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A Woman of Valor: Nina Mintzer

Nina Mintzer was indeed a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor. Her loving commitment to her innermost circle of family rippled outward to enfold her friends,
her Shaare Tefilah community, New England, and the worldwide Jewish community,
as well. Nina served in so many capacities at Temple Shaare Tefilah over the years
that listing them is daunting. Her roles at TST included Sisterhood President, TST
First Vice President, Ritual Chair, and much more. She made the suggestion that
resulted in the creation of Sisterhood’s Lunch and Learn program.

Nina possessed a lovely singing voice. The unearthly beauty of Nina’s Hallel
chanting on holidays was mezmerizing. Her frequent Haftarah chanting on
Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah enhanced the service and inspired those privileged
to hear her. Even when ill, she could lift her voice amazingly in song. We never
knew how she did it.

Nina’s leadership and service extended far beyond our TST community. She
served in many capacities in the former New England Branch of the Women’s
League for Conservative Judaism and eventually served as regional President.
Nina went on to serve as a Vice President of International Women’s League and
as the first female President of the former New England Branch of United
Synagogue. More recently, Nina served as an Area Director for our own North
Atlantic Region of Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. Shaare Tefilah
honored her as our Woman of Distinction at the region’s 2011 Annual Conference.

Wife, mother, friend, role model, leader, chanter, inspirer: we will miss Nina, yet her
place in our hearts will not feel empty.

A Rabbi for All Seasons

What was special about the year 2002 for Temple Shaare Tefilah? Answer: Rabbi Andrea M. Gouze joined our TST family. She entered like a fresh breeze of warmth, wit, and joy. She quickly became our spiritual leader, our teacher, and our friend.

Thirteen years is quite a few calendar pages filled with Shabbat and holiday services, Lunch and Learn classes, simchas, and serious, supportive one-on-one times with so many of our families. And the common threads running through these and many more of Rabbi Gouze’s activities on our behalf have been her spiritual joy, her sense of humor, her intelligence, and her heartfelt compassion. I’ve loved her expansive, toe-tapping prayer and the serious committment and kavanah behind it. I’ve enjoyed her inexhaustible parade of Purim costumes (especially the 2007 chicken hat with grass skirt). I’ve loved seeing her as wife and mother over the years with her wonderful family. Most of all, I’ve been moved by her eloquence when it mattered more than anything, in times of sorrow.

Rabbi Gouze may be leaving Shaare Tefilah, but she will always be our friend and so much more. She will go “from strength to strength”, inspiring new friends but always dear to us. I’ll look forward eagerly to keeping in contact with her and hearing about her work and family. And as a permanent part of our TST family, we’ll keep her updated on our community’s next chapter with Temple Beth Abraham and Rabbi Nava Levine.

Rabbi Gouze, we are truly blessed to know you. Kol hakavod.


 Carol Turkewitz

The David Project
    We all wish that we could argue more eloquently for Israel, or at least explain the nuances
of current issues more clearly to our younger skeptics.  While you’re at your computer, here’s
some great reading for you:  The David Project‘s website (www.davidproject.org).  Go to
Resources at the top, then Israel Advocacy Guides.  You will find a treasure trove of
background and talking points to download regarding current issues affecting Israel.
    The David Project itself is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering college
students to advocate for Israel through interpersonal relations.  It provides support, training, 
and programming that is making a difference on college campuses, one relationship at a time.
It has been named one of America’s top fifty innovative Jewish organizations by this year’s
Slingshot Guide for Jewish Innovation (another fun read to download gratis at www.slingshotfund.org).
    Happy reading.  If it inspires you, happy donating.

Carol Turkewitz

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