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.
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.
Director of Community Affairs
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.
Social Media Marketing Manager
Jenifer and her family joined the Free Synagogue of Flushing in 2012, and have been active members ever since. She began working at FSF in 2015. As Social Media Marketing Manager, Jenifer oversees the Free Synagogue Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook presence, as well as our overall online presence. Jenifer is also an author, with several published short stories, as well a children’s book she wrote and illustrated. She has a B.A. in History, and loves being part of the living history of our historic synagogue. Jenifer has been the Team FSF captain for our team in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since 2015, and is the immediate past president of our active Sisterhood. Highly active in Women of Reform Judaism, Jenifer is also an Area Director for the WRJ Northeast District.
Board of Trustees
Ian is an active member of our congregation who participates in our community projects. Three generations of his family are part of our FSF community.
Ilysa and her family have been part of FSF since 2013. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has spent her career working with adults who have intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. She lives in Forest Hills with her husband Boris, their children Jacob and Nina, and their cat Yankee. They are sports fans, particularly of baseball and basketball. Ilysa also loves to cook and bake.
Mike and his family have been active members at the Free Synagogue of Flushing for several years, and his two children attend our religious school. He has worked for the airline industry for 26 years. Currently, Mike handles the North America sales team for EL AL Israel Airlines. He is also an avid bike rider.
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.
Additional Board Member