, has been at Beth Chaim since May 2005. She was promoted to facilities manager in 2014. Seidy ensures that all of our day-to-day operations of our synagogue, including Pre-School, run smoothly.
Seidy has a daughter, Catharine. She enjoys dancing, spending time with family and visiting Costa Rica.
We have three other dedicated maintenance staff that work on our team. Benny, Marcelo, and Rosie can be seen around the building, keeping our facilities in pristine condition and events running smoothly.