MRJ About MRJ

Constitution and By Laws

 

Voting for Officers and Executive Council members for 2017-2019 was
completed at our convention in Washington, D.C.

Thank you to the nominating committee for 
providing an excellent slate.

Mazel Tov to all those elected.

 

 

MRJ Nominating Committee:

  • Ira Warshawsky – Chair
  • Buzz Deitchman
  • Rob Himmelstein
  • Jeff Levine
  • Jeff Light
  • Charlie Niederman
  • Dave Oney
  • Larry Pepper
  • Tom Weiner

MRJ OFFICERS 2017/2019

OFFICERS 

President
Steven Portnoy

1st Vice President
Rob Himmelstein

Vice Presidents
Gary Brock
Brian Hatkoff
Tony Perry
Stephen Sherman

Treasurer
Paul Cohen
Assistant Treasurers
Andy Chait
Dan Checkman

Secretary
Larry Pepper
Assistant Secretary(s)
Larry Krasnoff
Alan Moskoff

 

 

   

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Tony Perry Stuart Leviton
Aaron Bloom Brian Serle
Michael Fein Alan Moskoff
Andy Chait Ken Moskowitz
Dan Checkman Charlie Niederman
Paul Cohen Larry Pepper
Buzz Deitchman Steven Portnoy
Ken Keenan Howard Oppenheim
Howard Bellet David Schuster
Harvey Harris John Shalett
Brian Hatkoff Stephen Sherman
Rob Himmelstein Irving Shnaider
Robert Ingrum Ira Warshawsky
Michael Kaplan
Honorary Pres.
Gary Brock
Tom Wiener
 

 

 

Stewards and Ambassadors

I am struck by the fact that the Men of Reform Judaism are embracing a dual commitment as part and parcel of our overall mission:  we are stewards and, increasingly, we are ambassadors.  Let me explain.  As stewards in our Temples we take on routine tasks (putting up and taking down the Sukkah, participating in Brotherhood Shabbat services, helping at the Purim carnival).  Routinely, too, we may have monthly Brotherhood men’s night out at a restaurant.  And we may sponsor the occasional brunch for the greater Temple community.

President of MRJ Steven Portnoy’s recent prescient remark that as MRJ we “don’t end at the curb or edge of the parking lot,” provides an apt segue.  MRJ is making its mark outside of the Temple walls.  Witness our recent attendance at the combined Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs and Men of Reform Judaism Convention in the Washington, DC area.  You know that we have boldly moved to collaborate with FJMC and that this historic adventure continues, benefitting both movements.  Our role as ambassadors was in stark evidence at the Convention the evening that Steven Portnoy of MRJ and Allen Gottesman of FJMC delivered a joint statement at the Israeli Embassy titled “In Protest of Increasing Limits in Religious Pluralism in Israel.”  That the two voices protested the Israeli governments actions , which questions whether non-Orthodox Jews as legitimate, certainly signals that we will seize opportunities as ambassadors of Jewish men’s values without hesitation.

MRJ consistently offers innovative ideas for local programs, supports Reform Jewish students on campuses worldwide, and makes our Men’s Seders that allows men to share their deeply held beliefs available to all Brotherhoods.  Our support for and ongoing leadership in regional contacts between our clubs is nowhere more evident than in the West, where MRJ and FJMC have established inseparable bonds of comity and camaraderie. MRJ  clubs in the Los Angeles area, for example, attend FJMC Torch Award programs; in the Philadelphia area FJMC is hosted at a Reform Temple for one of its Leadership Training Initiatives (LDI); and both movements encourage nurturing local clubs if they find themselves in any way struggling.

As a newly elected vice president of MRJ my pledge to visit all of our local clubs will want to accomplish at least these things:  ensure that all our clubs appreciate the benefits of our collaboration with FJMC; and, as important, to provide our local clubs with any and all information and support both from MRJ and FJMC so that they will continue to flourish and succeed.  

Let us decidedly affirm that there are no topics that we will not explore if they comport with our Jewish values, and that no programming opportunities with our FJMC brothers will be squandered.  MJR and FJMC membership gives each of us the opportunity to be stewards or ambassadors.  Which will you be, or will you be both?

Gary Brock, VP Men of Reform Judaism

Member, Brotherhood of Main Line Reform Temple, Wynnewood, PA