Friends of the Hillel Library 2023

Friends of the Hillel Library
honoring

Barbara and Alan Sidman
2023 Recipients of the Edith Bloch Award

Sharing Your Light

with special guest, Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum

December 3, 2023 • 10:00am • Epstein Hillel School

This event is open to the community at no charge.

2023 Honorees and Special Guest

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Barbara and Alan Sidman
Recipients of the 2023
Edith Bloch Award

Barbara Sidman was Cohen Hillel / Epstein Hillel School’s general studies kindergarten teacher for 30 years. EHS has always been a second home to her, and she cherishes the friendships she made with her colleagues and with the parents of her students. Barbara truly loved working with five- and six-year-olds and meeting each child’s unique academic and social needs. She especially enjoyed seeing her students’ progress as they learned new skills. When her own children attended Cohen Hillel, Barbara was also the co-chair of Hamishpacha, the school’s parent association. Barbara attended Salem State College and was a Board member at the former Temple Israel in Swampscott. Barbara currently sits on the Board of Directors at Congregation Shirat Hayam where she is a member of the Shir Chesed committee, which provides gestures of lovingkindness for members of the community. Barbara is the co-founder and co-chair of Tzedek LaKol, a racial and social justice committee at Congregation Shirat Hayam. Barbara also volunteers at My Brother’s Table in Lynn.

Alan Sidman grew up in Revere and was a member of the first graduating class at University of Massachusetts, Boston. After college, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves. He became owner of Broadway Stationers in East Boston and made many lasting friendships with the people in the community as well as his employees and customers. Alan was President of the former Temple Israel of Swampscott and also served as President of Cohen Hillel Academy during the construction of the new building. Alan has served on the Board at Congregation Shirat Hayam and was President of the Men’s Club. He has been chairperson of the Red Cross Blood Drive at Shirat Hayam for many years. Alan volunteers at My Brother’s Table and along with Barbara, co-founded and co-chairs the Tzedek LaKol racial and social justice committee at Congregation Shirat Hayam. 

Barbara and Alan Sidman are the proud parents of Ila, Jason, and Michael— all Cohen Hillel graduates— and their partners David, Renée, and Raffi. They are the adoring Bubbie and Zaydie of their four cherished grandchildren, Lily, Jeremy, Caleb, and Micah.

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Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum
Guest Speaker

Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum was eleven years old and a Brookline resident when someone in a supermarket handed her a brochure about Shabbat. A good student who studied diligently, she read it carefully and thought about the idea of a day of rest, a day to relax and rejuvenate for the week to come. “This made so much sense to me,” she says. That was the beginning.

Fast forward and she began to learn more about Judaism. During her teen years Rav Tiferet devoured every book about Judaism and Jewish culture on the shelves of the Hyde Park Public Library. Then, at Tufts University, she took so many classes on Judaism that she graduated with two majors, Judaic Studies and Clinical Psychology. “Everything I learned added to my love of Judaism.”

This enthusiastic and natural-born teacher received Rabbinic Ordination and a Master’s in Jewish Education from Hebrew College in 2013, after spending a year in Israel as part of her studies. Rav Tiferet served congregations in Milwaukee, WI and Mt. Holly, New Jersey then, fortunately for us, returned home to Boston and TBZ in 2019. Always desiring to continue to learn, she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

“Torah is everything!” she asserts. And the ways of Torah are Rav Tiferet’s guide as she responds to the challenging and changing racial climate in our wider community and the U.S. She has had a front seat at the intersection of race, racism and religion, giving her valuable insights into how different groups of people see the world and refining her powers of empathy. She teaches, “None of us can control what happens in the world, but we each have the power to control how we respond. We need to access our spiritual core and fearlessly acknowledge our dark places, both as individuals and a society, in order to shift what we see going on around us. The shadows serve to remind us that there is also light.”

Rav Tiferet works at TBZ full-time to manage Beit Rabban (TBZ’s Hebrew school) and support our community’s spiritual, social, and educational programming. She employs the winning combination of knowledge of Judaism and the ability to engage students—teaching at all levels from pre-school children to adults. Right now, she feels she is in the perfect place, doing what she loves.

About the Friends of the Hillel Library

Friends of the Hillel Library is dedicated to ensuring that the Epstein Hillel School Library and Innovation Center are places for discovery, equipped with state-of-the-art resources and technology. We welcome your participation!

