Our Mission is to provide the opportunity for spiritual growth to our Congregation through the vision, leadership and actions of the Temple Board of Trustees. This growth requires the creativity, support and action of the Temple Membership.
This Mission succeeds when it provides activities that pass on Jewish values of outreach and caring, and enhance Jewish memories, as we celebrate our Faith in action and ceremony.
This Mission succeeds when leadership motivates future generations through effective, dynamic mentoring and support.
This Mission succeeds when it creates a community of caring and an atmosphere of teamwork for all of our membership through outreach programs that educate, support, and empower every person to achieve spiritual growth, now and in the future.
Committees: Executive Board
Nancy Gurman is a retired attorney who graduated from Syracuse University, where she met her husband of 39 years, Andrew Gurman. She graduated from Syracuse University College of Law and worked for the New York State Family Court before relocating to Altoona, where she worked for the Blair County Court of Common Pleas. She is the mother of two wonderful and caring daughters, Karen, who lives in Virginia, and Amy who lives in Altoona. Nancy is the current Secretary, and former President of Penn-Mont Academy, the area’s premier Montessori school. In addition she has attended many of the URJ’s biennial meetings and served as co-chair of the URJ’s Pennsylvania Regional Meeting.
Secretary Bonnie Gordon
Committees: Executive Board
Bonnie Gordon is the wife of Bob Gordon and mother of Samuel and Jacob. She often says, “I cook, I sew, I teach small children.” Bonnie has taught several classes called “Cooking with Bonnie” on holiday foods. She has repaired the Torah covers and made the family tablecloth in the social hall. Ever since moving to Altoona in 1997 she has been involved with the Sunday School, mostly as a teacher. Bonnie has served as the board Secretary for the last five years.
Treasurer Jim Rosenthall
Committees: Executive Board, Finance
Jim has served on the Temple Board for many years and is the current Treasurer. He has been married to Audrey for the last 52 years. They have 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren. Jim has been a Pharmacist for 52 years and the Owner and Operator of the Medicine Shoppe in Altoona for the last 32 years.
Board Of Trustees
Committees: Tikkun Olam, Sisterhood
Karen is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Nutrition. Married Barry S. Allen in 1980 at Temple Israel in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Held the positions of Food Service Director and Dietitian in nursing homes, public school systems, and hospitals in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Has been employed since 2001 by the Home Nursing Agency. She is a nutritionist with the Women, Infants and Children Program.
Karen and Barry have two wonderful daughters, Rachel and Erin. Karen has been a member of Women’s American ORT and Hadassah. She has also served nine years as Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood President and Co-president. She is currently co-chairing the temple Tikkun Olam committee with Rabbi Korotkin and manages the Temple gift shop.
Committees: Adult Education
Catherine S. Cox has been a member of TBI for over ten years, and serves as the lay Torah study leader and a lay service leader in addition to the Board. She is a professor in the Humanities department at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and has published two books on biblical and medieval literature and culture.
Phil Dubrow is the Vice President and General Manager for WTAJ-TV (CBS Affiliate) in Altoona, PA. He is married to Vicky with two wonderful children Marissa and Zachary. He is a board member of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce and Tides (a support program for grieving children and the people who love them). He is a Rotarian, Advisory Board member of the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center, and Board Member/Treasurer of Call For Action (an international, non-profit network of consumer hotlines).
Reina is a graduate of Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. With a degree in Speech & Theatre Arts, she has been married to Mike for almost 30 years. Their two great children grew up in this congregation and have relocated to Washington, DC and Houston, TX to pursue their lives and careers. Reina is a co-owner of the Chalk Box, a local teacher supplies store and works for a local organic cooperative in a sales and marketing, and “growing” her understanding of sustainable living.
Robert Gordon is a retired flight service station specialist who prior to moving to the Altoona area was often responsible for reporting Bradford Regional Airport as the cold spot in Pennsylvania and once in a while the nation. He is also on the Altoona Jewish Federation board and occasionally substitute teaches.
Committees: Website, Sunday School, Membership, Jewish Food Festival
Mike Holzer has served on Temple Beth Israel’s board since 2009. A lifelong member (and third generation board member) of the Temple, Mike teaches Sunday School for the Greater Altoona Jewish Federation, teaches 2nd – 3rd grade Hebrew at the Temple, is the chair of the website committee, and serves as the Temple’s Ba’al Tekiah during the High Holidays. Mike is a LAMP Stack Developer and lives with his wife Heather and son Ari in Altoona. He also has two longhair black cats, Annabelle and Vonnegut. In his spare time, Mike enjoys baking bread (especially challah), gardening, leathercrafting and reading.
Committees: Sisterhood, Fundraising, Jewish Food Festival Co-Chair
Sue has been a lifelong member of TBI, consecrated, confirmed, and married in the sanctuary. She has also been blessed by having her two sons, Michael and Daniel, and grandson, Ari named there as well.
Life cycle events are extremely important to the TBI family and as a member of the board, Sue feels it is her privilege to help our members recognize those events. She is a recently retired elementary school teacher and co-owner of The Chalk Box( a parent/teacher resource store).
Anna B. Kadane
Anna “Sissy” Kadane served as Sisterhood President at Temple Beth Israel one time and Sisterhood Co-President twice. She was also the Student Loan Fund Chairwoman. In addition, she was the President of PAFTY(Pennsylvania Federation of Temple Youth) from 1943-1944 and the Co-Chairwoman of UJA(United Jewish Appeal) Women’s Division in 1956.
