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Greetings from Sara Ann Erichson – Incoming President of Shomrei
June 28, 2018

Hello!  This Shabbat marks my start as Shomrei’s new president. It is a privilege to serve this amazing community which I have been a member of for nearly twenty years.

Let me tell you a bit about myself.  My husband Howie and I moved to Montclair twenty-eight years ago and recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We have two young adult children – Danny and Jake – who both work and live in New York City.  I recently retired from my job after thirty-one years as an executive with Nielsen – the company most famous for producing TV ratings. Howie is a law professor at Fordham Law School. I love to travel, play tennis, go to the theatre and am obsessed with Boston sports – especially the Red Sox.

Shomrei has been a fixture in my life for a long time.  My sons both went to the JLC and became b’nai mitzvah at Shomrei. I have served many years on the Education Board and on the Board of Trustees. My husband is a past president.   Sometimes it takes a significant life event – like mourning the death of a parent or celebrating a joyous occasion – to remind me of the impact that the Shomrei community has had on my life. But there are other, less obvious ways I see and feel this every day.

Shomrei has always been there for me. I will do my best to always be there for you.

In addition to my stepping up as president, a new Board of Trustees starts its work.  Most on our board are existing members continuing their work, and I thank them for their sustained commitment.

This includes Pam Golden who is taking on the role of executive vice president in addition to continuing as our treasurer. In addition, we have three new members coming on to the board and I’d like to let each of them introduce themselves here:

From Dawn Berman (Trustee): “Greetings! It is my distinct pleasure to be serving on Shomrei’s board once again! Our family, my husband Leon and daughters Izzy and Gabby, have been members of Shomrei since 2001.  Our daughters attended Shomrei Preschool and JLC. I served as chairperson of both for a decade, much of that time alongside Sara Ann.  Professionally, I’m trained as a clinical social worker, and am currently working with another Shomrei member, Wendy Sabin, as a geriatric care manager.  I also work alongside my husband in our NYC-based investor relations/financial communications consulting firm, The IGB Group. I look forward to serving with the other members of the board, and being an active member of the Shomrei community.”

From Gerry Blume (VP, Membership): “Linda and I have been members since 1994. I have served for a number of years on the board before, including as President and Treasurer.  Our children Dara and Michael are graduates of Shomrei’s religious school and now independent members of society. I believe Shomrei offers a wonderful Jewish community, both spiritually and socially, for the area.”

From Emil Shteinberg (Trustee): “Megan Harr (my fiancé) and I have been members of Shomrei for the last three years. I’m Australian and, despite what Megan says, believe I still have the accent. We both love traveling and, in fact, are going to Israel over 4th of July.”

I can’t close without taking a moment to thank our outgoing president Fern Heinig. Shomrei is so lucky to have had Fern as our lay leader the past two years. As a result of her passion, compassion and commitment, she leaves Shomrei in a better place.  Thank you, Fern!

I am excited to get to work and am fortunate to have the partnership and guidance of our wonderful rabbi David Greenstein as well as Heather Brown, our outstanding education director, and the rest of the terrific staff.
I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to reach out anytime.  You can contact me at serichson@shomrei.org.

Sara Ann Erichson