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 has reached over 100 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.
Alan J. Brava Executive Director, Free Synagogue of Flushing
Board of Trustees
Brian Drutman is a consultant for cast recordings and Broadway related projects at Decca Records / Verve Label Group. He supervised such cast recordings as Wicked (Grammy and Tony Award winner), Spring Awakening (Grammy and Tony Award winner), Monty Python’s Spamalot (Grammy and Tony Award winner), MAMMA MIA!, An American In Paris and Motown. In his spare time, Brian is a professional pianist.
Stuart has been a member of FSF for the last three years. He has served on various committees at FSF, including the house committee, education committee, and finance committee. Stuart has been a Western Queens resident for over 20 years, and he and his wife Marnie have been living in Jackson Heights for the last 14 years, where they are raising their two children. Stuart works as a Transportation Planner, supporting various public transportation agencies throughout the country in meeting the needs of ridership and creating plans for ensuring that facilities are properly maintained, all while working within a constrained budget. In New York City, he has supported the MTA in the development of the Select Bus Service program.
Aaron and his family joined FSF in 2012. He is a past Vice President, has served on several committees, and was Chair of the Education Committee for four years. Aaron is a bestselling author who was born in New Jersey, grew up in New Orleans, went to school in Kansas, and then moved back to his family roots in New York. He has degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing, has worked as an adjunct, an editor, a graphic designer, a book publisher, and a creative director. His current day job is as a web content manager, and he writes novels, stories, children’s books, and games in his spare time.