1999-06-19 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

Rabbi Joseph Weiss and Sylvan Klein Honored.
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey


On June 11, 1999 and June 13, 1999 our community celebrated three historic, remarkable and memorable events.

On Friday, June 11 the congregation of the West End Temple andthe community of the Rockaways celebrated the naming of the sanctuary at the West End Temple in honor of Rabbi Joseph Isaac Weiss. Rabbi Weiss has been the outstanding spiritual leader at the West End Temple for 50 years. In addition, the Temple, itself celebrated its 60th anniversary. The West End Temple has played a very significant and prominent role inserving the spiritual needs of several generations of families that belong to and worship at the Temple. The Temple and Rabbi Weiss have positively impacted the people of the Rockaways by helping us to become a more inclusive and stronger community.

Many prominent community leaders came to join Rabbi Weiss and his lovely wife Bot and their family in celebrating his remarkable career including: Rabbi Julie Spitzer who spoke eloquently of Rabbi Weiss'
numerous contributions; Rabbi Stanley Dreyfus a Rabbinical classmate traced the Weiss family commitment to spiritual service back to Rabbi Joe Weiss' father who served as an inspirational leader of a Brooklyn congregation; Rabbi Allan Blaine, from Temple Beth-El praised Rabbi Joe for his strong record of accomplishment and for his work to achieve a better world; Monsignor Martin Gerraghty, Pastor of St. Francis de Sales parish noted that Rabbi Weiss has been, is and will continue to be an outstanding positive force in bringing people together on our peninsula; Rev PaulLandolfi from St. John's Home complimented Rabbi Weiss for his demonstrated capacity for strong leadership with the ability to unify, motivate andempower others; Rabbi Jay Sangerman spoke of Rabbi Weiss' wisdom and counsel and Dr. John Shure, President of the Temple praised Rabbi Weiss for his strong moral and ethical commitment to promoting the needs of his Temple and his community. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer noted that the Rabbi Weiss is a statesman who has extended his helping hand to men and women in need. Six past presidents of the Temple were in attendance: Robert Mayer, Ira Neuman, Stanley Gelda, Valerie Vanleer Greenberg, David Ribet and Sylvan Klein. The candles were lit by Judith Rubin, the Ladies Guild President, Jesse Plutzer, the Men's Club President and Florence Spierer, the Social Club President. They were joined by two lovely young ladies, Jacqueline and Danielle Shure.
On Sunday June 13, 1999, the West End Temple had its 60th annual dinner-dance. The dinner was co-chaired by the dynamic duo of Stanley Gelda and Charles Thau. The honorees at the dinner which was held at the Lawrence Country Club were Rabbi Weiss and Sylvan Klein. Rabbi Joseph Weiss is an exemplary leader whose intelligence, warmth and sincerity have had a major impact on everyone. He is extremely aware of the value of reaching out to others and does it with finesse. He is the dean of religious leaders in our community. His charming wife, Bot, really makes a difference. She enriches us with her effervescence, intelligence and outstanding sense of humor.

Sylvan Klein has served as the President of the West End Temple forthe past two years. Sylvan is an achievement oriented leader. He is an open and responsive person who is able to inspire trust and loyalty in others. Sylvan's dynamic wife Rose has highly effective interpersonal and communication skills which include creative literary talent and exceptional computer capabilities which she has generously utilized to serve the needs of the congregation through her role as the editor of Temple Topics.

Sylvan's mother -in law and Rose's mother, Ann Levine, is also an outstanding member of the Temple. Ann was honored in May for her many years of service as the Secretary of the Temple. Ann believes deeply in helping her community. Ann took the traditional role of a woman as a teacher and a trainer in the home and used it in her professional career to make the lives of the school children in NYC better. Ann Levine's son, Robert Levine is the President and CEO of Peninsula Hospital. He is the energetic and creative leader that the hospital needs to meet challenges of the new millennium. Robert Levine and his wife were at the Temple dinner dance. Others from Peninsula Hospital included: Mr. and Mrs. Joel Miele, President of the Board, Dr. and Mrs. Peter Galvin, Medical Board President; Dr. and Mrs. Narendra Hadpawat, Director of Medicine; Dr. and Mrs. Leonard Schiffman, Director of Dentistry
and Maxillofacial Surgery; and Dr. and Mrs. Stanley Specher, Director of Imaging Services. My husband and I sat at a very dynamic table with Eleanor and Jack King, Marie and John Kimball, Clara Henglein, John Dolan and my mother Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey. It was a magnificent evening.

Congratulations to Rabbi Joseph and Bot Weiss and to Rose and Sylvan Klein and their families.

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