Temple Beth El is supported by a Board of Trustees, who serve as our modern equivalent of kohanim.
Rachel Stark (President)
Rachel comes to TBE from Jewish Orthodoxy in Connecticut and from the Stark Family of City Island, whose David Stark she married in 2017. Rachel graduated from Clark University in Massachusetts, and received a masters degree in mental health counseling from Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.). Rachel has worked as a school counselor at various Schools for the Deaf in the New York area, and currently serves with a special needs student in the Chappaqua Central School District. Rachel is mom to two young adults, who continue to be her ultimate joy.
Shari Berkowitz (Vice President)
Shari Berkowitz is a nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn who has been living in Queens for over 30 years. Her bat mitzvah service was on a Friday night. Shari constructed many creative services as a teen in youth groups and summer camps, and led Friday night junior congregation when her kids were in Hebrew school. (Where are all those notes now when she needs them?) Nowadays Shari is a lay service leader and proud member of TBE’s Band by the Sea (vocalist, percussion, ukulele). By day, Shari (a.k.a. “Dr. B”) is professor of speech-language pathology at Mercy College.
Stuart Sorell (Secretary-Treasurer)
I am a retired educator who taught 15 years in an elementary school and 20 years as an assistant principal in the Bronx. I grew up in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx where I attended public schools. I was bar mitzvah at Throggs Neck Jewish Center (then Orthodox). When my son was born, we moved to Westchester and joined Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains (Reform). After buying my City Island home on Buckley Street, I met and married my wonderful husband, Dennis. I found myself drawn to Temple Beth El: I made friends instantly because I felt such a warm, haimishe atmosphere. I’ve become very involved with TBE: I know the community has been around for 85 years and look forward to helping it flourish for the next 85 years!
Jodie Sadovsky (President Emerita)
Jodie was born and raised in Yonkers, New York, attended local public schools and continued her education at the University of Miami (Florida). Jodie’s background includes management of real estate portfolios: she recently retired as site manager for affordable housing in the Bronx. Jodie lives with her spouse in New Rochelle and the cat who adopted them and generously allows humans to squat in her domain. Jodie served as synagogue president during 2021-2022.
Elaine Belasco (Chair, Membership)
Elaine joined Temple Beth El in 2002 and joined the Board of Trustees in 2010. Originally from Brooklyn Heights, Elaine moved to the Bronx in 1991 and to City Island in 2001. After teaching elementary school for almost 35 years, Elaine retired in 2000 and for many years tutored at a regional tutoring center. A passionate ballroom dancer, she competed nationally for eight years and taught dancing classes, including at TBE. Elaine also enjoys theater, music and spending time with her grandson, who is her pride and joy.
Barbara Gold (Chair, Building & Grounds)
Barbara has been members of TBE for over a dozen years. She and her husband, Carl z”l, were moved by TBE’s open hearted, open minded spiritual community. Having always wanted to be a helping professional, Barbara earned her M.S.W. from Hunter College and two post-masters clinical certificates. She has been in the private practice of psychotherapy for adults and couples in Manhattan for over 25 years. Barbara has passions for music, gardening and visiting with family and friends. She has studied the piano for over 20 years and wishes to expand her repertoire into Jewish music of all types. Involvement with TBE has brought new frontiers to Barbara’s life. Her spiritual quest found a home in TBE that encourages all to accept the truth of what they feel and know. Barbara feels that it is an honor and a privilege to serve on the Board of TBE. She looks forward to building a meaningful future for TBE together with the other Board members.
Bart Sobel (Chair, Fundraising)
Bart Sobel found TBE as part of rediscovering his Jewish spirituality. Residing in Manhattan with his wife, Lynda, Bart continued an 80-year family tradition as director of Camp Winaukee in New Hampshire. Previously Bart was a professor of education at UNC-Chapel Hill, specializing in educational philosophy. In his “spare time,” Bart is a storyteller and marathoner; his first book is in the works. Bart earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin and his Ed.D. from Boston University.