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Leah Benamy, Rabbi

My name is Leah Benamy, and how you pronounce it depends on when you met me! I was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and grew up in Teaneck, NJ, the youngest of four. We belonged to Temple Emeth, one of two Reform synagogues in town, and I enjoyed singing at services, learning at Religious School and in general being Jewish. I read from Torah at 13, attended a non URJ summer camp for three summers near Littleton, New Hampshire, and by the time I was 16 I knew I wanted to be a rabbi. I graduated Teaneck High School, visited Israel for the first time that summer, and attained my BA from Rutgers University, majoring in English. I was accepted to HUC-JIR and spent a wonderful year in Israel with the entering class. The following two years in Cincinnati helped me realize just how intrigued I was by the prospect of living in Israel and in 1987 I took a leave of absence and volunteered on Kibbutz Lotan for a year. That was a galvanizing experience and not simple in many ways, but it inspired me to work towards the goal of raising a family in Israel.

Fast forward to 1990: I'm ordained in May and move to Tuscaloosa Alabama in July for a three part position: a small congregation, University of Alabama Hillel and teaching a course in the Religious Studies department at UofA. It wasn't a good fit and we parted ways after a year. I married that summer (he's a graduate of Hebrew University who came to HUC Cincinnati and graduated with a MA in Jewish history) and we moved to Gastonia, NC where I served until coming on Aliyah in 1997. I have two sons, both born in Gastonia, and a daughter born in Eilat. She studies linguistics at Seoul University in South Korea and "the boys" live with their father on Lotan.

Stephanie Frank, Office Administrator

Stephanie Frank, Office Administrator

Stephanie Frank, our Office Administrator, is the friendly face that greets you when you enter TBD. She manages administrative duties and collaborates with our rabbi, our Board of Directors and our committees. If you have questions on upcoming worship services and events, financial matters, lifecycle events and more, please contact Stephanie. She will get you the answers that you need!

Stephanie grew up in Kettering, Ohio and lived in Orlando and Atlanta before settling in Cheshire with her husband, Bill, and daughter, Lily.  She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from Rollins College.  Stephanie worked as a Logistical Planner for a large corporation before deciding to leave for TBD in hopes of a better work/life balance. In her free time she enjoys traveling, reading, exercising, and spending time with friends and family.

Emily Kurz, Education Coordinator

Emily was born and raised in Cheshire, CT and has been a part of the Temple Beth David community for her entire life. After graduating high school, Emily attended Keene State College, in New Hampshire. While there, she received a BS in Elementary Special Education and a BA in Sociology. She further continued her education at Boston College, where she earned a Master's Degree in Social Work.

About 6 years ago Emily moved back to Cheshire, and immediately began teaching in our religious school. When not working at TBD, you can find Emily working at a school for students with Autism and other behavioral disabilities. She loves spending time with her family, especially her three nephews and niece, as well as with her dog, Gus! She is thrilled to have taken the role of Education Coordinator and looks forward to sharing her passion for Jewish learning with the next generation.

Wed, September 28 2022 3 Tishrei 5783