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We'd love to connect with you!
Connect with other Beth El members by 1) Answering questions 2) Submitting 1-2 pictures 3) Nominating 2 people - preferably someone you don’t know too well! Responses will be shared on the Beth El Facebook page and on the website.

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Getting to know Darlene Golbitz

        

             

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Patient, curious, friendly, considerate, loyal
  2. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? Parents, husband, children, people met while I worked at RBJH
  3. What movie or book would you recommend? "The Weight of Ink" by Rachel Kadish, "Apeirogon" by Colum McCann. Any book where I learn something new! I love all movies except horror movies.
  4. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Follow the science, be patient, be distant, wear masks, maintain connections virtually.
  5. What do you miss most during social distancing? Being able to be with my family, being able to travel.
  6. What makes you laugh? Seeing videos of my new baby nephew, dog antics, funny FB posts from my daughter, Rabbi's comments during Monday evening class, witty comments from British friend.
  7. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? Do you ever relax?!

I want to get to know: 
Lea Grunkin and Sheryl Friedman


Getting to know Jennie Gates-Beckman

                      

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Dedicated to community, grounded by art & nature, driven to raise kind humans, solar-powered extrovert, foodie with ridiculous food intolerances!
  2. What motivates you? My family
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? I was lucky to have strong women role models as bosses in my first several jobs; many of whom I am still in close contact.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I just listened to my first audio book in AGES: "See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love" by Valarie Kaur. Much needed salve in a wounded world.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Be gentle with yourself and others.
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? The ability for my children and myself to hug my parents safely.
  7. What makes you laugh? Monty Python
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? What is your favorite Jewish holiday and why?

I want to get to know: 
Alex Wyatt and Jen Colella


Getting to know Allison Newfeld

                      

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Boxer, Photographer, Compassionate, Jersey Girl, Funny (I think I am anyway)
  2. What motivates you? This seems more difficult to answer these days with all that is going on. My favorite quote is:
    "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." On difficult days I try and remember this.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? Betsy Best - I have known her since I was 11 years old. She was the director of education at the synagogue I grew up at. She taught me so much about wanting to be involved in the Jewish community and the impact you can make to 1 persons life. I am forever grateful for the lessons I have learned as her student and friend.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I love classic movies: "Brigadoon", "Gigi" and "Mommie Dearest"
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Be kind to yourself, and others. We are all struggling in different ways.
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? I miss boxing, I miss my nephews visiting for the summer, I miss having friends over for dinner and entertaining.
  7. What makes you laugh? Kevin Meany, Steve Martin, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? How do you continue to keep faith?

I want to get to know: 
Darlene Goldbitz and Michelle Shkolnick


Getting to know Joni Brooks

                  

              

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. I kicked Cancers @$$. Professionally aggressive, personally passive. I am fearless. Honesty is a true attribute. I believe in Science, it saved my life. Advocate for children, bring them to me. 
  2. What motivates you? My husband, Scott. My son Braden. Sons Shawn and Brad. Stepdaughter Ashley. Their Spouses. Eight grandchildren. We have a very close family. Five generations that love each other dearly. I want to be here for them for a very long time. A strong aggressiveness to stay healthy.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? G-d, He listens to everything. He believes in me as much as I believe in Him. G-d has not left my side during this journey. AML Leukemia. Dr. Bhatt, My UNMC team, My hubby, my son. my renewed relationship with my brother. My dear friend Cathy Scribner.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? Book and Movie - "The Da Vinci Code", I thought the book was better.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? I was diagnosed in July 2019. First hospital stay was 7/26/2019. That's when my quarantine/social distancing started. So, my advise and thoughts. WEAR a mask. Stay away from others. Stay home when possible. This Covid 19 is real. I believe in Science. Please take care of yourselves and others.
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Talking to people. My synagogue. I miss seeing everyone there. I love to eat out, I miss trying new eateries. I MISS SHOPPING. When I go to the Dr's office. I don't shut up. Yack, yack, yack, yack. I drive them crazy. In a good way.
  7. What makes you laugh? My Scott. My Braden. My Brad. Certain TV shows. When Stella our Big Girl Dog sings and talks. Seeing my friends post funny things on Facebook.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? I don't have a questions. Rabbi, we sure are glad you are our Rabbi. You bring a spark to Beth El. Thank you for being you.

