Kevin Diamond was recently elected to Midbar Kodesh Temple's Board of Directors as a co-President with Shira Wood. Kevin and his wife Sharon have a special connection to Midbar Kodesh Temple, since they grew up with many of the members as Las Vegas natives. Sharon has been an Account Executive for the local CBS station for close to 25 years, and Kevin is a Senior Partner at the law firm of Thorndal, Armstrong, Delk, Balkenbush & Eisinger, having worked there since 2000. Their son Nathaniel (Nate) just graduated with honors from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ with a degree in Communications. Their daughter Talia just started high school, and is in two different school choirs.
Shira Wood, Midbar Kodesh Temple co-President, and her husband Adam Wood have been married for 16 years. Shira grew up in Las Vegas, and her parents, Neal and Judie Lewis, were some of the first members of Midbar Kodesh Temple. Adam is from Australia, and while they spent some time together in Australia, they moved back to Las Vegas in 2004. They have two children who both attended the Midbar Kodesh Early Childhood Center and currently attend religious school. Max,12, will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah this April, and Kate just turned 11. As a family, they like to go to Brian Head to ski as well as spend time outdoors in Las Vegas. Adam bikes, Shira runs, Max plays lacrosse and Kate has dabbled in dancing, running and swimming. Kate just ran her first 5k, and Shira ran the NYC marathon in November, raising money for Sharsheret – an organization that helps young Jewish women and their families after a breast / ovarian cancer diagnosis. Midbar Kodesh Temple has been a big part of their lives, especially since the birth of their children, and continues to be their community and a central part of their lives.
Amy Fieldman, a current Vice President, past President and founding member of Midbar Kodesh Temple has served on many committees. Her children attended the first classes of MKT Preschool and MKT Religious school, with all 3 celebrating their B’nei Mitzvah at Midbar Kodesh Temple and becoming active in the USY program. Her contributions in time, talent and treasure are invaluable and she looks forward to helping bring Midbar Kodesh Temple into the next decade
Dave Gavrin, a retired middle school teacher from New York, currently serves as a Vice President of Midbar Kodesh Temple, and has been President of Men's Club for many years. Each year he heads up January's annual poker tournament, February's World Wide Wrap and April's yellow candle project. At Sukkot and other times during the year you will find Dave at the BBQ visiting with congregants young and old, and every Shabbat sitting next to wife Roza.
Attorney Jackie Gilbert serves as a Vice President on Midbar Kodesh Temple's Board of Directors. She is a long-time Las Vegas resident who calls Henderson home and members of Midbar her Nevada family. When not at work or at home with her two-dog family, Jackie is at the Smith Center enjoying Broadway plays or can be heard yelling "Go Knights Go" at the T-Mobile Arena.
LVMPD Sergeant Darren Schwartz serves as a Vice President on Midbar Kodesh Temple's Board of Directors. He advises on security at the synagogue. Both Darren and wife Jennifer were raised in Las Vegas and they both were USY advisors at Midbar Kodesh Temple. They have been members of the synagogue for almost 2 decades and have a 10 year old son.
Born and raised in Las Vegas Greg Goussak serves as Treasurer of Midbar Kodesh Temple. He is a Principal Auditor for the Clark County Water Reclamation District. Greg with his wife Cindy and their 2 young adult daughters, who both celebrated their bat mitzvah at MKT, has been a member of the synagogue for almost 20 years.
Ileen Spoor, who works for Clark County as a Senior Judge Department Coordinator for Southern Nevada currently serves as secretary of Midbar Kodesh Temple. Over the years she has headed committees and has been a Vice President. Ileen, who heads up MKT's book club, invites you to join her each month with the newest title choice. You will find Ileen and husband Randy, long time members of the synagogue, attending services with their young grandchildren, 2 who are alumni of MKT ECC.
Marv Abramson hails from Nebraska, retiring in Henderson, Nevada joining Midbar Kodesh Temple about 2001. He serves on the Midbar Kodesh Temple Board and is President of MKT's HAZAK, a group for active Jewish adults aged 55 and over. You will meet Marv at the front door of the sanctuary, welcoming you in each Shabbat.