Edith Bloch was a committed mentor, consummate teacher, and a founding member of the Friends of the Hillel Library. The Edith Bloch Award, established in 1987, is presented annually, and recognizes members of our community for their commitment to learning and the pursuit of knowledge.

Friends of the Hillel Library Committee

Drs. Maura and Paul Copeland, Chairs

Izzi Abrams
Rayna Aronson
Cassie Bruner
Erin Cullen
Jessica Cullen
Michelle Fontaine
Arlene Freed
Melissa Garlick
Linda Greenseid
Karen Madorsky

Marla Meyer
Peter Nathan
Meryl Rich
Sharon L. Rich
Anne Selby
Carole Skowronski
Dr. Jack Skowronski
Sue Stibel
Rose-Jane Sulman

Past Recipients

1988 Edith Bloch, z’’l
1989 Zelda Kaplan
1990 Sharon & Howard Rich
1991 Dr. George Freedman
1992 Deanna & Neil Cooper
1993 Bernice Kazis
1994 Bonnie & Dr. Joel Shelkrot
1995 Dorothy & Richard Tatelman
1996 Eunice, z’’l & Arthur J. Epstein, z”l
1997 Frieda, z’’l & Ernest Haas, z’’l
1998 Aaron Bronstein, z’’l
1999 Annebelle, z’l & Arnold Cohen, z’’l
2000 Cantor Gregor Shelkan, z’’l
2001 Josene Steinberg
2002 Susan Solomon Stibel
2003 Nancy & Mark Kaufman
2004 Sandy Sheckman & Abe Wilcher, z’’l

2005 Karen & Jerry Madorsky
2006 Yvonne & Rabbi Edgar Weinsberg
2007 Rose-Jane Sulman
2008 Leah Summers
2009 Debbie & Peter Nathan
2010 Izzi & Howie Abrams
2011 Hamishpacha Presidents
2012 Ken Schulman
2013 Susan & Ken Weinstein
2014 Dr. Claire Crane & Becky Shepard, z’’l
2016 Meryl Rich
2017 Carole & Jack Skowronski
2018 Mark Gelfand
2019 Diane and Eddie Knopf
2020 Lynne Havusha
2021 Faculty & Staff of Epstein Hillel School

Join Us

2023 Honorees

MikeRaffifamily-7 (1)

Barbara and Alan Sidman
Recipients of the 2023 Edith Bloch Award

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2023 Guest Speaker

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Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum
Guest Speaker

Rabbi Tiferet Berenbaum was eleven years old and a Brookline resident when someone in a supermarket handed her a brochure about Shabbat. A good student who studied diligently, she read it carefully and thought about the idea of a day of rest, a day to relax and rejuvenate for the week to come. “This made so much sense to me,” she says. That was the beginning.

Fast forward and she began to learn more about Judaism. During her teen years Rav Tiferet devoured every book about Judaism and Jewish culture on the shelves of the Hyde Park Public Library. Then, at Tufts University, she took so many classes on Judaism that she graduated with two majors, Judaic Studies and Clinical Psychology. “Everything I learned added to my love of Judaism.”

This enthusiastic and natural-born teacher received Rabbinic Ordination and a Master’s in Jewish Education from Hebrew College in 2013, after spending a year in Israel as part of her studies. Rav Tiferet served congregations in Milwaukee, WI and Mt. Holly, New Jersey then, fortunately for us, returned home to Boston and TBZ in 2019. Always desiring to continue to learn, she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

“Torah is everything!” she asserts. And the ways of Torah are Rav Tiferet’s guide as she responds to the challenging and changing racial climate in our wider community and the U.S. She has had a front seat at the intersection of race, racism and religion, giving her valuable insights into how different groups of people see the world and refining her powers of empathy. She teaches, “None of us can control what happens in the world, but we each have the power to control how we respond. We need to access our spiritual core and fearlessly acknowledge our dark places, both as individuals and a society, in order to shift what we see going on around us. The shadows serve to remind us that there is also light.”

Rav Tiferet works at TBZ full-time to manage Beit Rabban (TBZ’s Hebrew school) and support our community’s spiritual, social, and educational programming. She employs the winning combination of knowledge of Judaism and the ability to engage students—teaching at all levels from pre-school children to adults. Right now, she feels she is in the perfect place, doing what she loves.

About our Special Guests