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Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill has new spiritual leader

Cantor Vera Broekhuysen. Photo by Mike Lovett

JULY 5, 2018, HAVERHILL – Temple Emanu-El of Haverhill is thrilled to announce that Cantor Vera Broekhuysen has become its spiritual leader. Broekhuysen has been the temple’s cantor since July 2016 and is delighted to expand her role as the temple moves forward following the retirement last year of its longtime rabbi, Ira Korinow. The temple also announced that Mona Strick, a fifth-year rabbinic student at Hebrew College in Newton, began serving a one-year term as rabbinic intern on July 1.

“As the search committee engaged with temple members to understand the characteristics they valued most in a successor to Rabbi Korinow, one thing became abundantly clear,” said David Belsky, co-chair of the committee. “We already had in our midst a talented and beloved leader in Cantor Vera Broekhuysen. Once we recognized that, the rest was easy.”

“In the past two years I’ve grown to know and love Temple Emanu-El,” said Broekhuysen. “Our temple’s pluralism, in membership and liturgy, offers both clergy and congregants unique opportunities to pray and learn together. The warmth of our membership and the strength of our relationships let us explore fearlessly and debate honestly.”

Broekhuysen values opportunities to pursue both spiritual enrichment and social justice in interfaith environments. She is a member of the Greater Haverhill Clergy Association and a founding member of the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network. Broekhuysen was ordained by Hebrew College in June of 2016, when she also earned her master’s degree in Jewish Education. She lives in North Andover, with her husband and two sons.

Strick is a candidate for rabbinic ordination and a Master of Arts in Jewish Studies in June 2019. She has served as rabbinic intern at Temple B’nai Shalom in Braintree, Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, and Temple Israel in Boston. Prior to entering rabbinical school, she spent over 25 years in executive management positions in the travel industry and online media.

“We are so excited to have Rav Mona join Temple Emanu-El this year,” said Jennifer Lampron, co-chair of the rabbi search committee. “She has already begun attending temple events to meet people in the community and work with Cantor Vera. Through her unique combination of rabbinic education from Hebrew College and executive experience in a competitive consumer service industry, we know she’ll bring great energy and valuable insights as we look to enhance our programs and reach out to potential new members.”

Strick is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Near East studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Strick and her partner, Mark, live in Brookline. Their shared families consist of five children and eight grandchildren. When not in school, busy cooking, or studying in chevruta (learning groups), she enjoys team trivia competitions, crosswords, powerlifting, and musical theater. Strick is committed to inspiring a love of Torah, a passion for Jewish study and social justice, and participation in joyful, contemplative prayer.

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