Member News

KOL AMI of Boca Raton 2020 Board of Trustees:

Daniel Kaufman: President

Beth DeRicco: Vice President 

Bonnie Austin: Treasurer 

Barbara Barron: Secretary 

Roberta Jainchill: Past President, ex-officio 

Jennie Bonnin: Outreach Chairman 

Barry Friedman 

Rabbi Chaim Wender


Meet new member: RABBI  DAVID WEISSMAN

“At the end of June, I retired as year- round rabbi/cantor at Temple Shalom of Myrtle Beach, SC, and moved to Delray Beach.  After being retired for more than two months and attending religious services as a congregant, I miss my previous calling. “

Rabbi David comes to us with much experience under his belt. He served in a Conservative synagogue in North Brunswick, NJ as a Cantor from 1983 to 1988, and as a Rabbi in the Conservative Moriches, Long Island synagogue from 1988 to 2001.

He came south to a Pembroke Pines Reform synagogue as Rabbi/Cantor until 2008 and then to Myrtle Beach, SC Reform synagogue until he came to our area in 2019.

And, he served for 31 years in the New York City School System, initially as a high school social studies teacher and for the last 18 years as a high school assistant principal.


Rabbinic Ordination – Rabbinical Academy of Mesifta Adath Wolkowisk in Queens, New York; Ordination as Cantor –  Manhattan School for Cantors in New York City; Religious School Teacher’s Certificate – Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; M.A. in Social Studies Education – Hunter College in New York City; B.B.A. in Economics – Baruch College in New York City.

A word from the Rabbi:

Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist Movement, has had an enormous influence on my thinking:  his definition of Judaism as “an evolving religious civilization”; his definition of God as the sum of all forces for goodness and creativity in existence; his emphasis on the importance of community; his definition of  rituals as folkways which draw someone closer to the Jewish people; and his belief that  “the past has a vote, but not a veto”.  Although organizationally the movement never became very popular, I think that most non-Orthodox Jews are, at heart, Reconstructionist in their views, although they may not realize it.


From member Rabbi Chaim Wender:

The Hospice Team: Who We Are and How We Care

Edited by Rabbi Chaim Wender, DMin, F.LBC, and Patricia Ellen Morrison, LCSW

Health Professions Press, 2019

What is hospice? This book provides the answer in a way that is both accessible and insightful. The Hospice Team is an edited book that describes the delivery of hospice care from the perspective of 21 providers in professions that typically compose a hospice care team. Each author contributes something unique to this discussion, that mirrors real life, where the strength of an interdiscipinary team is diversity in perspective and approach. Likewise, the presentation style and voice vary across this book, which allows for more opportunities for the reader to connect with similar content explained in different ways.

The structure of each chapter and shared focus on hospice care lends continuity to the book. Each chapter focuses on why the author chose to work in hospice care. They describe their professional responsibilities on the hospice care team, The authors also share how it feels to be a provider of hospice care, including memorable stories about working with patients. In essence The Hospice Team demystifies the delivery of hospice care and humanizes the providers in the process. This is important as candid discussion about hospice care can be a comfort during a potentially fearful time for patients and their families.

For example, the demonstrates how the purpose of hospice care is to support quality of life. This involves good palliative care to manage uncomfortable symptoms  that can lead to biopsychosocial and spiritual/existential suffering. One thing that is particularily striking are the personal and, even, spiritual reflections that the contributors share about their experiences. this includes how some authors dealt with their own grief, reflected critically about how they might have better supported their patients, and experienced difficulty in finding opportunities to fully employ their professional skills.

The Hospice Team clarifies what each provider offers and instills confidence in the therapeutic power of the hospice team. It is a good book for any person, including social workers, who are unfamiliar with hospice care or want to learn more. This book may be used by social work educators with undergraduate and graduate students to gain insight as future hospice care providers. Social work practitioners may share this book with clients who need more information about receiving hospice care. The book is well written, relatively short, and available in a digital format.

—–Ann M. Callahan, PHD, LCSW, Eastern Kentucky University