I want to get to know: 
Allison Newfield


Getting to know Robby Erlich

             

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Caring of others; thoughtful with actions; diligent; if it's not fun, it's not worth doing; Start. The rest is easy.  
  2. What motivates you? Many things motivate me. The chance to help people experience and live Judaism is my major one. I love to able to help people discover and explore their self; passions, interests and goals. My family and friends motivate me every day to keep on going. My new Peloton bike also motives me!
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? Many people have had a lasting impact on my life. Personally, my wife Andrea and son Jonah, my parents, Linda and Steve, my brother Brian, the many teachers, support staff, baseball coaches & theater directors that I've had. Professionally, I would say my first supervisor working at the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and my supervisor from when I was a Youth Director in St. Paul have had lasting impacts on my life. Both people really showed me care and hard love. They gave me so many opportunities to expand and heightened my love for communal work.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I recommend any movie from Disney+. It's gives you a great break from the daily grind.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Listen to the doctors and the scientists.
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? I miss talking and meeting with people face to face the most.
  7. What makes you laugh? Some skits on SNL; being goofy and making jokes; most comedians and movies; sports bloopers LOL
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? What's the spark that keeps you going?

I want to get to know: 
Joni Brooks and Donny Novak


Getting to know Shiri Phillips

             

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Lively, creative, loving, energetic, family oriented
  2. What motivates you? My family and friends keep me motivated!
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My grandparents (my moms' parents) who have now passed, have had the most impact on my life. We were very close. They helped shape me into the person that I am today.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I just recently watched the series "The Durrels in Corfu". WATCH IT! IT'S AMAZING!
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Take it one day at a time...
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Long hugs with friends, and hanging out without the worries of the virus!
  7. What makes you laugh? A good joke! The best feeling is when you are with your friends and the laughs just keep coming!
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? What was the earliest memory of you wanting to become a Rabbi?

I want to get to know: 
Jennie Gates-Beckman and Melissa Shapiro


Getting to know David Finkelstein

        

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Fun, enthusiastic, outgoing, adventurous, dedicated.
  2. What motivates you? Knowing that whatever I do, I do it to the best of my abilities.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My dad. I learned a lot about life, and what it means to be a mensch, from him.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? Movie, "The Fisher King", starring Robin Williams. Whenever I watch it, I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders. Book, "Choosing my Religion", by Steven Dubner. This is a memoir, about a man trying to trace the Jewish roots that he didn't know he had.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? WEAR A MASK!!!!
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? The social interaction. A handshake, a hug, or even just a pat on the back.
  7. What makes you laugh? I can find humor in almost anything, even in things that most people don't find humorous. Life is too short to be serious all of the time.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? How did you find such wisdom, at such a young age?

I want to get to know: 
Robby Erlich and Bruce Kutler


Getting to know Marilyn Tipp

       

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Here we go round the Mulberry bush..........If I could lose my mind...........
  2. What motivates you? People and family. Wanting to share happiness and love.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? Why, my husband and family of course. My friends are the icing on the cake for me. Many teachers from my past, help to forge my pathway.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I love science fiction. I love the Andromeda Strain. Favorite shows are usually Science based, or romance or anything that has to do with Star Trek.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Follow the SCIENCE. Wear a mask. Show respect and kindness. No one likes this stuff but we must all get on the same page or this will follow us for much longer than it has to.
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Being with our friends and family and not being able to eat out or go to the movies.
  7. What makes you laugh? I love to hear nasty jokes. I love puns
    Playing with the grandkids. Chasing them around with my foam sword and listening to them scream with delight.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? What is the Jewish view on Heaven and Hell?

I want to get to know: 
 I love meeting new people and helping them out. Anyone.


