Brianna Erlebacher, Vassar Temple Youth Group President
Photo by Perla Kaufman
Article by Susan Karnes Hecht

The Vassar Temple Board of Trustees is thrilled to announce the election of Brianna Erlebacher as Youth Group President. Brianna follows in an illustrious family tradition; her parents Melissa and Seth (z”l) were deeply involved in Jewish youth activities, and her sister Rachel was a recent YG President.

A junior at Arlington High School, Brianna has participated in an extensive array of Jewish experiences. She has attended Camp Eisner for six years and this past summer went on a NFTY trip with an Eisner group. The “L’dor Va Dor” journey included four weeks in Israel and one week in Eastern Europe. This is Brianna’s third year working at the Religious School, where she currently co-teaches the fifth grade. At Arlington, Brianna participates in a number of extracurricular activities including the “Friends of Rachel Club”, an anti-bullying and character education program for which she serves as vice-president. Brianna would like the congregation to know that “after my trip to Israel this past summer, my connection to Judaism has greatly increased, which is why I am so excited to get the younger generation more involved in the temple and Jewish ideals.”

During a pleasurable evening meeting under the sukkah, the recently revitalized Youth Group also elected:
Jacob Moore, Vice President; Tara Lerman, Treasurer; Olivia DiIorio, Secretary; and Zoe Peritz-Greenman, 8th grade representative.

The temple community also welcomes our new Youth Group Advisor, Rachel Cohen, who hails from North Andover, MA. Rachel is a recent graduate of Clark University in Worcester and is currently a student in the Baking and Pastry program at the CIA. She was a collegiate swimmer, diver, and rower. She is an alumna of Camp Eisner, NFTY in Israel, and NFTY EIE High school in Israel.

Rachel sends her thanks to the temple family for its warm welcome and adds “I am very excited to be working with Brianna and the other officers to build Vassar Temple’s Youth Group and really looking forward to becoming part of the Vassar community! Our first project is going to be working on the new youth lounge, located in the lower level of the temple. We are looking for donations (TVs, couches, etc.) to help make the lounge a comfortable, fun, and safe space for the students!”

Please reach out to Rachel with any questions or concerns about Youth Group at rachelfcohen@gmail.com. Contact Brianna at youthgroup@vassartemple.org. If you have something in good condition/working order to donate to the new lounge please contact one of them.

The Board heartily supports efforts to build a thriving and meaningful Youth Group at Vassar Temple. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming our officers and advisor to their new roles and in wishing them much luck!

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