We honor the following members with deep gratitude
Ellen and Richard Chassin
We joined Shaaray Tefila when we moved to Armonk over 22 years ago. We had other options like everyone else but were immediately drawn to this beautiful synagogue and its caring community that welcomed us so warmly.
Shaaray quickly became a place of community for all stages of our lives as a family to help us celebrate our joyous occasions and mourn the deaths of three parents. Ellen served on the Engagement Committee, Cantorial Search Committee, and the Green Team. She also serves on the Israel Action Committee, which is near and dear to her heart in large part because of our family’s life-changing trip to Israel for Jessica’s Bat Mitzvah. That trip was so meaningfully led by Rabbi David Greenberg and joined by other Shaaray families with whom we forged lasting friendships.
As embodied by Rabbi Greenberg’s lifelong mission, now fully embraced by Rabbi David Wilfond, Shaaray Tefila’s commitment to social action and Tikkun Olam is important to us. As we try to raise children, who are compassionate, thoughtful, and engaged with the serious issues that challenge us globally, we are forever grateful to our clergy for providing that essential context.
Together with Lauren and Jessica, Ellen regularly participates in making soup with our neighbors in the Shaaray kitchen. Delivering soup -- and teddy bears made by Jessica and her friends at her Bat Mitzvah-- to the Ronald McDonald House at the Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital are very special memories for our family. Making those personal connections with families of sick children reinforced for us that even small acts of kindness can contribute to improving the world around us.
Richard has become involved in several aspects of temple life, currently serving on the Board of Trustees and as one of the vice presidents (third in line, actually) under the extraordinary leadership of our President Sharon Feldman and steady hand of Interim Executive Director Leslie Lichter. He also served on the Strategic Advisory Council, Rabbinic Transition Council, Executive Director Search Committee, and a few others.
We are especially grateful to our co-honorees and friends Lisa and Bill Glenn and Stephanie Di Christina for all that they have done to sustain our special community and make Shaaray such a vibrant place. And none of Shaaray Tefila’s important work could be accomplished without our dedicated staff and the engagement efforts of Alli West, for which we are also so grateful.
While we are pleased to be honored at the 2022 Gala for our past efforts, we are committed to doing our part to assure the future success of Shaaray Tefila. With the support of our broader community, that future looks especially bright with the impending joyful addition of our new Cantor Inés Kapustiansky and continuing thoughtful guidance and compassionate leadership of Rabbi Wilfond, who is deeply committed to engaging all of us on lifelong spiritual journeys.
Having grown up in Chappaqua and living the majority of my adult life in northern Westchester, I happened upon Shaaray Tefila quite by accident when trying to get my son to nap as a toddler. While driving around the back roads of Bedford with Aaron in his car seat, I saw the sign for Shaaray Tefila and thought to myself, I’ve heard of that place...pulled in to the upper parking lot, saw the playground, thought holy smokes, look at all that space and equipment! I immediately withdrew Aaron from his preschool and enrolled him at Shaaray Tefila. My daughter Lucy, age 2, enrolled the next year and I became extremely active in the parenting committee. Even before I became a member, I headed a fundraiser for the preschool which solidly defined Shaaray Tefila as my community.
My son is now graduating from high school and my daughter is completing her junior year. I have never stopped supporting Shaaray Tefila and my support/passion has expanded to a dream of creating a teen center that will really put Shaaray Tefila on the map as the focal point for teens of Northern Westchester. Our teens want to become involved in social action, social justice and just being “social.”
I have taught religious school at Shaaray Tefila for the past 12 years which gives me immense pleasure...I even taught briefly in the nursery school. Aaron, Lucy, my parents and Richard know how much this community means to me. I am hoping that my legacy lives on in many of the areas that I have been able to leave both a physical and educational impact on our community.
Bill & Lisa Glenn
When we moved to Katonah, we visited several congregations in the area, and Shaaray Tefila is where we felt most at home. We immediately felt the warm embrace of the community and have been members since 1998, along with our three daughters, Carly, Sydney and Chloe.
Our middle daughter, Sydney, was a member of the first graduating class of the Shaaray Tefila Early Childhood Center. Throughout our daughters' younger years, we created long lasting friendships and stayed very connected to the congregation through the engaging programs in the ECC, Religious School. We have also enjoyed a wide variety of temple offerings over the years – especially taking part in the temple’s social action efforts with our children through Mitzvah Projects and cooking
All three of our daughters became Bat Mitzvah at Shaaray Tefila and we cherish the beautiful services and celebrations in our sanctuary and on the temple’s gorgeous grounds. Carly’s Bat Mitzvah was especially memorable, as after hearing her sing, she was asked by MJ Newman and Shalyn Courtenay to join the adult choir. Carly has been a featured soloist in our High Holy Day services at Caramoor ever since!
We have both been very active on temple committees and initiatives over the years. Lisa served on the Caring Community, B'nai Mitzvah Committee and the ECC Parent Committee among others. She is currently on the Membership Committee and looks forward continuing the progress that our committee has made with Alli West at the helm.
Bill has been deeply involved in supporting and guiding many of the temple’s critical initiatives over the years. He served on the Board of Trustees, the Strategic Advisory Council, among others, and is currently serving on the Executive Director Search Committee.
Rabbi Wilfond, Rabbi Greenberg and the temple community have been there to celebrate with us, and to comfort us when healing was needed. We believe that because of this support and our experiences at Shaaray Tefila, our daughters have embraced the importance of giving back and supporting those less fortunate.
We feel so blessed to be part of Shaaray Tefila. Thank you so much for this honor.