Dr Alan Kivitz has been a member of the community with his wife Dr Vicki Sommer and a member of Temple Beth Israel since relocating from New York in 1982. He and his wife have 4 children and 3 grandchildren. Dr Kivitz is a physician specializing in Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease and is the founder of the Altoona Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center in Duncansville, PA.
As a registered Professional Engineer and passionate about environmental engineering and its possibilities for cleaner water and a cleaner environment in our surrounding communities, Tom Levine leads a consulting firm providing expert advice to his clients in all aspects of municipal, environmental and civil engineering. He has over 21 years of municipal engineering experience and spent 14 years as a Project Manager with Richard H. Bulger, Jr. & Associates, Inc., prior to starting Levine Engineering, LLC in 2009.
Tom and his wife Lisa have two daughters, Abigail and Gretta, and reside in Altoona. He enjoys spending quality time with his family and is an avid hunter and fisherman.
Josh Patt is a third generation TBI member and board member. He currently lives and works in Hollidaysburg where he is an active member of the Hollidaysburg Rotary Club and the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau Board of Directors.
Committees: Federation, Jewish Food Festival
As a born and bred Manhattanite, a Penn State graduate and bride of Bernie Sevel, Norma joined Temple Beth Israel in 1952. Now, 58 years later, she has been a Sisterhood and Temple Board member and raised three wonderful daughters, Susan, Judi and Laurie within its walls. The third and fourth generations, Michael and Ari, are members as well. Norma has also been the Director of the Jewish Memorial Center, the Director of the Head Start Program and is still active as a community volunteer and member of the Altoona Jewish Federation. She is happy to be living in Altoona for 54 years- 5 in Tyrone.
Dr. Jonathan Thaler
Jewish Food Festival, Youth Education
Joel A. Weiss
President Mike Dudley
Mike has been involved in the property casualty insurance industry since he attended the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where he majored in Chemistry & Education. He met the love of his life, Reina in Boston and together with their two children relocated to the area via Syracuse to pursue a career with a local, regional mutual insurance carrier. Mike has received the Chartered Property and Casualty (CPCU) and an Associate in Underwriting (AU) designation.
Committees: Youth Education
Sandra Knepp has served on the Temple Board as chair of the Sunday School and Youth Education Committee for several years. Sandra was raised at TBI, enjoying Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, Wedding, and Baby Naming celebrations within our community. Sandra works as a Master’s Level Clinician with individuals, families, children and adults, as well as a Sunday School and Hebrew School Teacher.
Committees: Building & Grounds, Membership, Jewish Food Festival Co-Chair
Barry Allen is the senior buyer for the Altoona Regional Health System. He and his wife, Karen, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in October ’10. They have two beautiful daughters, Rachel and Erin. Barry and family were members of Temple Beth Israel from 1994-1997, then moved away for a short while, and then moved back to Altoona and became members again in 1999. He is a Past President, current board member and co-chairs the Buildings and Grounds Committee and is Membership Chairman at Temple Beth Israel
Dr. Andrew Gurman
Andy Gurman is chair of the ritual committee, and a past president of Temple Beth Israel. He has also served as president of the Pennsylvania Council of the URJ. He serves as a lay service leader, and Torah reader. When he is not involved with Temple activities, Andy practices Hand Surgery in Altoona, and serves as Speaker of the American Medical Association.
Committees: Finance, Building & Grounds, Jewish Food Festival
Andrew Katz is past-president from 1993 to 1997. Served as Treasurer and on numerous committee positions. Currently he co-chairs building and grounds committee and chairs the nominating committee. When Andrew is not involved in the Temple activities, he manages investments for individuals and businesses as a Registered Investment Advisor and also serves on several community boards and committees. He chairs the Regional Purchasing committee and serves on the Legislative Action committee(chairing the Municipal Cooperation sub-Committee) of the Chamber of Commerce. His greatest joy is watching his daughter, Anna, a Junior attending Bloomsburg Univ, dance and his son, David, a Sophomore at Hollidaysburg HS play soccer.
Committees: Membership, Dues
Melvin A. Kadane served as President of the Temple Beth Israel Board of Trustees from 1991-1993. He has also been active as the Chairman of the Dues Committee and a member of the Executive Committee and the Membership Committee.
A lifelong resident of the Altoona area,and member of Temple Beth Israel, Shirley Pechter has given generously of her time, money, and creativity to Penn State Altoona. Pechter co-chaired Penn State Altoona’s 65th anniversary celebration in 2004 and has supported the campus as an advisory board member and Development Council member. She served on two steering committees for The Grand Destiny Campaign, hosting events in both Altoona and New York City. In honor of her late husband, Fred Pechter ’33, she established a scholarship at Penn State Altoona. Her support also provided for The Pechter Family Music Room in the Hawthorn Classroom Building.
Michael Kranich Sr.
Michael M. Kranich Sr. is a third generation Temple member. Michael was born and raised in Altoona and joined Kranich’s Jewelers, which was started by his grandfather in York, Pa. in 1903. His wife is Eva Kranich and he has two sons, Charles (State College, Pa) and Michael Jr. (Altoona) — both of whom are co-presidents of Kranich’s Jewelers. Michael and his family are very active in local civic and charitable organizations and he is a past president of Temple Beth Israel.