Temple Beth Am President, Alan Sobel, recently informed the Congregation that Barrie Halpern joined the Temple family on July 1, 2010 as the new Director of Education. Sobel noted that in hiring Barrie, "the synagogue has taken another significant step in fulfilling its strategic goal of building the finest reform Jewish religious school in the region."
Barrie's credentials speak for themselves. She has been a highly successful Jewish educator for sixteen years.
Barrie began her career in 1995 as a Hebrew teacher, Hey Class (7th grade) teacher/coordinator, first grade Primary School teacher and Junior Youth Group Director. Then, in 2001 Barrie became the Assistant Religious School Director of Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston while continuing to teach in the religious school. She is especially passionate about Gemilut Chasadim, "giving of one's time and energy" through tzedakah and mitzvah projects. Barrie holds a B.A. from Binghamton University where she worked as a Youth Director at the Broome County Jewish Community Center. Barrie attended UAHC Camp Eisner for ten years as a camper and staff.
Leveraging her almost two decades of experience in this area, Barrie is well prepared to take the Temple Beth Am religious school to a new level of excellence, confirming its role as a leading synagogue in the area.
Rabbi Ron Kaplan commented "Barrie has the personal traits of unbounded energy and creative talent combined with the professional experience of many years of religious school leadership. These unusual characteristics will attract and inspire our teachers, parents and most importantly our students."
Rhonda Jacoby, religious school director search committee chair, said that the committee was most impressed with Barrie's philosophy, which she explained as follows: "If you want to your children to have a Jewish background, give them a Jewish playground."
The manner in which Barrie has conducted her professional and personal life demonstrates that she embraces this philosophy, as she has spent her career stressing the importance of combining informal Jewish education (camps, youth groups, home) with a formal Jewish education in the classroom setting. It obvious that Barrie is willing to share her love, passion, dedication and commitment to Judaism with all the families she comes in contact with.
Barrie is married to her high school sweetheart, Steven, and has two wonderful children, Emily 18 and Adam 16. The Halperns reside in Rockaway and looks forward to being a part of the Temple Beth Am family for many years to come.
The community is invited to meet Barrie at a Religious School open-house on August 29th at 10 AM. For those who want to meet Barrie sooner, appointments can be scheduled via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 973.887.0046.