Darcie Sharlein and
Geoffrey Berdy, new
at the donor wall
Cantor from page A27
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of West Bloomfield, it has felt like home.
The staff is kind and they are experts at
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August 7 .2008
MazelTones. At HUC, she served as
student cantor at Temple Sholom in
Fanwood, N.J., and at Congregation
B'nai Yisrael in Armonk, N.Y. She has
taught Jewish ethics, Hebrew prayer
and established Jewish music curricu-
la for all age groups and at NFTY and
Union for Reform Judaism camps.
She and her husband, Jeffrey, the
son of a rabbi, met at Wesleyan, where
he received his degree in English. He
earned a master's degree in social
work from Hunter College.
- Vivian DeGain
Educator Returns Home
what they do." - Resident Bea Paul
liturgical staff since the 2003 retire-
ment of the late Cantor Norman Rose.
"Our committee was searching for
a cantor who could not only bring
new energy and spirit to our worship,
but would also serve as second clergy
person for our congregation;' said Fred
Frank, committee chair. "We believe we
found that with Cantor Sharlein."
Sharlein was born and raised in
New Jersey. She received her bachelor
of art degree from Wesleyan University
in Middletown, Conn., where she
directed and sang with the a capella
eoffrey Berdy brings his
passion for Jewish life and
learning to Temple Emanu-
El as its new education director.
Berdy, who holds a master's degree
from Harvard Divinity School with a
focus on Judaism and education, said
he became a Jewish educator to share
"I've had the benefit of an unusu-
ally diverse Jewish education, from
traditional yeshivah, to studying
the Holocaust and shtetl life with
Elie Weisel at Boston University, to
Jewish philosophers at Harvard:'
"I realized that few Jews are as for-
tunate as I have been to be exposed to
the full spectrum of Jewish learning.
Sharing that became my mission.
"Jewish education honors the
uniqueness of each individual's path
and contribution to creating com-
munity," he said. "I am honored to join
Temple Emanu-El to empower indi-
viduals and families to make Jewish
life and learning a meaningful part of
Berdy, wife, Dina, and son Lev
moved from Oak Park, but both have
roots here. His parents live in Oak Park
and her parents live in Beverly Hills.
"We feel very excited that Geoff is
returning to our area;' said Dolores
Galea, synagogue president. "He is
incredibly creative and will make
Jewish education engaging and fun
not only for our students but for their
parents as well."
Berdy said, "The world needs
Jews to be engaged in exploring and
expanding our tradition. We set a very
important example and can do an
enormous amount by fulfilling our
religious obligation to learn and sup-
Berdy has lived in Israel, England
and Columbus, Ohio.
He has served in a variety of set-
tings over 15 years, including congre-
gational Hebrew schools, camp, day
school, Jewish communal organiza-
tions (assistant director of the Anti-
Defamation League, New England)
and adult education.
His parents met as volunteers dur-
ing the Six-Day War and "stuck around
for the Yom Kippur War."
Berdy met his wife, a social worker,
as undergraduates at Michigan State
- Vivian DeGain