President Michele Fischer
I have proudly served on the SOJC Board for the past two years and I am currently serving as president of SOJC. Having been a member of Southwest Citizens for A Temple when that group merged with the Williamsburg Jewish Congregation to form SOJC, and a member of SOJC for 20 years, I bring a unique knowledge and understanding of our roots and struggles in building the Jewish community in the Southwest Orlando area. During that time I have organized fundraisers, catered Family Friday Shabbat Dinners and served as chairperson of marketing and membership drives.
My family continues to strive to be an integral part of the Jewish community. My husband, Jeff, had previously served on the board for many years, was president of SOJC for three terms and continues to volunteer when needed. Our children have all attended the SOJC religious school, and our younger two are presently enrolled in the school. Our older children have all celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah in our shul, and were members of the Cantorial Corps, Kadima and USY youth groups. My entire family has benefited greatly from being members of SOJC; we have met many friends along the way, have grown spiritually as a family and as Jews and have marveled at the growth of the Jewish community. I hope to continue to serve SOJC and the Southwest Orlando Jewish community as we strive to create new, innovative ways to market SOJC and build our SOJC family.
2nd Vice President Vivian Kerstein
Vivian Kerstein and her family have been a members of SOJC for 12 years. The first four years, Vivian served as co-president of the PTA for the religious school and she has been a board member for two years, this year serving as First Vice President and on the Marketing and Membership Committees. During that time she and Abby Pait spearheaded the Sunday Brunch get-together and has been contributing with an artist’s eye towards marketing pieces. Her husband Rich Waldor served on the board for two years as a board member and then as Vice President. Her daughter Simone Schiffmacher attended the Religious School, became a Bat Mitzvah under the expert tutelage of Cantor Ramsay. Simone was a member of the Cantorial Corp, Beit Hamidrash and traveled to Israel with Taglit-Birthright. Now, as a Junior in college, she enjoys membership with Hillel. Vivian’s son, Max Waldor, was a student at the Religious School since age 5, became Bar Mitzvah in 2009, and now is an active member of SOJUSY. You probably know Vivian as one of the face painters for the Purim Carnival each year. “I have seen the forward progress of a warm synagogue family, and have been proud to have contributed. I would very much enjoy being a part of SOJC’s continued development.”
Treasurer Cheryl Weiner
I have been actively involved at SOJC since joining in 2004. My husband Michael, our son Jacob and I moved to Orlando from Seattle where we were active members of a conservative synagogue and Jacob attended the Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle. Since joining SOJC it has become a second home for us like no other synagogue we’ve ever joined. Jacob attended the SOJC religious school until he became a Bar Mitzvah and he will continue to be a member of SOJUSY until he graduates high school in June 2011. I learned to read Torah in 2005 in order to read at Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah. I enjoyed the experience so much I became a member of Cantor Ramsay’s Adult Cantorial Corps. I am serving my second year on the SOJC BOD, now as Treasurer. I am serving on the BOD in order to be more involved in the everyday workings, as well as the long-term goals, of SOJC. I am enjoying my responsibilities relating to my role on the BOD as well as the interaction with the rest of the BOD members.
Financial Secretary Shelly Blatt
My husband and I are founding members of SOJC. We have lived in Orlando for over 20 years and have watched the growth in the South Orlando community. I have been involved in many of the SOJC committees including fundraising and membership. I help set up and clean up the Friday night Onegs, help with fundraisers, and welcome our members on the High Holidays and work on the committee that distributes aliyot and honors for the high holiday services. I look forwarded to sitting on the board again and serving SOJC.
Recording Secretary Ben Bolusky
I was born and raised in Newport, R.I., and was fortunate to grow up and celebrate my Bar Mitzvah in the historic Touro Synagogue — the oldest in the nation. My family and I joined SOJC shortly after moving to Orlando in 1998 from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. My two lovely daughters each became a Bat Mitzvah at SOJC and were members of the Cantorial Corps, Kadima and USY youth groups. I have served on SOJC’s Board since 2002, currently serving as recording secretary. I have chaired SOJC’s Strategic Planning Committee as well as its Rabbi Search Committee. In my professional life, I’m the CEO of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association (FNGLA).
Director Jeff Sikora
Jeff has served on the SOJC Board of Directors for multiple terms, and this is his fourth year of teaching Religious School for the Second Grade Class. His wife, Risa, teaches the First Grade Class. Jeff has two sons, Grant and Chad, who are very active within SOJC’s Religious School, Youth Programs, and Services.