The board of trustees at Temple Judea in Manhasset has announced the appointment of Steven Goldberg to serve as its executive director. He replaces Maxine Peresechensky, who has retired after more than 16 years of devoted service to the temple.
“The temple has run for 60 years prior to me,” Goldberg says. “One of my goals is to increase membership and to continue programming and services in the right direction.”
Goldberg comes to his new position after a 33-year career in education. He has a significant background in both guidance as well as school administration, having served as principal of elementary and secondary schools for several years.
His extensive education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from SUNY Albany, and a Master of Science degree in school counseling from Long Island University.
He also earned a professional diploma in school district administration from Long Island University. He worked first as a guidance counselor, moving then to the position of assistant principal and then to principal.
“It’s a new endeavor for me; I am excited about the role,” Goldberg says. “I am looking toward maintaining an environment that is fun, yet spiritual.”
Goldberg’s experiences in education and guidance will serve him well in all aspects of the temple’s programs. He will be involved with navigating the many and varied programs of Temple Judea. He will work closely with the school director in planning and suggesting programs for the students who range in age from five years old and up to high school level.
“Like every religion, we have a relatively older group of members,” Goldberg says. “We are continuously trying to reach out to the younger generation, to younger families.”
Some of his responsibilities will include working closely with the board to implement new ideas for the synagogue and its members. Goldberg will be responsible for the day-to-day operations at the synagogue such as budget, calendar coordination, security, meeting and greeting new congregants.
He has an active interest in the Holocaust and will be pleased to work with the director of the Irving Roth Holocaust Resource Center, an educational facility located within the Temple Judea campus.
“We try to give back to the community as well as taking care of those who are in our immediate temple family,” Goldberg says.
The temple regularly holds clothing and food drives throughout the year, in addition to collaborating with regional schools, organizations and other houses of worship.
“The rabbi is very talented,” Goldberg says. “He has done a great job coming up with new ideas to make services more exciting for everyone.”
Goldberg is eager to begin this new endeavor and to work closely with Rabbi Todd Chizner and Cantor Deborah Jacobson. Some of the responsibilities he will tackle will include supporting the rabbi and cantor in their daily work and promoting specific programs the clergy offers.
In the short time Goldberg has served as executive director, he has already established himself as a friendly and active listener, and an advocate of inclusion of the members in many of the temple projects and activities.
The COVID pandemic has changed many people’s relationship with religion.
“We are still trying to get people back in person,” Goldberg says. “We do have Zoom and live streaming services and even though we are keeping those options, we are trying to do more innovative and exciting things to bring people back into the building.”
New members are welcome to join Temple Judea, a Reform synagogue. For information about the temple’s many projects and activities, as well as worship schedules, call Goldberg at 516-621-8049.
Temple Judea is located at 333 Searingtown Rd. in Manhasset.
Visit www.temple-judea.com to learn more.