MEET OUR RABBI & STAFF

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Rabbi Howard Siegel

Rabbi Siegel began his career teaching speech and English in a Portland, Oregon public high school. He received a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Minnesota, a Bachelor of Hebrew Literature from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, and a Master of Arts in Judaica and rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity by JTS. Rabbi Siegel's professional accomplishments include serving as a pulpit rabbi in Vancouver, Richmond, Minneapolis, and Houston. He was also the founding director of the Solomon Schechter Day School of St. Louis. In 2003, he founded the “Jewish Information Center of Houston,” an outreach program to unaffiliated Jews. 

He has staffed and directed Jewish summer camps, which had inspired him to become a rabbi. He served as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and has previously served as interim rabbi for congregations in Los Angeles, San Antonio, Tampa, and Charlotte. He currently writes a weekly blog for the Houston Chronicle.

Rabbi Siegel's honors include: The Rae & Edmund Hecht Houston Jewish Community Rabbinic Award, Congressional Recognition for Work with Hunger & Homelessness, Hennepin County Award of Distinction for Work with Hunger, and the Lillian M. Lowenfield Prize in Practical Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Rabbi Siegel is the proud parent of three children and eight grandchildren.

Nancy Hendricks 

Business Director

Nancy likes the challenges that come her way on a daily basis. With her attention to detail, experience and "can do" attitude, it has created a winning combination for her and TBS! At TBS, she handles the day to day business needs of Temple Beth Sholom, staff, and board relations. She is the liaison between the staff and the TBS Board (including committees). She handles member needs regarding statements & membership concerns and deals with business vendors and suppliers for TBS. All with the help of her dog, Finn (pictured right). Reach out to Nancy if you have questions about billing, your current membership, or the temple in general at nhendricks@templebethsholomfl.org.

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Kelly Nester

Rabbinical Assistant

Kelly grew up in Englewood and has a beautiful family with her husband of 32 years including two children and a grandson! She loves outdoor activities such as hiking & swimming as well as reading. She also loves TBS! She assists the rabbi with all needs, including synagogue calendar, rabbi’s schedule, announcements, bulletins, congregant interaction with the rabbi, and new member needs and updates. She is the main contact and keeper of the TBS calendar and first step in scheduling a meeting, program, dinner, event, etc. Reach out to her if you need help scheduling anything or have questions regarding the rabbi, high holidays, calendar, or events. Contact Kelly at knester@templebethsholomfl.org.

Troy Jones

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Troy Jones is our new Marketing & Communications Coordinator! Troy was born in California but has been in Sarasota since he was nine years old.  He is married with two sons, and they are all wildlife enthusiasts. He has been working with non-profits for many years and brings TBS his experience and knowledge. He will assist with programs/PR/marketing and outreach for the synagogue, including the TBS website. For a few months he will be coordinating efforts with Lex Calaguas (Transitional Marketing & Communications Coordinator) who is working on The TBS Messenger. Feel free to contact Troy at tjones@templebethsholomfl.org.

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Lex Calaguas

Transitional Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Before starting at TBS in early 2019, Lex completed her Master's degree in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is also addicted to travel. She works with the rabbi and program committee on special events and programming. She assists with outreach/PR/marketing materials for the synagogue including the TBS website and is the designer and Editor-in-Chief of The Messenger. Feel free to contact Lex at lcalaguas@templebethsholomfl.org.

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Duane Rushing

Facilities Manager 

Duane handles the day to day needs of the temple regarding building maintenance and event/meeting set-ups. He deals with appropriate suppliers to ensure smooth operations and proper upkeep. Additionally, he oversees the facility needs in Building 1 as well as works with the Facility Manager in Building 3 (Community Day School). Email Duane at drushing@templebethsholomfl.org.

Phyllis Weitzner

Messenger Associate Editor

Phyllis and her family have been members at TBS for many years. Although she is trained as an architect, she graciously helps us with our monthly publication of The Messenger. She corresponds with our contributors and acts as an editor. Feel free to contact Phyllis at tbsmessenger@gmail.com.

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Troy Jones

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Troy Jones is our most recent hire and is our new Marketing & Communication Coordinator! He was born in California but has been in Sarasota since he was nine years old. He is married with two sons, and they are all wildlife enthusiasts. Troy has been working with non-profits for many years and brings TBS his experience and knowledge. He will assist with programs/PR/marketing and outreach for the synagogue; including the TBS website. For a few months, he will be coordinating efforts with Lex Calaguas (Transitional Marketing & Communications Coordinator) who is working on The TBS Messenger. Feel free to contact him at TJones@Templebethsholomfl.org or by calling the office (extension #1014).