SHORT HILLS, N.J. — Eric Sellinger and Maureen Spivack, residents of Short Hills who both served as past presidents of the Temple B'nai Jeshurun congregation will be honored during the gala celebration commemorating the synagogue’s 170th anniversary on May 10. The evening's festivities focus on "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" in tribute not only to the past president honorees but also the founding organizers of the Interfaith Hospitality Network’s (IHN) and the founding chairs of the Rabbi Barry H. Greene Early Childhood Center Parents' Association.
Sellinger was president of the temple from 2008 to 2011. As a registered investment adviser with Vertigo Strategies, LLC., he still finds time to give back to the community. Sellinger is a board member of Tour de Summer Camps NJ that provides One Happy Camper grants and need-based scholarships for children to attend the camp. He and his wife Randi have three children: Melanie, Rachel and Noah.
Spivack is the immediate past president and along with her husband Dr. Saul Spivack and daughter Adria have been part of the congregation for 19 years. Before her presidency, she spent three years as vice president of finance utilizing her 30 years in investment banking. Spivack continues to sit on the temple board as well as several privately held and national non-profit health care industry boards.
Also being feted at the anniversary celebration are two former Short Hills residents and past presidents of the synagogue Charles Dreifus of New York City and Fred S. Fraenkel of Miami Beach. Six other past presidents and long-time Short Hills residents are being honored posthumously. They include Howard Golden, Jerry Harwood, Marshall Sherman. Maurice Bick and Philip Brous. Their wives, Louise Golden, Ruthella Harwood, Renee Sherman, Joan Bick and Barbara Brous will be accepting the honor in their stead.
The 170th-anniversary observance also will pay tribute to eight other Short Hills residents. Among them is the founding organizer of IHN Lori Jacobs and the Early Childhood Center’s founding chairs Gina Finkelstein, Emily Neider, Dawn Rosten, Karen Scheck, Erin Schonbraun, Dana Simanvsky and Stacey Tavel.
Founded in Newark, in 1848, Temple B'nai Jeshurun is the second oldest Reform Jewish congregation in New Jersey. For a number of years, the synagogue held its Friday night services and conducted its religious school in a building it owned on South Center Street and Montrose Avenue in South Orange. Needing to accommodate an ever-growing suburban membership, the congregation purchased land in Short Hills and constructed its current spiritual home, the modern soaring structure on South Orange Avenue, which was dedicated on September 13, 1968. The upcoming gala in May will celebrate two historic occasions: the temple's 50th year in its Short Hills location as well as the 170th anniversary of its founding.