Message from the President, Brian Schuster
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Brian Schuster. I have been a member of Temple B’nai Torah for 33 years. As some of you may be aware, this is not the first time I have served as President of our Temple. I also served from 1996 – 1999. During that time, I led the Temple through the sale of our Mercer Island property, the construction of our current building, and our transition to Bellevue. Since that time, I have remained involved in a variety of committees, served on various task forces, and also served as President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Pacific Northwest Council. I currently serve on the URJ North American Board and as such have also been a member of the Temple Board of Directors for the past six years. I really had no plans to be Temple President again. But, there was a need, I was asked, and in response, I said “Hineni.” “Here I am. Yes, I will serve.”
Rabbi Lipper has continually stressed this year that Temple B’nai Torah is a community. Yet a community is only as strong as its members. This is your Temple. There are many opportunities for you to get involved. All you have to do is say “Hineni” too. We have a variety of committees, sub committees, and task forces, all of which need volunteers. If you don’t know where you would best fit or what opportunities there are for you, call the Temple office. We will figure out how we, as a community, can best utilize your talents. We have tremendous opportunities as we transition into having Rabbi Lipper as our new Senior Rabbi. But, as you know, we also have challenges. Working together, we can overcome any challenges and grow and thrive just as we have done in the past. We are part of Temple B’nai Torah because of each other.
I am honored to have been elected to serve as your Temple President again. Together we can make Temple B’nai Torah better than ever.
Board Meetings are open to the congregation!
We welcome any member of the congregation to our monthly board meetings. Please refer to the TBT calendar for the next scheduled meeting, typically held Wednesday evenings. In addition we are posting minutes from the board meetings below - feel free to click and browse the topics and discussion.
Board of Directors
Brian Schuster-President; Brian and his family have been members of TBT for over 30 years. Brian is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) North American Board where he also serves on various committees and commissions. He also serves on the URJ Camp Kalsman Commission. He is a Vice Chair for the URJ Pacific Northwest Community, Immediate Past 1st Vice Chair and Immediate Past Vice Chair for Youth, Camp & Israel for the URJ West District Council as well as Immediate Past President of the URJ Pacific Northwest Council. He has served on numerous committees and task forces at TBT and was President from 1996 – 1999. Brian and his wife Carol reside in Bellevue and their children have all been madrichim in the TBT Religious School, active in BTY and NFTY, and been campers and staff at Camp Kalsman.
Greg Glockner – First Vice President; Greg Glockner and his family joined TBT in 2007, where his son attends TBT's Religious School. Previously, he was a Vice President of Congregation Beth Israel-Judea in San Francisco, and he was active at Temple Emanu-El of Greater Atlanta. In college, he was the co-chair of the Yale Reform Chavurah, where he served as a lay leader for Reform services. Professionally, he is Vice President of Engineering for Gurobi Optimization; he holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research and has worked in decision support software for over 20 years.
Janice Brumer – Vice President; Janice grew up in Bellevue, attended the University of Washington, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Society and Justice. She worked as a legal assistant in bankruptcy law, both in Southern California and here in Seattle. She is married to Marshall and has three beautiful girls, all whom are involved in TBT’s youth programming. She is a current Board Member of the Jewish Day School, Campaign/Development chair of the URJ Camp Kalsman Commission and Co-President of the Donnez Nous Chapter of City of Hope. She has received the Louis Tabak National Volunteer of the Year award for her involvement in City of Hope, was a recipient of the Max Kaminoff Volunteer of the Year Award given by the Stroum Jewish Community Center and was presented with the Kavod Award for her involvement with URJ Camp Kalsman. She loves to sing and play mahjongg when she can.
Joe Dover – Vice President; Joe Dover and his family have been members of Temple B'nai Torah for over 20 years. Joe is active in our Shabbat morning Torah study, Brotherhood, and is a teacher with our Religious School. Joe and his family love the Temple B'nai Torah community and appreciate our wonderful clergy and staff. Outside Temple, Joe is a teacher and Barb owns a preschool.
