On June 9, 2018 Hevreh of Southern Berkshire held its first Tzedek Circle of Honor Gala. This honor is bestowed upon members who exemplify Hevreh’s values and a commitment to the broader Jewish community. TheTzedek Circle of Honor reminds us of our directive from the Torah, Tzedek, Tzedek, Tirdof: Justice, justice, shall you pursue (Deut. 16:20).
The 2018 honorees were Rabbi Everett and Mary Gendler and Barry and Carol Beyer.
Rabbi Everett Gendler, described as “the father of Jewish environmentalism”, has been a progressive voice on the fronts of civil rights and Jewish feminism throughout the modern age. He has served dozens of congregations around the world and was instated as the first Jewish chaplain of Phillips Academy in Andover. Mary is a clinical psychologist and served as the clinical director of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Merrimack Valley, and has written extensively about the role of women in Judaism. The two founded the Gendler Grapevine Project to promote environmental sustainability and social justice initiatives within the Jewish community. In 2007, Everett & Mary were instrumental in the founding of the Active Nonviolence Education Center in Dharmasala, India.
Barry and Carol Beyer have served a collective 25 years on the North American Board of the Union for Reform Judaism and on its major committees. Barry brought his financial prowess as a CPA and business owner to the URJ to restructure finances and create a $10 million endowment in support of the future of Reform Judaism. Carol served as the Director of Organizational Development at the Bergen County Y Jewish Community Center and was instrumental in the development of numerous programs and partnerships within the Bergen County Jewish community. Carol and Barry continue to serve the Jewish community at Hevreh – Barry on the Finance Committee and Past chair of the Endowment Committee and Carol as Secretary and Vice-President having co-chaired the Rabbinic Search Committee and the 40th Anniversary Archives Committee.
In the spirit of our honorees, and in order to maintain our thriving Jewish community, we have established the Tzedek Circle of Honor Fund. The fund will be established to help increase, sustain and subsidize our congregation’s membership. We are a destination for Jewish life, learning, and community. This fund will enable us to open our doors, so we can embrace all who enter.