May and June 2017 Menschen of the Month

Posted on May 4, 2017

The May Mensch of the Month has earned that designation for the many good works she has done for TBE during her 15 years of temple membership.

Leslie Kass has served on numerous TBE committees that range in scope from helping temple youth to serving on the Executive Committee.

Among her many contributions, Leslie has participated in the temple leadership program and held a number of positions with the Youth Culture Committee, such as chairing the HUGS/SHRUGS groups, and chairing the search committee that selected Rachel Frish, the current director of youth engagement for TBE.

Leslie was a member of the Membership Committee for four years, serving two as co-chair, and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees. In addition to that role, Leslie is the corresponding secretary for the Executive Committee, and is that committee’s liaison for the Membership and Youth committees.

Serving others led Leslie to participate in the Jewish Federation’s Blank Leadership Program, from which she graduated in summer 2016, and then traveled to Israel last summer with the Blank Leadership Fellows.

In addition to her work on various panels, Leslie is an active adult reader of Torah, and is expected to earn her second yad this month.

Outside of TBE, Leslie loves spending time with family and friends. She enjoys reading, listening to music, taking road trips, attending live shows and theater performances, traveling, cooking and eating. Soon enough, she will add outdoor recreation to that list, since Leslie and her husband recently bought kayaks and look forward to using them.

Leslie lives in Branchburg with her husband Andrew, daughters Cayla, 19, and Marissa, 17, and the family’s two dogs, Chloe and Loki. Cayla, a sophomore at The Ohio State University, and Marissa, a senior at Somerville High School, both began studying at TBE’s religious school starting in kindergarten, became b’not mitzvah, were confirmed, and continued their Jewish education through post-confirmation. Marissa also is following her mother’s example of service: she is a current member of the SMOOCHY board and is active in NFTY.

Mazaltov, Leslie Kass, for being the May Mensch of the Month.


Cook, musician, comic, writer, supportive spouse and dad … is there anything the June 2017 Mensch of the Month cannot do?

 Larry Osmanis a busy guy, and at the top of the list of things he does especially well is being a patient husband and father, according to his wife, Robin, our outgoing temple president.

“I want to thank Larry for his support over the last six years, and for all his patience with the nighttime meetings, missed dinners, etc.” Robin told the Shofar editors.

But Larry’s dedication extends to many other areas as well.

He is CFO – Chief Frying Officer – of Uncle Larry’s Schlumpia, which adds a Jewish twist on Filipino spring rolls, known as lumpia, by stuffing the rolls with traditional Jewish fillings. Many at TBE have sampled the delectable delicacy at temple events.

When not in the kitchen, Larry — who can play the guitar, piano and accordion — performs with TBE’s t’fillah band and the klezmer band. He also has read Torah, and done standup comedy at TBE open mic nights. In fact, Larry has written a book, Put it in Your Act, which features funny but true stories from his life.

When he has spare time, Larry enjoys kayaking, walking at the Duke Farms estate in Hillsborough, and adding to his Mr. Peanut collection.

The Osmans live in Bridgewater and have been TBE members for 11 years. They have three children: Eric, 24, who lives in Philadelphia, manages bands and owns a record label; Alex, 21, who is graduating college and moving to Washington, D.C. to start a job; and Jamie, who is graduating high school and heading to Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York in the fall.

Mazaltov (and thanks!) to Larry Osman for being the June Mensch of the Month.

Originally published in the May-June 2017 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives