Barry has been affiliated with Beth Sholom ever since he was only five years old, when his parents, Ellis and Rachelle, moved to Rochester. After finishing with Hillel School (when it was still on East Avenue!), he attended the Beth Sholom Hebrew High School in the “brand new” school wing. He became extremely active in the Beth Sholom NCSY chapter when he was 13, and at 16 years old, became chapter president. At 17, he was elected regional NCSY president of Har Sinai Region, as well as a National Vice-President. During those 2 years, the chapter and region won an unprecedented number of awards.
Barry graduated from Columbia University with a BA in anthropology, and then graduated from the Columbia University School of Public Health with a Masters in Public Health. He spent his first few years after graduation working in New York City. After the birth of his first child, Barry moved back to Rochester and immediately became intensely involved with almost all aspects of Beth Sholom life.
He served on the Beth Sholom Board of Directors for many years, as well as Vice President. He also served as a Gabbai for many years. But his greatest contributions to Beth Sholom have always been in the area of youth services. In the early 1980’s, there were no programs for our youth on Shabbat. Barry gathered a group of parents, and together they developed several youth services which were run on a co-op basis. He also supervised the leader of an extremely popular revitalized Junior Congregation and Junior NCSY program.
When his career path took a sudden shift and Barry became the Education Director of a large conservative synagogue, the children of Beth Sholom remained his passion. He helped in the kitchen whenever there was an NCSY program, “patrolled” the hallways making sure children behaved safely and respectfully. The thousands of pieces of candy he has distributed over the years, along with the hugs he doles out, have helped create an atmosphere of “kid-friendliness” unequalled anywhere else in Rochester.
During the last year, Barry once again took the reins of our Junior Congregation program, rebuilding it into an exemplary program with davening and Jewish learning in a truly unique and fun atmosphere. It grew from only a handful of children to almost 2 dozen every week, and never failed to bring a smile to the face of any adult who stopped in.
Barry now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he is the Principal of Talmud Torah of Minneapolis, an independent supplementary religious school attended by over 400 students in grades 3 through 12. His eldest daughter Dana and husband Russell just moved to New Orleans, his daughter Alison lives in the Hudson Valley, and his son Mitchell still lives in Rochester.