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
Robert Feldacker is in his third two year term as president of Congregation Beth Shalom and has been on the board in one capacity or another for the better part of the last ten years. Rob describes the Board as a “working board” who often pitch in where needed despite titles or positions, which he thinks is reflective of the informal yet purposeful attitude of the congregation. As president, his role mostly consists of presiding over board meetings, making the official announcements at services, and being part of the public face of the congregation when dealing with the wider community. Rob grew up in St. Louis and despite attending Temple there for many years, never really considered himself either observant or likely to serve as part of the leadership of a congregation. But he enjoyed Jewish music and singing, and became a member of our volunteer choir, Koleynu, very quickly when he moved here with his wife in 2003. Here Rob discovered that many in this congregation have marriages of mixed faith like his and that the attitude here was welcoming and inclusive. Rob’s interest in Jewish history was nourished in our adult education programs, and his interest in helping the community found expression through our meals for Hope Haven and other charitable activities. Over the years, the congregation has helped to make DeKalb feel like a real home for Rob’s family, and his goal as president is to continue to make the congregation welcoming to Jews and non-Jews of all walks of life and family arrangements. Feel to contact Rob with any questions or concerns you have, or simply walk over at a congregation event and say hello.
Secretary: Harvey Blau
Harvey Blau and his wife Liz have been members of Beth Shalom for over 45 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 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: Derryl Block
Derryl Block has been a member of Congregation Beth Shalom since 2012 when she and her husband moved to the area for a position at Northern Illinois University. As Adult Education Chair, she helps plan learning activities for adults such as book and movie discussions. She also alerts the congregation of free and low cost learning opportunities available from other sources. .
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 synagogue.
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: Laurie Illions Rodriguez
Please check back soon for more information.