April 25, 2022 Event at FSF: “A discussion between Jews and Asian Americans on combating hate”
An event hosted by the Queens Jewish Community Council, Stand With Us and the Jewish Community Relations Council focused on recent hate crimes directed at Jewish and Asian Americans.
Julia Gris, Rabbi of Progressive Jewish Congregation of Odessa, shares her amazing story.
Rabbi Julia Gris, Reform Rabbi of Shirat ha-yam in Odessa, Ukraine has escaped to Poland with over 40 of her congregants. Please consider donating here: All donations to the Free Synagogue of Flushing will be sent directly to Rabbi Julia Griss currently in Poland to help her continue her work in resettling refugees from the Ukraine.
Rabbi Jeffrey Gale was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his undergraduate degree at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he majored in political science. He spent his junior year at the European Study Centre in Luxembourg.
Rabbi Gale was ordained at London’s Leo Baeck College, a center for progressive rabbinical studies in Europe. He then served the Southend and District Reform Synagogue in coastal Essex and the historic Settlement Synagogue in London’s East End. The highlight of his rabbinate in London was his work with Soviet refuseniks on behalf of the Reform movement. Rabbi Gale’s book, The Ballad of East and West, is based on his 1981 and 1983 visits with refuseniks in the former Soviet Union.
Rabbi Gale served Temple Beth Israel in Jackson, Michigan, and Jewish inmates at the State Prison of Southern Michigan, before moving to Winnipeg in 1988. He met his wife there and spent a decade at Temple Shalom, also serving the local Jewish high school, and Canadian Jewish groups for children and families and special needs congregants.
Rabbi Gale moved with his family to Long Island in 1998, leading The Suburban Temple in Wantagh for 11 years. He was honored by the Nassau County Legislature and the Council for American Islamic Relations for his work on interfaith relations in the US and Canada. He was the President of Wantagh Clergy Council for four years.
Rabbi Jeffrey Gale served the Hebrew Tabernacle from 2009-2020. During that time, Rabbi Gale had worked to transform this congregation into a community center that currently hosts two synagogues, two churches and numerous non-profit classes and events. Springing from this vision, Hebrew Tabernacle hosted six interfaith Thanksgiving celebrations, attracting 500 people representing New York’s ethnic and religious diversity. Rabbi Gale was proud to support immigrant solidarity in Washington Heights and Inwood as part of the new and vital Upper Manhattan Interfaith Leaders’ Coalition.
Rabbi Gale is married to Dr. Tsiporah Shore, an oncologist and hematologist, who is associate director of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Program of New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill/Cornell Medical Center. His daughter, Leanne, recently graduated Yale Law School, specializing in human rights law. She expects to join the staff of the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition in Washington, D.C in the Fall. His son, Joshua, works is a senior consultant at Ernst Young in Atlanta.
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 and Hazzan. 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. 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 has reached over 104 years of serving the Jewish community is both exciting and awe-inspiring.
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, our clergy, 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.
Souksavat “Souks” Soukhaseum, originally from Laos, began his service to the Free Synagogue of Flushing in 2014. Coming from a background in finance and hospitality, Souks serves as our historian, archivist and as the Director of Community Affairs keeping our synagogue relevant within our community and beyond.
As we celebrate 100 years of serving the Jewish community of Queens, Souks is archiving our rich and storied history for future generations to learn of the contributions and significance of this landmark institution.
Always welcoming to members and guests, Souks will take you on a historical journey through our beautiful stained glass sanctuary and bring our 100 years to life.
Virtual Service Times
FSF was Official Covid-19 Vaccination Site
The site closed on March 31, 2022. After 9 months and giving out 50,000 vaccinations to the neighborhood.
Our tradition teaches us that to save one life is as if to save a world. The health and safety of our greater NYC community is of the utmost importance. We were honoured to welcome our neighbors to our official COVID-19 vaccination site, located in the social hall of our historic sanctuary building, as well as mobile modules in our parking lot.