Sept – Oct 2016 Mensch of the Month

Posted on September 5, 2016

Our September Mensch of the Month is Gari Bloom.

Gari is a quiet force behind many activities at temple. She and her family, hubby Charlie and kids Ali (21) and Mack (16), have been members of the community for 16 years. Professionally, Gari is a dentist in a general dental practice in New Brunswick, where she works alongside her husband, a prosthodontist.

Gari has served in many leadership roles at temple. She served as the chair of the Youth Activities Committee, which reinvigorated the junior youth groups and evolved into the current Youth Culture Committee. Her higher-profile activities include serving on the selection committee that hired Rabbi Elisa Koppel and on the board of trustees for nine years. Much of Gari’s involvement has been behind the scenes, though. Her quiet and cheerful manner has graced several efforts, including delivering the College Connection and Purim bags, cheerfully assembling falafel at the 4-H Fair; personalizing and decorating bimah decorations to support the Youth Activities Fund; and calling new members to help connect them to communal life. She currently serves on the Membership Committee and recently the Nominating Committee.

Gari enjoys the many study opportunities available at temple, particularly Engaging Israel, adult Hebrew and music. She’s keeping her eyes open for the next Adult B’nei Mitzvah class, something she will surely accomplish if she sets her mind to it.

Mazal Tov, Gari, on this honor.

Our October Mensch of the Month is actually two menschen – Michele and Keith Holler.

Michele grew up in Newburgh, New York, and went to SUNY New Paltz before earning her master’s in special education at Mt. St. Mary College. She teaches special needs students in South Plainfield. Keith grew up in Matawan and was active in USY camps before earning his degree at Rutgers. He’s an ABL portfolio manager for Santander Bank.

Michele and Keith and their daughter, Nora, moved to Hillsborough in 2003 and have been members of temple ever since. Michele found her niche in Sisterhood and the Ritual Committee. She served as the president of Sisterhood, and is currently the B’nei Mitzvah coordinator, working directly with families during a joyous and complicated experience. Keith is a past and current president of the temple Brotherhood and has worked in many Brotherhood-related efforts, from building the sukkah to directing traffic to frying latkes. Both Michele and Keith are among the few who have a full collection of 4-H tee shirts.

We’re grateful for their collective and varied efforts on behalf of the community.

Congratulations, Michele and Keith, our October Mensch(en) of the Month

Originally published in the September-October 2016 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.