Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein
Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein is our congregation's spiritual leader. The son of an Air Force chaplain, he has lived in communities all over the United States and the world, finally settling in California for his high school years. He received his Bachelor's degree in "Study of Religion" at UCLA in 1981 followed by an M.A. in Education from the University of Judaism in 1986. Rabbi Aaron's rabbinic studies took place in Los Angeles, Jerusalem and New York culminating with his ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1991. He joined Beth Sholom in 2005, following a twelve year tenure with Congregation Sha'arey Israel in Macon, GA. Prior to that, he was Assistant Rabbi at the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Forest HIlls, New York.
Rabbi Aaron has a deep love of all kinds of music, secular and sacred. He is a strong advocate for building bridges between both individuals and communities. While Rabbi Aaron supports all avenues of Tikkun Olam, he has his own personal tzedakah project as well. For several years, he has been hand-crafting, bottling, and selling herbal vinegars, with proceeds from those sales benefiting the children of Neve Michael, in Israel.
Rabbi Aaron has been married to his lovely wife, Sharona, for 28 years. Sharona teaches song and dance to the preschoolers at the Memphis Jewish Community Center, as well as choreography at St. Mary's Episcopal School. Rabbi Aaron and Sharona have two children. Zohar is a high school sophomore and Maya is a fifth grader at the Bomblum Solomon Schechter School.
Executive Director - Barbara Newman
Our Executive Director since 2007, Barbara Newman is a native Memphian and has been a member of Beth Sholom Synagogue since her return to Memphis in 1989. An active lay leader in the Memphis Jewish community, Barbara has served as the chair of the Day Camp Committee and as a member of the Early Childhood Committee of the Memphis Jewish Community Center and was on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Historical Society of Memphis and the Mid-South. She has spent countless hours on behalf of our sister organization,Bornblum Solomon Schechter School, where she served on the board and executive board in a variety of positions before assuming the Presidency in 2001. In 2005, she and her husband Bruce co-chaired the series of Beth Sholom 50th Anniversary events which culminated in the installation of Rabbi Aaron Rubinstein.
Barbara received a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University and spent her early post graduate years in New York City where she was an Assistant Treasurer for National Westminster Bank in its Middle Market Lending Division. The highlight of her New York experience was meeting her husband, Bruce, who has embraced southern life in spite of his Brooklyn heritage. They have two children, Allison, who has graduated from college and now lives and works in Denver, and Scott a senior at Brown University. When Barbara is not working on synagogue business she is spending time taking long, peaceful walks, reading, enjoying movies, or joining Bruce at any number of music venues.
Please do not hesitate to contact Barbara Newman if you need assistance.
Youth Activities Director - Sharon Prager
A member of Beth Sholom since 1980, Sharon Prager has been involved with Beth Sholom Religious School as a parent or teacher since 1988. She has been our Youth Activities Director since 2010. Sharon spent several years as the Family and Public Programs Coordinator for the Memphis Botanic Garden and the Education Coordinator for Memphis City Beautiful. In 2003 she received Memphis Woman Magazine’s 50 Women That Make a Difference Award for her volunteer work with La Leche League of Memphis, Attachment Parenting of Memphis, Maria Montessori School and Beth Sholom Synagogue. Sharon was involved in developing and implementing a teen leadership training program at the ATA Black Belt Academy where she is a First Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. She currently serves on the University of Memphis Parent Council
At Beth Sholom, Sharon has served on several committees and is a Past President of our Sisterhood. She received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Memphis. Sharon loves to spend time with her children: Mollie and her husband, Sean, Zachary and his wife, Lee, Jack and Andrew. Sharon also is proud to be “Bubbe” to Ethan, Emily and Autumn. When she has spare time, Sharon enjoys reading, movies, music, and spending time outside.
If you would like to receive more information about the Beth Sholom religious school programs, Beth Sholom Youth Groups, or any special programming for children from birth through college, please contact Sharon Prager.
Office Administrative Assistant - Cheryl Strong
Cheryl has been part of the Beth Sholom family since 2003. Her smiling face and warm disposition greet each member or guest who walks in Beth Sholom's front door. She is also often the first voice you hear when you call the synagogue office.. When Cheryl is not answering phones, making copies or preparing mailings, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. You should feel free to contact Cheryl Strong.
Rabbi's Administrative Assistant - Deanna Lubin
Deanna became a welcome addition to the Beth Sholom staff in 2006, handling the administrative tasks of our Religious School and Youth Commission. Deanna’s job description has changed and she now works directly with Rabbi Aaron as his administrative assistant. Deanna devotes much of her free time volunteering for Hadassah. Please feel free to contact Deanna Lubin if you need to reach Rabbi Aaron, set up an appointment or share life cycle information with the office.
Kitchen Supervisor - Claudia Burkins
Beth Sholom just wouldn't feel like home without Claudia here to whip up her Saturday Kiddush luncheons or fry up her famous fried chicken. She has been part of the Beth Sholom family longer than most of our members, as she joined our staff in 1963. In addition to taking care of Beth Sholom's culinary needs, Claudia also works as a private caterer, so it is likely that you have enjoyed her food at a recent Bar Mitzvah, wedding or bris. Claudia stays busy with her 7 children, 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren when she is not in the Beth Sholom kitchen.
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6675 Humphreys Blvd. | Memphis, TN 38120 | 901-683-3591 | fax 901-683-3592