Email Rabbi Dolinger to schedule an appointment.Rabbi Barry Dolinger grew up in North Bellmore, a small suburb on the south shore of Long Island. He graduated from Mepham High School, and continued on to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A., majoring in political science and minoring in near eastern studies. Rabbi Dolinger studied in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh in the Old City of Jerusalem, in order pursue religious interests and studies. Upon returning, he studied law at Fordham Law School in New York, where he received his J.D. in 2011. He also attended the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, affiliated with Yeshiva University, where he received Semicha in 2011. During his time in Semicha, Rabbi Dolinger served as Rabbinic Intern at Congregagtion Adereth El in Manhattan and as Rabbinic Intern at the Beth Din of America. He taught Jewish studies at the Striar Hebrew Academ, and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, Holocaust Education and Resource Center of Rhode Island, and the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island.
In September of 2011, Rabbi Dolinger began serving as Rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom. He also serves as Vice President of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island, is a member of the Vaad HaKashruth of RI, and is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America and International Rabbinic Fellowship. He frequently serves as a scholar-in-residence, and has brought energy and vibrancy to our community. He and his wife are thrilled to be in Providence as part of a warm, friendly, and creative community. Rabbi Dolinger enjoys sharing religious and social experiences with the community, while engaging in a meaningful and relevant quest for for religious inspiration and meaning, based on the everlasting truths and insights of our tradition. He enjoys the vibrant and creative flavor of Judaism in Providence, and looks forward to collaborating together with the community to write the next chapter.
Director of Spiritual Engagement Rabbanit Avital Engelberg
Rabbanit Avital Engelberg will serve as Congregation Beth Sholom's part-time Director of Spiritual Engagement for one year, beginning August 2019. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre from Tel Aviv University, a Master's degree in Talmud from Bar Ilan University, a Teacher's degree from the Open University in the UK, and a Diploma in Group Facilitation from Sapir College in Sderot. Rabbanit Avital was a fellow of the Halakhic Studies program at Midreshet Lindenbaum and is a graduate of the Advanced Kollel at Yeshivat Maharat. Rabbanit Avital has taught Talmud at various Jewish educational institutions in Israel and the United States. She is currently a ramit (a position that includes both teaching and counseling) at Midreshet Ein Hanatziv and is the Midrasha's Head Army Coordinator, managing communication between the IDF and the Midrasha's students. She will also be teaching Judaic Studies at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island during her time in Providence.
Rabbanit Avital will be assisting Rabbi Dolinger with pastoral care and counseling, youth and adult education, teaching conversion candidates, as well as bar/bat/b'nai mitzvah preparation. She will teach shiurim and give drashot to our community. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Manager Jessica Berndt
Jessica worked in the fashion industry for over twenty years as a makeup artist and creative director. About six years ago, she chose to retire from that world. Incorporating her love of animals and fondness for structure and order, she became the office manager of a busy veterinary practice. The practice closed recently when the vet took on a new position. So now begins her next chapter with us at Beth Sholom!
Jessica is happily married to her husband of twenty years, Jason. They share their home with three dogs, who share their home with one very saucy cat. In her spare time, she is a passionate baker, runner, and gardener. You can contact Jessica by email at Office@BethSholom-RI.org.
Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses
Sarah is a graduate of the Keren Ariel Yoetzet Halacha Program at Nishmat: The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women in Jerusalem She spent two years of intensive study of the laws relating to taharat hamishpacha in depth, and is equipped to guide couples through their observance of these mitzvot. In addition she received training from experts in the field of modern medicine and psychology on topics such as gynecology, infertility, sexuality, and family dynamics. Sarah also holds both a Master's degree in Public Health from Columbia University and a B.A. in Biology with Honors from Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women. Sarah has previously taught at Ulpanot Orot High School in Toronto and at Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck, NJ. She has been involved with informal Jewish education through her role as Co-Director of the Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) at Yale University and as a part-time JLIC educator in Toronto-area universities.
A Yoetzet Halacha is a woman certified after extensive training by Nishmat’s Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women to serve as a resource for couples regarding Taharat HaMishpacha and its intersection with women’s health, including fertility issues, pregnancy loss, and marital intimacy. She has spent two years of intensive study of the laws relating to these halachot and received training from experts in the field of medicine and psychology on related topics. She is equipped to guide couples through their observance of these mitzvot. Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses will serve as this advisor to couples in the Greater Boston Area. A Yoetzet Halacha is an advisor, and does not offer psak. She answers questions that have clear answers and consults with the inquiring couple’s Rabbi when the question is novel and requires a psak.
Yoetzet Halacha Sarah Cheses can be reached for consultations via phone or text at (339) 364-2848 or via email at NE.email@example.com. The best hours to contact Sarah are 9AM to 3PM and 8PM to 10PM. Sarah will also give lectures each year in Brookline/Brighton, Newton, Providence and Sharon. For more information and to stay connected, please visit www.NEyoetzet.org and sign up for the mailing list.
Kesher Social Worker Tara Watkins
Tara will be serving the role previously held by Rose Murrin. Kesher is the congregational outreach program of Jewish Collaborative Services, funded by the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and private donors. Kesher is currently active at Temple Sinai, Temple Torat Yisrael, Congregation Beth Sholom, and Temple Emanu-El. (She also serves as the Kesher social worker for Temple Emanu-El.)
The Kesher program provides a synagogue-based social worker to assist members of the congregation periods of life transitions and struggle. Kesher also serves as a gateway to additional supportive services provided both within the Jewish and broader community. As the Kesher social worker for Beth Sholom, she is available to meet with congregants, families, and individuals for consultation, short-term counseling (with referral help for long term counseling as needed), information and referral, resource guidance, and just to talk. These services are all provided free of charge to congregants and on a confidential basis.
In addition, Kesher helps organize and set up programming on topics of family life and social concerns. Examples of past programming run or set up by either Tara or other Kesher social workers include: Wise Aging discussion group, managing daily stress, internet safety, Matter of Balance, grief support group, scam awareness for seniors, panel discussion to support future planning for primary caregivers of individuals with special needs, a viewing of the documentary Screenagers followed by Q & A, and more.
If any of the above topics are currently of interest to you she is happy to revisit running the program again and/or other topics of interest in the Beth Sholom community. Currently, she is exploring interest in the following three programs: 1.) grief support group 2.) Discussion and reflection group focused on the book “Buried in Treasure: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding” by David Tolin, Gail Steketee and Randy Frost. 3.) Discussion and reflection group based on the book “Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit.” by Dr. Linda Thal and Rabbi Rachel Cowan.
If you would like to learn more or participate in one of these groups, please call 401-527-7772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The group/s with the most expressed interest in participation will be offered sometime this year.
Tara looks forward to meeting many of you and supporting you on your personal life journeys.