Youth Program Leadership
Sharon Diamond, Steven Doctors, Nate Diamond and Elizabeth Doctors were recently named as the new staff of Midbar Kodesh Temple’s youth department. Well, not exactly new, rather a return of an awesome team dedicated to promoting education and leadership among the children and teens of the synagogue. You know their names; you know their faces. You have worked with Sharon and Steven in many capacities; you have watched Nate and Elizabeth grow up before your eyes. They are back, working with Youth Commissioner Gail Alcalay and will bring their special brand of ruach to USY and Kadima.
Steven Doctors served as the Director and Advisor for MKT USY on and off for the past decade. Sharon took on the Director role in fall 2019. A few months ago, when the kids were still traveling, she asked Elizabeth, who had returned to UNLV from California, to travel with the USYers to a regional kinnus. The weekend trip renewed Elizabeth’s dedication to our Kadima and USY programs. Nate stayed involved with various Jewish youth programs while attending college. He returned each year to assist with the Purim Carnival. With both Nate and Elizabeth back in town, they were a natural choice to lead these groups. Sharon and Steven decided to share the responsibility of the Youth Director role, each bringing their own unique talents to the program.
Sharon’s family moved to Las Vegas from Brooklyn, New York when she was 5 years old. The Diamond and Doctors families have known each other for many years. Sharon graduated from UNLV with a degree in Communications and has worked in sales and marketing for close to 24 years at KLAS TV 8, the local CBS affiliate. She met Kevin while working at Camp Shalom, and they were married in 1990. They moved to San Diego so that Kevin could attend law school. They returned to Las Vegas, started their careers and family, and have been Midbar members for 17 years. Nate, now 23 and Talia, now 15 both attended religious school at MKT and celebrated their B’nei Mitzvah with the congregation. They both were Kadimniks and USYers. Talia is still very active in MKT USY. Sharon has served on the Religious Education committee, the Youth Commission and can sometimes be seen helping in the kitchen. Sharon said that she is “looking forward to working with our youth groups to ensure that our children enjoy the sense of community, values and fun that Kadima and USY can provide for them.”
Steven moved to Las Vegas with his family when he was a freshman in high school. He attended UNLV, working in the entertainment and hospitality field for several years, before landing a position as Director of Sales with Las Vegas Strip and television entertainers Penn & Teller. He and Tiffany were married in 1993 and with their infant son, Jordan, were among the first families to join Midbar Kodesh Temple in 1995. Steven and Tiffany are woven into the fabric of Midbar Kodesh, having been involved in almost every aspect of synagogue life. Both Jordan and Elizabeth attended Midbar’s Preschool, were enrolled in Religious School and Kadima and USY. Both sides of Steven’s family are deeply rooted in USY tradition as his mother was a USYer in Florida, and Tiffany’s dad was a Junior and Senior USYer in Anaheim. Her grandfather, father and mother have been USY Commissioners and Youth Directors/Advisors in Anaheim and in Las Vegas. Steven said that “I’m back and excited to be working with our Midbar youth.”
Nate was born and raised in Las Vegas. He attended Northern Arizona University, graduating with a degree in Strategic Communications and is an Alumni member of Phi Gamma Delta. He is a Logistics Account Executive with Total Quality Logistics. He worked at Trader Joe's while he was in high school and Speed Vegas during college summers. He spent several summers as a staffer at Summit Ridge Day Camp. He was one of Steven’s USYers and one of Tiffany’s Kadima Kids. He has staffed kinnusim for MKT USY and other congregations in Phoenix while living in Flagstaff. Nate recently developed an interest in the game of golf. Nate said “I’m beyond excited to be stepping into this role as the USY Advisor. As someone who was very active within this program, I’m excited to bring back some old traditions and create some new ones as well. My past experiences as a USYer are going to help me make the experiences for our current youth program that much better. Stay tuned to watch and see the fun that MKT USY brings to the entire synagogue!”
Elizabeth Doctors also looks forward to working with the youth program at Midbar Kodesh Temple. She was also born and raised in Las Vegas and has grown up in the synagogue setting. Preschool, Religious School, Kadima, USY, Bat Mitzvah, Ma’ayan; Midbar is her home away from home. Elizabeth enjoys baking and has used her skills in the MKT kitchen with the Star Bakers. She attended Camp Alonim for several summers and returned to work as a CIT. She also worked as a counselor at Summit Ridge Camp and has worked with a children’s program at a local gym. She is currently employed full time for the summer at a law firm as a medical records clerk and will continue her education as a rising junior in UNLV’s film department. Elizabeth said that she missed the comradery of USY and wants to be a part of bringing that special feeling of belonging and ruach to our Kadimaniks. “I look forward to giving them a fun and safe space to be themselves. A lot of them have lost their sense of normalcy and I’m hoping that having a Kadima event to look forward to will restore their sense of belonging!”
USY has already led a summer of virtual Havdalahs for the congregation via Facebook Live and will continue this new tradition for the foreseeable future. They’ve already hosted virtual trivia and an online scavenger hunt for the Religious School and ECC families. This year’s team is well equipped with experience and enthusiasm to bring out the best in Midbar’s 4th, 5th and 6th grade Kadimaniks and 7th through 12th grade USYers. Kadima and USY at Midbar Kodesh Temple look forward to an exciting year of innovative programming within the confines of COVID-19. The goal is to build connections that last a lifetime; whether meeting in person or virtually. For more information about the Youth Department at Midbar Kodesh Temple, USY, Kadima or if you are interested in joining the Youth Commission, leave a message for Steven, Sharon or Gail at the synagogue at 702-454-4848.