Despite the economic consequences of the pandemic, Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI) is expanding its professional staff. Anne Norman-Schiff, who is completing a Ph.D. in religious studies at Yale University, will be BEKI’s first youth and family programming director. Although she met with BEKI families in April via Zoom, she starts her position on June 1.
“BEKI is a thriving and growing community with many young families,” says President Yaron Lew. “Our youngsters represent our synagogue’s future. Even in these tough times, BEKI is committed to serving our congregants and enriching our children and young adults. We committed the funds to make it happen.”
Norman-Schiff will coordinate and support the children's Shabbat and High Holiday programs, which are led by parent volunteers. She will also be the advisor to BEKI’s Kadima and USY youth groups.
“She is passionate about Judaism, comfortable working with people at all levels of learning, and has seen in her own life what synagogues, youth groups and Hillels can do to foster Jewish engagement,” states Mark Oppenheimer, a parent at BEKI. “As a dad, I am so excited that she will be working with my kids."
“BEKI is such a warm community with an incredible spirit of volunteerism and learning,” Norman-Schiff says. “I love the idea of making meaningful Jewish experiences for kids of all ages, and teaching and supporting our parent volunteers. I am so excited to support BEKI’s young people in building their communities into what they want them to be.”
“We see Annie as a fountain of knowledge and energy that will help propel our younger generation into a future of great deeds for our synagogue and the Jewish community at large,” adds Lew.
Congregation Beth El–Keser Israel is located in New Haven. Connect at beki.org.