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Our Rabbi, Laurie Zimmerman, officiates at life cycle events, runs our children's education program, leads services and adult education classes, and provides pastoral counseling. Read her bio, sermons and other writing.

Ryan Fitz is our Director of Operations and Engagement. He is in charge of our communications, committee coordination, development, member engagement and outreach, and events.

Sean Graham, our Office Manager, coordinates volunteers, handles communications, and focuses on special projects.

Coordinating Committee

The Coordinating Committee of Shaarei Shamayim functions as the board of our congregation and consists of our officers, committee chairs, members-at-large, and our Rabbi.

Members of the Coordinating Committee are united by their commitment to the vision of Shaarei Shamayim and their belief in the impact they can have on the larger Jewish community. They work in partnership with the members of the community and welcome questions and new ideas.

Committee Chairs
Ex Officio
Our Committees

Steering Committee – This is the executive committee of the Coordinating Committee. It is composed of the President, Vice President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Rabbi (ex officio). It meets monthly and develops the agenda for the Coordinating Committee.

Membership – This committee serves the needs of the congregation's members by helping new members integrate into the community, organizing three events for new and prospective members each year, sending new year's cards, following up with membership renewals, and organizing  havurot (fellowship groups). Members of the committee also reach out to people who are interested in learning more about the congregation.

Ritual and Adult Education – This committee organizes Shabbat evening and morning services, makes recommendations about religious practices at Shaarei Shamayim, plans Shabbatonim with visiting rabbis, and develops educational programs. 

Children’s Education – This committee oversees the Gesher program and advises Rabbi Laurie on the curriculum, teacher and tutors, classes, and family programming. It also holds an annual parents’ meeting and organizes field trips throughout the year.

Social Action – This committee helps the congregation focus on the needs of the greater Madison community by working directly with people in need as well as addressing social justice issues. It organizes speakers, oversees volunteer projects, and engages in fundraising endeavors to support various initiatives.

Rabbi Liaison – This committee serves as a confidential place for Rabbi Laurie to reflect on her work with the congregation. Members of the committee help her address issues and priorities and they serve as a communication channel with the Steering Committee. It also provides members the opportunity to share feedback about Rabbi Laurie in her work with the congregation.

Finance – The primary responsibility of this committee is to oversee the financial needs of the community. It reviews the financial status, accounting processes, and cash management of the congregation and considers strategies for setting and collecting membership dues as well as investing congregational funds.

Fundraising – This committee raises funds to sustain the congregation. It reaches out to members to discuss how they can contribute financially to the community and discusses issues such as creating an endowment fund, altering the membership dues scale, and accepting bequests.

Fri, May 17 2024 9 Iyyar 5784