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Ellen joined the Woodbury Jewish Center in 1999 and was delighted when her children graduated from our early childhood program and then religious school. She became involved in synagogue life by first joining the ritual committee and immediately after, chanting her first Haftarah since her own Bat Mitzvah. She joined and then chaired the membership committee, High Holidays, Chesed, and the Gala journal soon after, eventually becoming a trustee on the Administrative Board in 2006.
She moved to the executive board in 2014 as secretary, 1st VP, and then president, beginning in February 2020. One month later Covid forced a shutdown, and she led the synagogue through these unprecedented times. Ellen began communicating weekly through her Staying Connected updates, to ensure the entire synagogue remained informed throughout our closure and eventual reopening.
During Ellen’s tenure, The Rabbi Retention Committee signed Rabbi Fruithandler to a long-term contract, began negotiations with Jericho Jewish Center to potentially consolidate our synagogues and saw our religious school enrollment increase by 50%.  Although the JJC consolidation did not happen as planned, Ellen saw to it that JJC members found a home at WJC, and to date we have over 41 families-and counting-who have happily joined our WJC family.  WJCares was born during Covid to care for first responders and morphed into a wonderful philanthropic arm of the shul. The Constitution of WJC was revised to be more inclusive and accommodating of technological advances; a fantastic, refreshed, and super successful golf outing was held for the first time in decades, and the kiddush rooms were refurbished.
While president, Ellen added to her MD degree by completing a Master of Applied Science in Humanitarian Health at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, her undergraduate alma mater, and continues her gratifying work as the senior medial advisor at SUNY Old Westbury.
Ellen has been married for 32 years to her very supportive husband Andrew, with whom she shares 3 wonderful sons, a daughter-in-law, and a daughter-in-law to be: Justin and Lisa, Ryan and Hallie, and Brandon and Hayley, and is happy to have her loving mother and synagogue member, Bonnie Berkowitz, by her side and her beloved father Michael Berkowitz z”l in her heart always.
Wed, February 28 2024 19 Adar I 5784