Joel Altman, raised in Las Vegas, has been a member of Midbar Kodesh Temple with wife Marci and their children for almost 2 decades, with Noah, Chase and Dax, all being graduates of MKTECC. Joel is an Exhibits Director for the Western Veterinarian Conference (WVC). This is Joel's first term on the MKT Board of Directors.
Laura Pyzer is new to the MKT Board of Directors. She joined Midbar Kodesh Temple 6 years ago, taking interest in the Midbar's educational committees as her children continue their education at Midbar Kodesh Temple. Married to Jeremy Pyzer, they share two young children, one enrolled in the ECC and one, a Kadimanik who attends MKT Religious School. Laura is CEO and Owner of PyTown Marketing, a local advertising agency focusing on the Strip. She is a co-founder of Boulder City Community Alliance, a member of American Association of University Women, and sits on the Marketing Committee for United Way of Southern Nevada.
Barbara Grisar Raben, a member of Midbar Kodesh Temple for almost 2 decades, was elected to Midbar's Board of Directors at the recent annual meeting. Barbara has been honored by JFSA for the work that she has done with that organization as a past President and for the community. Barbara was a co-President of Hadassah Southern Nevada and served as President of Hadassah's Desert Mountain Region. Barbara is married to long time Las Vegan Terry Raben and together, they enjoy Terry's children Neil Raben and Holly & Kevin Chidester and grandson, Scott. She is mother to Michael, Andrew, David, and Marc and grandmother to Riley, Kameron, Emma and Ethan. Her son Marc, with wife Robyn and their 3 children, are also MKT members, which gives the Grisar/Raben family status as a three generation MKT family.
James Simonsen, newly elected to the MKT Board of irectors, joined Midbar Kodesh Temple in 2014. Jim and wife Mitzi Lampert, who celebrated her adult Bat Mitzvah at Midbar, have settled into the Las Vegas area from Lewiston, Idaho. Jim served as Chief of Maintenance at Little Goose Lock and Dam, one of the four US Army Corps of Engineering hydro projects located on the lower Snake river in eastern Washington. Now retired Jim helps get the synagogue ready for High Holidays and is head chef for "The Great Big Challah Bake.” Jim has volunteered at the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village. Relatively new to MKT leadership, James will bring fresh ideas to the congregation.
Ryan Sterling, a former MKT co-President, and a former chef, can often be found at the BBQ or in the kitchen at Midbar Kodesh Temple. In Midbar's early years he taught the b'nei mitzvah class and was a USY advisor for our teens. Sometimes he is on the bima reading Torah and he is always helping with USY functions. Ryan is a Director of Technical Support for FreedomPay. Any day of the week you will find Ryan, wife Rina or either of their 2 children in the synagogue or out and about representing Midbar Kodesh Temple.
Cory Weinstein, recently elected to the Board of Directors of Midbar Kodesh Temple, moved to Las Vegas from Simi Valley with wife Danielle and their 2 young children, arriving in the summer of 2017. While shopping for preschools, they found a synagogue home, becoming members in 2018. Their daughter is a student in the ECC and their son, an ECC alumni and now, student in the Religious School. Cory is a former data analyst for an insurance company and is the VP of Operations of Bass Brushes, a family owned Las Vegas manufacturing and distribution business. Cory sits on Midbar's financial committee and brings his business skills to Midbar Kodesh Temple. He is a sports enthusiast, enjoying camping, rock climbing, golf and ice hockey.
Marco Villanueva, the immediate past president of Midbar Kodesh Temple, served the synagogue with great pride as he worked to enhance security in the building and bring in young membership. Marco enjoys attending services each Friday night with his wife Abbie and their 3 children, visiting with families at the Oneg Shabbat. Before becoming President of the synagogue he was active with the MKT ECC PTO. Marco is a former Marine, coming to Las Vegas from New York. He is still an avid Jets and Mets fan! Marco is a Realtor with Life Realty in the ‘District’ at Green Valley Ranch.