2004-05-28 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

Honored By West End Temple
by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader


Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Honored By West End Temple

I am pleased that the West End Temple at its annual dinner at the Sands in Atlantic Beach on June 12, 2004 has chosen to honor our family – my mother, Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey - member of the New York State Board of Regents; my husband, Eugene Pasternak - member of Community Planning Board 14 and myself, Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey - Democratic District Leader.

My experiences with the West End Temple throughout the years have profoundly enriched my life.

The West End Temple is a valued, important and prominent religious institution in our community. The West End Temple – Sinai Congregation was founded in the summer of 1939. From its inception the Congregation has been affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations representing the Reform Branch of Judaism.

The Temple is part of the Reform Jewish movement which developed in America through the 1800’s and the 1900’s.

The West End Temple has played a meaningful and significant role in my personal development.

As a graduating 8th grade student from St. Francis de Sales School I received a $25 certificate from the West End Temple for my essay on brotherhood/sisterhood.

The Temple had sponsored the essay contest through the schools in our community.

The West End Temple has always reached out to promote interfaith relationships. This outreach on the part of the Temple to a youngster graduating from a Catholic school has solidified a life long relationship and a strong bond between the Chapey/Pasternak family and the West End Temple.

The West End Temple was a forerunner in the current movement to develop positive and solid friendships through an interfaith dialogue.

Rabbi Joseph Weiss was the Rabbi at the West End Temple when I won the award. His strong religious roots, warm and outgoing personality and his ability to relate to people of all ages and all religious faiths remains with us today as part of his legacy to our community.

Today the West End Temple Congregation is led by Rabbi Melvyn May, who is playing a role in furthering interfaith relationships: (1) he is the co-convener with Sister Ruth Lautt of the Rockaways/Five Towns Interfaith Clergy Council and (2) he is the clergy liaison with the 100th Precinct Council.

Rabbi May is completing a course in the Civilian Police Academy.

Stan Gelda is the current president of the West End Temple.

Stan and his wife Elaine are very positive leaders.

They are outstanding and dynamic forces working within our community to advance the goals of mutual respect and interfaith dialogue. Stan Gelda has a very inclusive style of leadership. His outgoing manner and personal charisma attract people to work with him. Stan and Elaine came to our community in 1963 and have always been active members of the Temple.

He has held a variety of leadership positions, including President from 1978 to 1980, Vice President from 1976 to 1978, Treasurer intermittently for seven years and as a Trustee since 1968. Stan Gelda has been a motivating and moving force within the Temple and our community.

He generously contributes his time and expertise on a pro bono basis to the Temple.

Stan is a certified CPA and an MBA graduate of the prestigious City College program. It is through the dedicated efforts of Stan and Elaine Gelda that our community continues to grow and prosper.

West End Temple also has a very active Ladies Guild led by two outstanding individuals - Judith Ruben and Rose Lieberman.

They meet on the third Tuesday of every month and sponsor a variety of programs. Judy Rubin and Rose Lieberman are creative and forward looking.

They bring vitality and dynamism to all their endeavors.

The Social Club is led by the energetic duo of Ed and Florence Spirier. They are vivacious, personable and effective.

Although fund raising is an important part of their mission, the social club has several additional goals, according to the Temple Bulletin which include sharing good times together as a congregation, developing new and on goings friendships, strengthening ties to Judaism and creating fun and educational activities for congregants, friends and neighbors. They say that if you give a busy person something to do they will do it well. This is certainly the case with Florence and Ed.

When Florence and Ed are spearheading an event everyone wants to participate.

The West End Temple’s 65th birthday celebration journal dinner dance will be held on Saturday, June 12th at 7 PM at the Sands in Atlantic Beach. Tickets are $200.

Everyone is invited.

The dinner is being chaired by the fantastic trio of Charles Thau, Marsha Weber and Rowena Schwab.

They are excellent examples of leaders who definitely make a difference. They are masterful in the art of accomplishment.

They are ably assisted by the committee who consists of Emily Cennamo, Elaine Gelda, Helen Herman, Chaya Kirchein, Edward Spirier, Florence Spirier and Evelyn Thau.

This committee shares a sense of enthusiasm, a flare of the creative and a determination to make the dinner a perfect success.

My mother, my husband and I look forward to seeing you at the Sands in Atlantic Beach on June 12th.


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