Getting to know Andrea Erlich

       

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Creative, fun, artistic, a foodie and kind.
  2. What motivates you? I am motivated by seeing people succeed.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My Middle School reading teacher, Mrs. Ebben.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? "Keeping the Faith" has always been one of my favorite movies! An oldie, but a goodie.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? If we all work together, we can reduce and help eliminate COVID-19. Wear your mask and stay home when you aren't feeling well!
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Seeing friends and family, getting massages and getting pedicures :-D
  7. What makes you laugh? Dad jokes and puns :-D
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi? What made you want to become a Rabbi?

I want to get to know: 
Amanda Pena and David Finkelstein


Getting to know Sara Kohen

     

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Energetic, people-person, wife and mom of 4, enjoys cooking shows,
    loves walking and biking outdoors
  2. What motivates you? I want to pass on to my kids a world that’s better than I found it. We have a lot of work to do, but that’s not an excuse to stop trying.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My synagogue community in Staunton, Virginia when I was an undergrad at James Madison University: Several families, mostly couples with grown kids, took me in, inviting me to weekly dinners and having long conversations after services. At a time when I was living away from my own family and planning for what would come next, these connections were especially meaningful. I’ve tried to pass that hospitality along to others (pre-pandemic), though with four young kids, dinners at my house can be chaotic.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I recently read "Becoming" by Michelle Obama. I could relate to her experience in some ways: We’re both mothers and lawyers who have pursued non-traditional careers (After practicing law for several years, I’m now the Director of Advancement at Friedel Jewish Academy, a job that I love.). One line in particular really spoke to me: “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?” Reading this line in July 2020 and looking at the world around me, I wanted to do something to help, but I didn’t yet know what. Several months later, I’m now running for Omaha City Council to try to work for a brighter future.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Early on in the pandemic someone, I can’t remember who, said to look for meaning, rather than happiness. I’m very lucky and do have a lot of happiness in my life, but when things get hard, I try to find meaning, even when it’s something as basic as, “Today I showed my kids that I love them” or “I’m going to be more resilient on the other side of this.” I think a lot of people are really struggling right now. I hope that we can find empathy for both the people around us and ourselves. Also, please listen to the experts and wear a mask!
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? I miss seeing my family. We’ve had to postpone indefinitely a trip to see my parents, and that’s been hard.
  7. What makes you laugh? My kids are pretty funny. I also like straightforward, silly comedies. I don’t have a lot of free time, and so if I’m watching TV or a movie, I want to be entertained.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi ? If you could turn any biblical story into a Disney movie (that hasn’t already been turned into one), which one would it be?

I want to get to know: 
Shiri Phillips and Lindsay Epstein


Getting to know Lisa Cooper

     

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Family-oriented, fan of pop culture, Coke Zero drinker, Missouri native, and “impossible to describe” according to my 6 year old.
  2. What motivates you? The opportunity to help the next generation. Kids are so capable!
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My maternal grandma, Marlene, and my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Hall, who inspired me to become a teacher.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? Becoming by Michelle Obama, which is the last book I fully read...over a year ago.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Find reasons to laugh and be kind to yourself- NO ONE has gone through this before! Oh, and wear a mask!
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Traveling and seeing family who live in different cities.
  7. What makes you laugh? My family! Both my son and my husband are pretty funny and make me laugh all the time.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi ? Hmm... let me think of one!

I want to get to know: 
Andrea Erlich and Shiri Phillips


Getting to know Danni Christensen

    

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane. Eshet Chayil in training. Work, play and love BIG. There's nothing that can't be fixed with humor, a nap or a snack (sometimes all three are required).
  2. What motivates you? My family (not a cop out, I promise). My husband is the greatest man I know; steady, kind, gracious... I want to be more like him. He challenges me to be better everyday 🙂 My boys. Working to raise good people is exhausting, but seeing glimpses of their future selves is worth all of the work.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? So many special people have left their footprints on my heart... This one is tough. Is have to say my patients. They are such an inspiration to learn more, live better and always grow as a better advocate. Every person and their story is unique. I take away something from each one. It pushes me to be a better healthcare provider.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend?Go to movies: Secondhand Lions, Love Actually, and Heartbreak Ridge. All of the inappropriate humor and feel good stuff you could ever ask for. I read everything so too many books to list.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? We're all in suspended animation right now. Give yourself grace. This will pass (..maybe like a kidney stone...). But it *will* pass. Sometimes all you can do is all you can do - and that is just fine Keep your chin up ❤️ Oh! Wear a mask and wash your hands 😉
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Hugs. When it is safe again, I am freaking hugging everyone - so watch out!
  7. What makes you laugh? I love to laugh. I have a deep appreciation so sarcasm, dark humor and quick wit. Plus, I have kids so there is usually something ridiculous happening to coax a giggle out of me.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi ? What is by far your absolute favorite class/subject to take and/or teach?
     

