Synagogue’s executive director connects to congregants

Many synagogues, especially larger ones, tend to be dominated by male executive directors. In the case of Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, a woman – Jennifer Levin-Tavares – serves as its executive director with the aim of being a good role model for the entire congregation, including children, adults and staff.

Levin-Tavares, 54, lives in Coconut Creek and is also active in the National Association for Temple Administration, a professional network of Reform Jewish synagogue executive directors where she is on the Membership Committee and co-chair of its mentoring program. She attained senior status in 2013 and became a Fellow in Temple Administration in 2014.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be serving as a leader at Congregation Kol Tikvah and in NATA and I do hope I inspire and have a positive impact on those whose lives I touch,” she said.

Levin-Tavares grew up in a small Jewish community in Knoxville, Tennessee and most recently served as executive director at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, Connecticut.

“One thing I had come to realize is that growing up in a small Jewish community can really strengthen your Jewish identity and that can lead toward Jewish communal service,” she said. “For instance, I had seven people in my religious school class when I was growing up. We had a very small synagogue. There was one other girl in my class and she became a rabbi. I think there’s something about growing up in that kind of environment that draws you into wanting to be in the Jewish world.”



Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Caption Holocaust Survivor Band returns from Poland

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Polish-born Holocaust survivors Saul Dreier and Reuwen Sosnowicz returned home Wednesday after an unforgettable trip to Poland and Israel.

Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

Caption Weston philanthropist to build Holocaust rooms at Nova

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

A gift from Craig and Barbara Weiner will benefit Nova Southeastern Universty’s Alvin Sherman Library to create a new Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room.

Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation  Education Center

Caption Sherman tank on display at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

A Sherman tank used in combat during WWII was unveiled at the Holocaust Documentation Education Center Friday at 303 North Federal Highway in Dania Beach.

Temple honors people where Torah is from.

Caption Temple honors people where Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, members of Temple Beth Kodesh in Boynton Beach will recite the names of people who died in the Holocaust from Kutna Hora, Czechoslovakia, the town their Torah is from.

Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

Caption Students at Stoneman Douglas share lunch, stories with Holocaust survivors

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

90 Holocaust survivors gathered on Thursday for a special luncheon hosted by students at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Levin-Tavares became Kol Tikvah’s executive director on Feb. 1, 2016. In addition to overseeing this Reform synagogue’s operations, she serves as a resource to facilitate members’ integration into congregational life as she believes strongly that a synagogue is more than a place, it’s also a community where everyone feels at home.

“I have always been drawn to smaller to mid-sized congregations because my goal is to try to really know each congregant individually,” she said. “That is a difficult enough task in a medium sized institution and practically impossible in a large one.”

Levin-Tavares believes the synagogue is a second home for most people.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *