Congregation Beth Shalom is governed by a set of adopted By-Laws and led by a seven member Board of Directors: three officers (President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and four Directors (Adult Education, Building and Grounds, Rituals, and Social Action). Each Board member is elected to serve a two-year term. The current Board of Directors are:
President: Robert Feldacker
Secretary: Harvey Blau
Harvey Blau and his wife Liz have been members of Beth Shalom for nearly 40 years. Harvey’s current roles on the Board of Directors are as Secretary (to take minutes of Board meetings) and Membership Chair (to contact people and encourage them to join the Congregation). He directs Koleynu (Our Voice), Beth Shalom’s all-volunteer choir, and serves as Cantor at Shabbat services. Harvey’s previous job titles have included Principal of the Religious School and various Board portfolios. He recently retired as a math professor at NIU.
Treasurer: Linda Mogren
Linda Mogren serves as the Treasurer for Congregation Beth Shalom, overseeing dues and donations, congregational bill payment, and our long-term investments and financial standing. Linda and her family have been members of the synagogue since she and her husband moved to Sycamore from Ann Arbor, MI with their two children 26 years ago. Her husband, Eric, teaches history at Northern Illinois University. Linda practiced law for a few years before changing to a career in Human Resources. She’s currently a Global Human Resources Manager for an international recycling company.
Director – Adult Education: Elizabeth Bass
Elizabeth Bass has been active in the congregation — and the larger DeKalb community — since she first moved to DeKalb in 1969 with her husband, Avi, who taught at NIU for 30 years. Having grown up in small Jewish congregations in university towns, she has understood the vital role volunteers must play in their community to keep it healthy. While her sons were growing up, Elizabeth served in various roles on the then religious school board. On the congregational board, she has served as ritual chair and for many years edited haShofar, our congregation’s newsletter. Now, as adult education chair, she is responsible for such activities as our book group, film series, lectures, and field trips. Now retired, Elizabeth’s professional life included time as a university reference librarian and later as the editor of the alumni magazine at Northern Illinois University.
Director – Building and Grounds: David Gorman
David Gorman teaches at Northern Illinois University. He has been a member of the Congregation since he arrived in DeKalb in 1991. He hopes to spend as much time on his own house as he does on the building and grounds of the Beth Shalom Center.
Director – Rituals: Jason Hanna
The Ritual Chair helps to create the yearly event calendar and plan and coordinate holiday services and celebrations. Jason became a member of Congregation Beth Shalom shortly after he and his wife moved to DeKalb in 2009. He has two young daughters who attend religious school and generally keep him on his toes.
Director – Social Action: Karen Sinason
Karen and her husband David have been members of Congregation Beth Shalom for 20 years. They have served on many committees and have held positions on the Board of Directors. The Chairman of the Social Action Committee is responsible for organizing volunteers to help the Food Pantry and Hope Haven feed the needy in DeKalb County. Karen is also the overseer of the congregations library. We have a nice selection of fiction, history, biography and religious books for adults and children. All are welcome to browse, sit and quietly read or borrow any of the materials.