Sign In Forgot Password

Barbara M. Kessler - Past President

Temple Sinai is my Sinai because it has helped guide me on my Jewish journey, providing comfort, community, learning, spirituality, and opportunities to give back as those needs have evolved throughout each stage of my adult life. Temple Sinai has been there for me and for my family and has helped each of us develop our own relationship to Judaism and synagogue life. 

My husband and I joined Temple Sinai back in 1984 when my first child was ready to go to nursery school. We were not necessarily looking for a Jewish preschool. We wanted a place where children could be children, where their creativity was nurtured, where learning took place through play, and where we got the right vibe. When I was interviewing the Nursery School Director, one of the teachers came into the director’s office. She was warm, friendly, and covered in paint. When the then director asked her why she looked the way she did, the teacher replied, “We are painting!” I loved that response and knew this was a place where playfulness was valued. I signed up immediately and never looked back.

I first became involved with Temple Sinai about five years later. By that time my son was in Temple Sinai’s Religious School and my daughter was in Temple Sinai’s Nursery School. We found the school programs to be good but we really did not have a community at Temple Sinai. My father died suddenly between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I had no idea about what to do.  Although it was early in the morning and the temple was not yet open, I called the temple. Within five minutes, the then Executive Director called me back and said, “Mamala, I am so sorry.  Don’t worry. We will help and be here for you.” They were and have continued to be there for us throughout the years of our lives.

I became more involved at that point so I could give back to the community that gave so generously to us. I have co-chaired the Education and Adult Engagement Committees, participated in Mitzvah Days, and served two terms on the Temple Board. I joined the Executive Board in 2006 and served as Temple President from 2009-2011.  Being president of Temple Sinai was one of the most meaningful things that I have done in my life so far.

I was an attorney and businesswoman for 25+ years when I realized that I wanted to do something else that was more meaningful to me personally. I retired from law and went back to school to receive training as a life and career coach. I use my skills to assist professional women who are at a career crossroads and are ready to take their “next step”- whether they’re trying to grow as a leader, seeking a promotion, changing careers or companies, or considering a return to the workplace.

I still participate in a number of non-profit organizations and love to spend time with family and friends. I enjoy walking on the beach, in the forest, or around the neighborhood, gardening, and cooking. Most of all, I love sharing the joys of life and laughter with my granddaughter, Talia.

Wed, July 17 2024 11 Tammuz 5784