Gillian Caplin, the newly elected president of the worldwide Conservative or Masorti movement, lives in North West London. She is a former chairperson of the Assembly of Masorti Synagogues, during which she was instrumental in the creation and development of Masorti Europe, the regional body that fosters the development of Masorti communities across Europe. A former television producer, she is married and the mother of two. The Jewish Week caught up with her late last month when she was in New York. This is an edited transcript.
With the High Holy Days upon us — one of whose main themes is tzedakah, giving of one’s money and time to the needy — Avodah-The Jewish Service Corps recently announced that is establishing a new fellowship program that will train young professionals to work against poverty.
Every January, newspapers fill with photos of the first babies of the secular year. Now Lucy Waldman — one of a handful of mohelets, or female mohels — in the United States, is running a baby contest for the Jewish New Year.
Waldman, who also works as a nurse midwife and childbirth educator, was certified as a mohelet in 2010 through a program of the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2010. In her first annual “New Year, New Baby Contest,” (the first baby born in 5774 will win a $100 gift card for Diapers.com and be featured on Mama Mohel, Waldman’s blog.
The New Year marks the start of a new job for Rabbi Greg Wall. A saxophonist better known as the “jazz rabbi,” he is the new spiritual leader of Beit Chaverim Synagogue of Westport and Norwalk, a small Modern Orthodox congregation in Connecticut.
Matthew Salloway is an executive producer of Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” which took first place at the box office last weekend, bringing in $25 million. Based on a true story, the film, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, traces a man’s journey from the cotton fields to serving in the White House. The butler, named Cecil Gaines, works for several presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan. Salloway serves on several boards of UJA-Federation of New York, is on the board of The Dror For The Wounded Foundation (which helps wounded Israeli soldiers) and did a fellowship at Manhattan Jewish Experience. An attorney who has represented athletes, actors and major corporations, he lives on the Upper West Side.