Synagogue Committees

You are invited and encouraged to learn about how the various synagogue committees help the synagogue and to become involved in their planning and activities.

Below is a list of the committees with a brief description of their responsibilities. Please feel free to contact a committee chair or the synagogue for more information.

Adult Education

Provides various educational opportunities for adults to learn and explore Judaism and Jewish issues.

Chair: Edina Oestreicher    Email:


Oversees the production of the bi-monthly bulletin, weekly e-news, the Or Shalom web site, as well as both internal and external communications and marketing for synagogue related activities.

Chair: Elyse Borsuk   Email:


The Education Committee oversees the operation of our religious school and school related activities. The committee works together with the Rabbi and the Lead Teacher/Coordinator to help establish education policy, approve curriculum, assist in establishing budget recommendations for the school, and to participate in long range school planning. The committee is also involved the process of making recommendations to the Board of Directors about religious school personnel.

Chair: Mara Saccente  Email:


Oversees all of the Congregation's financial matters; Prepares, with input from Officers and Committees, the annual budget for presentation to the Board for its recommendation and to the Membership for its approval at the Annual Meeting; Oversees the Congregation's insurance policies; Oversees all of the Congregation's investments and endowments; Establishs and maintain programs for planned giving; Review the Congregation's finances on a prudent and timely schedule; Engages an independent Certified Public Accounting firm to prepare a "Review Level" financial statement at least once each Fiscal Year; Sets spending safeguard policy; and Includes the Treasurer as a member.

Chair:  Harvey Remz   Email:


Develops programs and other opportunities to raise money for the synagogue. Such activities have included art auctions, Concerts, Comedy shows and a golf and tennis tournament.

Chair: Gordon Lann  please email 


Oversees the maintenance and improvement of the synagogue building and property.

Chair: Franklin & Bernice Konowitz 

Human Resources

Provides oversight and guidance to ensure a positive work environment for our paid employees.

Chair: Gerri White

Jewish Life

works to maintain a sense of community between the synagogue, the Greater New Haven Jewish Community, the Conservative Movement and the State of Israel by sponsoring or assisting in Congregation-wide celebrations, social and cultural programs, educational programs and other activities. We encourage awareness of and participation in all areas of Jewish life. Upcoming events include shabbat dinners, activities with the Israeli emissaries, and participation in other activities as scheduled.

Chair: Jodi Viezel  Email:


The primary responsibilities of Or Shalom's Leadership Committee are to recruit members to serve on the Congregation's Board of Directors as well as for Standing Committees. The committee is also charged with providing leadership training for members of the Board and Standing Committees.


Oversees the recruitment of new members. The committee is responsible for integrating new members into the Congregation during their first years of Membership, as well as for membership retention.

Chair: OPEN  Email:


Is charged with the overall policy of the religious life of the synagogue. We work with the Rabbi to set rules and implement decisions regarding the kosher use of the synagogue's kitchens, the flow and overall content of the services according to the Conservative movement. Our philosophy is to make Jewish rituals meaningful to our Congregants in order to raise our Jewish conscience and practice of Mitzvoth. The committee also coordinates services and hires the cantor for the High Holy Day services.

Chair:  Gary Pearl Email: ritual@orshalomct.orgmore ]

Social Action

Social Action is dedicated to helping the community at large as well as developing a social action focus for the members of our synagogue. We plan, organize, and carry out charitable activities related to tikkun olam, healing the world. The activities we participate in are Mitzvah of the Month, Spooner house, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen and helping the CT Food Bank.

Chair: Nancy Kline  Email:


The Or Shalom Youth Committee is responsible for conducting youth-related activities to keep older children engaged and active in the synagogue community. We are designed to get our students in grades 4-8 to engage in activities with other students outside of the traditional Hebrew School setting. Last year in addition to running and organizing the Purim Carnival, we held a bowling party and rock climbing event. This year we hope to add a dance for the older students as well as a scavenger hunt to kick off the school year. In addition, the children will serve a meal at the Spooner House as well as one other community based events to promote interaction with other Jewish children in the community.

Chair: Open Email:

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