Rachael Klein - Secretary
Linda Hansen - Treasurer; Linda and her husband, Ken Spencer, have been involved with TBT for over 6 years. Linda has served on the Sisterhood Board, been an enthusiastic weekly Torah Study member, and has been actively involved in the annual TBT Fundraisers for each of the last 5 years. She is a practicing dentist with special interest in serving medically compromised and special needs patients, and being a vocal advocate and voice for their care. Ken and Linda have three adult children and three granddaughters.
Cliff Cantor – Immediate Past President; Cliff and Pauline are long-time members. They are parents of three grown children who went through TBT Religious School, B’nai Mitzvah, and NFTY. Cliff and Pauline have a passion for the outdoors. They are active hikers and rock climbers (as long as their joints permit) and volunteer with Washington Trails Association to build trails in the mountains.
- Jayne Carlin - Jayne Carlin and her husband, Wallace Reid have been members of TBT since 1998 and their three (now adult) children attended TBT religious school. Currently she is the chair of the Adult Education Committee and a member of the TBT 2020 (Strategic Planning) Committee. She had served on the Sisterhood board of directors and on many TBT committees, as well as founded several book groups at TBT, one of which is still active. She loves reading and learning. She works for the Environmental Protection Agency and had lived in Boston, Washington DC area and San Francisco Bay area before moving to the Puget Sound in 1988.
- Donna Blankinship - Donna and her family have belonged to Temple B'nai Torah for about 20 years. She is a journalist by trade and a Sisterhood volunteer by avocation. She also teaches both in the Religious School and the Adult Education program. She and her husband, Tom, have one daughter, who has also been very involved with TBT.
- Bob Epstein - Bob Epstein is a native of Brooklyn New York but has lived most of his life in Bellevue. His undergraduate degree is in Pharmacy from Long Island University, Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. Bob also holds an MBA from the University of Washington. Bob and his wife Karen joined Temple B’nai Torah in 2010. Looking for a volunteer opportunity, Bob joined the finance committee a year later.
- Yaffa Chudnow
- Elliot Cohen
- Amy McGinnis
- Randy Hyde
- Terry Shirk - Terry and her husband Robert have been members at Temple B'nai Torah for nearly twelve years. When their oldest child entered religious school, Terry began substituting and ultimately accepted the regular position of teaching the 2nd Grade religious school class. It has been a great way to get to know the young families of TBT and to enhance connections to other members. Active in their Chavurah, Terry, Robert, and their three kids enjoy the inclusiveness of the TBT community and Terry is excited by the opportunity to participate in the growth of TBT as the synagogue evolves with our new leadership.
- Dee Isackson
- Nicky Walker
- Kalai Socha-Leialoha
- Chuck Wolfe - Charles R. (Chuck) Wolfe, M.R.P., J.D. provides a unique perspective about cities as both a long time writer about urbanism worldwide and as an attorney in Seattle, where he focuses on land use and environmental law. He is also an Affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. Chuck is an avid traveler, photographer and writer, and contributes regularly on urban development topics for several publications including CityLab/The Atlantic Cities, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Grist, seattlepi.com, and Crosscut.com. He blogs at myurbanist.com. His new book, Urbanism Without Effort, was published by Island Press in May. He lives in Seattle with his fiancee, Fiona De Kerckhove.
- Elliot Paull -Elliot, Sally and their family have been TBT members for 25 years. Elliot is a longtime board member, serving as Temple President and Treasurer. Elliot is also a member of the URJ Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of URJ North American Camp Commission and a member of the URJ Camp Kalsman Commission. Elliot and Sally are regular Shabbat Morning Services attendees.
- Mollie Launer
- Matthew Titelbaum
- Nikita Marcou - BTY President; Nikita and her family joined Temple B'nai Torah in 2009. She attended Religious School and was then called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah. After becoming a Jewish adult, Nikita became involved with B'nai Toray Youth and NFTY.