This year, as we celebrate the strength of women in shaping Temple Judea, we are privileged to honor two women who have been at the forefront of our synagogue for over 15 years. We will also be acknowledging the 6 women who have come forward to lead our congregation as Presidents from 1974 to the present.
Executive Director Ellen Franklin joined our community first as a member in 1989 and in 2004 took the helm as Executive Director. A few years after Ellen arrived, the Temple Judea community embarked on a multi-million dollar project to rebuild and renovate our Lindley property. Ellen was a key member of the leadership team that brought this idea from a dream to the reality of our award-winning building. In the past 14 years, Ellen has established herself as one of the leading executive directors in North America.
However, Ellen is primarily cherished for her warmth and outgoing personality. She makes every member feel important and valued. With Ellen, the emphases is always on the ‘Jewish Values’ element of being a Jewish professional.
Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot joined our community in 2004. During the course of her tenure, Rabbi Cantor Wissot has endeared herself to the community through numerous life cycles, by teaching hundreds of adults and children, and through her empathy and her deep reservoir of Jewish knowledge. Rabbi Cantor Wissot is a leader among her peers, serving her professional organizations in a variety of capacities.
Among her many accomplishments at Temple Judea, Rabbi Cantor Wissot is most proud of her mentorship of students through our Cantors-in-Training program, through our choirs, and through her friendship.
Our history as a progressive, innovative congregation far surpasses the norm when it comes to women in our leadership. Myrna Gordon was the first woman President (1974-76) of a major congregation in the United States. Since then, we have been graced by 5 more female Presidents as they have helped us traverse the many challenges that synagogue life inevitably brings and the wisdom to overcome those challenges.
With the courage to move us forward into a new time, a new place and with new thoughts, these women helped mold Temple Judea. We are proud to sing their praises and celebrate our good fortune in having such a dedicated, talented and innovative cadre of leaders, both lay and professional, who have been the voice and face of our congregation throughout the years.
Congratulations to our honorees and woman presidents.
Gala chairs Nikki & Ivan Axelrod