Logo

 

 

    I’m excited to get to know all of you.  You can call me call me “Rabbi” or “Rabbi Yossi”. Many years ago the following was said about me and I was very touched and felt it described me best:” Spiritual rabbi, one who has given effective leadership as a congregational rabbi and whose ministry has been one of holiness. Who inspires in his congregants the belief that all humankind is created in God's image and therefore each of us reflects holiness and who views his rabbinate as bearing witness to Jewish history and personally answering Hineni”.   

   I see Judaism as the world's best kept secret and envision my role to champion its message.  In doing so the areas I concentrate on are spirituality, teaching, rabbinical counseling and social action. I see Judaism as being progressive and universalistic not reactionary and parochial. Judaism, for most of its history, has not only been monotheistic and evolutionary in its attempt to understand divinity but committed to a creative, passionate engagement with that sense of awe and the realities of the world. And yes, it is fun and caring as well. The areas of Judaism that gives me the greatest hope are the reemergence of Kabbalah and Neo-Hasidic Jewish Renewal, interfaith engagement and the opening of our gates to spiritual seekers.  

   Some more about me: I was born in Philadelphia. My parents were Holocaust survivors and made a life for themselves as Hebrew teachers.  I spent my middle, high school and college years in Ohio and graduated from the University of Cincinnati. Upon attending Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion I received smicha in 1984 at the New York campus. Since then I have served a number of congregations around the United States and have taught comparative religion, the Hebrew Bible and Jewish studies at a number of universities. I am also proud to have raised two young adults. 

   As your rabbi, I am looking forward to making Flushing Queens my home and becoming the spiritual leader in this unique Jewish community.

 

director2

Executive Director Alan J. Brava 

 

Executive Director Alan J. Brava

I joined the Free Synagogue of Flushing’s professional staff in May of 2014.  I have served Jewish communities in the Boston and New York area for the past 40 years as an Educator, Youth Director, Camp Director, Hazzan, Educational Director, and University Administrator and once again now as the Free Synagogue’s Executive Director.  I received my Ordination as a Hazzan from the Hebrew Union College-School of Sacred Music-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City in 1982.

As Executive Director I bear direct responsibility for all operational aspects of our synagogue, other than the worship, adult education and pastoral aspects overseen by our clergy and educators. Even as to these areas, however, the Executive Director must serve as a collaborative resource to assure a consistent and intense focus on the needs of our members.

At a tactical level, the Executive Director hires and supervises all administrative staff, administers all financial activities of the Congregation, coordinates all programming except those programs overseen by other members of the Senior Staff, reviews and approves all member-directed communications and non-member marketing, plays an integral role in fundraising and development, and oversees all aspects of our physical facilities (including maintenance, repair and new construction) and technology.

It is at the strategic level, however, that the Executive Director must truly excel. Membership recruitment and retention are the lifeblood of our congregation, and the Executive Director is often the first public face, in collaboration with the rabbi, to potential members, financially distressed or disgruntled members, and the external community. The Executive Director attends the monthly meetings of our Board and is expected to be an active participant in their policy discussions and strategic planning; the same is true with respect to the weekly Staff meetings and the weekly meeting with the Rabbi and the Board President.

With the cooperation and teamwork of the other staff and the Executive Committee and Board, many of these duties and responsibilities can and should be shared.

The goal is to create members who feel like "stock holders" of FSF. My successes are yours and similarly, your successes are mine. Together we share in all that transpires at our synagogue.

Personally, for me it is an honor to serve this congregation. To be part of a long rich history that is close to reaching 100 years of serving the Jewish community is both exciting and filled with awe.

I have an open door policy. My office is a place to come visit, have a meeting, share a discussion and a cup of coffee and get to know each other and each other's needs and desires.

The future is bright. I believe in miracles. Each and every day that we awake and get out of bed we thank God for our lives and for that basic fact that our bodies function to allow us to do His work.

I invite ALL of you to join with me, the Rabbi and the lay leadership to rebuild our synagogue financially, spiritually and most importantly, the rebuilding of relationships so that we all can go from strength to strength.

Alan J. Brava Executive Director, Free Synagogue of Flushing

                                   

Board of Trustees

Edward Schauder, President

Aaron Rosenberg, Vice President

Michael Rosin, Treasurer

Donna Ballard, Secretary

 

Brian Drutman

Ingrid Gordon

Ilysa Kramer

Justin Marks

Robert Tankel