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Meet President-Elect David Simonds

06/20/2022 11:45:34 AM


Tell us a little about yourself outside of Bet Torah. I have two great kids, Stella and Ike. Both are products of Mindy's nursery school, graduates of Kulanu, Bet Torah B’nei Mitzvah alums (one sanctuary and one zoomitzvah), and both are madrichs. They are my number one priority.

I work for a global law firm, where I have worked since law school. I am now in a personnel management role.

I am a serial volunteer-er, including, at one time or another, with the Byram Hills Education Foundation, Armonk United Soccer, North Castle Board of Ethics, and, most importantly, Bet Torah.

If you were a Jewish holiday, which one would you be and why? Pesach. Because for me, it is about family, friends, food, and drinks (sometimes lots of drinks!).

Without using the words "warm and welcoming," how would you describe Bet Torah? For me, Bet Torah is a place where I find inspiration and respite. it is a place where we can focus on each other and ourselves simultaneously. A place to connect with others, but also with our spiritual selves. And it is a place, especially on Shabbat and holidays where we can unplug. Those are all rare in these intense times.

Members come to Bet Torah for many different reasons -- what's the secret to making them all feel at home? See above. It is making sure that Bet Torah is a place where people can come together.

How would you describe your job as president? What makes for a good leader? This one is easy, as I think it is the same thing. My job is to listen, and good leaders listen.

What's the best way for a member to feel more involved? To be present. For this response, I get to say Bet Torah truly is “warm and welcoming.” And we have a place for anyone who wants to engage, whether your passion is education, worship, spirituality, music, events, Israel, social action and justice, Sisterhood, Men’s Club…. The list is endless.

If you could change one thing about Bet Torah, what would it be? I would make the president’s term unlimited (just kidding). I would love to hear what members would change. In fact, I don’t think there is a lot we need to change. We have the greatest clergy a synagogue could ever need. The best executive director and front office staff. An amazing nursery school. An award-winning religious school. Educational leaders who are second to none. And an engaged and passionate congregation. If you press me, I would say that having a robust endowment to ensure our long-term sustainable financial security should be a goal, and we already are working on it.

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782