I want to get to know: 
Helen Kay, Sara Kohen and Amy Reynolds


Getting to know Lisa Marcus

    

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Born to bake, Personal attache' to Chester the Pekinese, Source of amusement for my husband (and possibly others?), Dances like nobody’s watching (and hopes nobody is!), Prone to random musical outbursts
  2. What motivates you? Making someone smile
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My late husband Doug and my dear friend Shelly of blessed memory - two very special people whose lives were cut short, a constant reminder to make every day count
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? When Harry Met Sally - sometimes you just need to let everything go and relax with a great romantic comedy.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? If you are struggling, reach out to a friend; they may be struggling too, and would love to hear from you.
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? The chance to see my son during the High Holy Days, and the ability to be out in public without fear
  7. What makes you laugh? Pandemic humor on Facebook is always good for a laugh. Two recent favorites: “2020 - brought to you by the letters W, T and F” and “I get most of my exercise these days shaking my head in disbelief”.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi ? How do you describe to others what it’s like being a rabbi in Omaha, Nebraska?
     

I want to get to know: 
Marilyn Tipp and Jamie Skog-Burke


Getting to know Tamar Yellin

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Kind, inquisitive, knowledgeable, helpful, quirky
  2. What motivates you? Carbs. But really, wanting to make the world a better place.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My grandma.
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I love old mystery novels-- I've read through the Agatha Christie canon twice already!
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Have patience and chill. It won't be this way forever. Remember the vulnerable in their time of need.
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Live music - performing and attending!
  7. What makes you laugh? My kids - they're hilarious!
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi ? Can't really think of anything-- I always ask when I do have questions!
     

I want to get to know: 
Danni Christensen and Lisa Cooper


Getting to know Anna Yuz-Mosenkis
 

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Optimistic girl, Loves music and dancing, Compassionate, Friendly, Loves traveling
  2. What motivates you? Great reason to make people happy!
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? Many Dear Losses :(.....and seeing life for what it is...
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? George Orwell “1984”
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? To be careful, obey requirements, but don’t get paranoid. Remind yourself to be thankful every day!
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? Hugs and smiles (when seeing people out)
  7. What makes you laugh? Great jokes, funny situations and to be around people with the real sense of humor
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi ? How to make peace with the past and not to punish yourself for the past mistakes?
     

I want to get to know: 
Lisa Marcus and Lisa Senal


Getting to know Caryn Scheer
   

  1. Pick 5 phrases to describe yourself. Excess energy, Positive outlook, Obsessed with cute babies and puppies, Genuine love of Jewish tradition, Go with the Flow
  2. What motivates you? My desire to be a good role model for my children.
  3. Who has had a lasting impact on your life? My grandpa Sam. He was always such a happy person, was incredibly kind, and had such an amazing attitude (and lived through the Holocaust)!
  4. What movie or book would you recommend? I just watched The Blind Side with my family. It has led to many interesting and thought provoking conversations.
  5. What advice or thoughts would you like to share regarding the pandemic? Remind yourself to be thankful every day!
  6. What do you miss most during social distancing? I miss being able to hug my friends and family.
  7. What makes you laugh? When my dog Charley chases his own tail, or the funny positions he sleeps in. It never gets old.
  8. What is something you have always wanted to ask Rabbi ? What would you do if you hadn’t become a Rabbi?
     

I want to get to know: 
Tamar Yellin and Anna Yuz-Mosenkis

 

Fri, November 27 2020 11 Kislev 5781