By Joe Pollak
As the song lyric says, “Wherever you go, there’s always someone Jewish,” and sometimes it’s true that wherever you go you can find a friend from Greene Family Camp. When you find yourself in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then be sure to visit Temple Beth Emeth where you are certain to receive a warm, GFC welcome, even if Michigan is colder than Texas in the winter.
If you stop by the temple office, you can say hello to former camper and staff member Rabbi Daniel Alter, who is the temple’s director of education, and former camper Nikki Feinberg, who splits her time as the youth director for the temple and camp director for the community’s Jewish day camp. On Friday nights you can greet Robin (Weber) Pollak , who was a GFC faculty member for several summers when she worked at Texas Hillel, and Sarah (Raful) Whinston who spent a summer as a unit head. And, if you are interested in the inner-workings of synagogue governance and decide to attend a board meeting, then you will find former GFC assistant director Joe Pollak who is currently the president of the congregation.
How did all of these GFC alumni end up at one temple? Mostly coincidence. Robin Pollak grew up as a member of Temple Beth Emeth and brought Joe with her when she moved back to her hometown of Ann Arbor in 2012. Next came Sarah Whinston and her family (Rabbi Josh Whinston is the senior rabbi of Temple Beth Emeth). Rabbi Daniel Alter just happened to apply without knowing he would find friends from GFC, and, similarly, Nikki Feinberg moved to Ann Arbor when her fiancé started graduate school at the University of Michigan. Speaking of the University of Michigan, if you find yourself a few blocks away from the temple at Michigan Hillel, then stop in to see Rav Lisa Stella who was a GFC counselor before she attended rabbinic school.
Yes, to paraphrase a little bit: you’re never alone when you say you’re from Greene!