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Lay Leadership

President Jay L. Kooper Welcomes You to TBA


Welcome to Temple B'nai Abraham. We are proud of being a warm, embracing synagogue and community with an excellent educational institution.Jay L. Kooper, photo by Jan Press

Rooted in tradition and progressive in outlook, we are one of the oldest and largest independent synagogues in the United States. We continually define ourselves by our pulpit, our lay leadership, and the generational legacies that have been lovingly embraced and preserved for more than a century and a half. 

We are an extended family that offers inclusive connection, compassion, and community to all. Our religious services for Shabbat, High Holy Days, and all the holidays and festivals in between are rich, meaningful, and filled with warmth. 

Our temple is in constant motion, reflecting active involvement across all age groups. In the mornings our preschoolers arrive at our highly regarded Early School, and afternoons see students engaged at our exceptional Jewish Learning Program, ongoing bar and bat mitzvah lessons, and our dynamic High School program and youth groups: Temple B’nai Abraham is a busy and exciting place. In addition, there is a steady stream of opportunities to participate in the meetings, programs, committees and associations that make up every aspect of our rich Temple life, ranging from our active Adult Learning, Social Action, and Ritual Committees to our events hosting important regional, national, and international speakers. 

Temple B’nai Abraham combines the best of what the modern Jewish community has to offer. I invite you to explore our website and then come and see us in person—meet our clergy, tour our schools, sit in on services, or participate in an open program. See us in action and be inspired! I look forward to welcoming you personally.


Jay L. Kooper

** headshot by TBA member Jan Press**

Jay's remarks for Rosh Hashanah 5784/2023


Shana Tovah! At this moment, I now experience something only a very few number of congregants in the 170-year-history of Temple B’nai Abraham have had the honor of doing – addressing you as a congregation for the first time as Temple President on Rosh Hashanah. On my election as President, I said no words could adequately express how humbling it is for the trust you have placed in me. I do not think that feeling will ever change for me.

On prior High Holy Days, my predecessors have used their remarks to convey specific themes reflecting on the year that has ended and their vision for the year ahead. I am going to follow in that tradition and offer up the following theme for both my Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur remarks – Building Community and Connectedness.

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Jay's remarks for Yom Kippur 5784/2023

This past summer, Jessica and I did something that in all honesty, we should have done a long time ago. We traveled to Israel for the first time as part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest’s Centennial Mission To Israel. As first-time visitors to Israel what we discovered amazed us.

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Jay L. Kooper is the 30th President of Temple B’nai Abraham. A member of the Temple’s Board of Trustees since 2016, Jay previously served as a Vice President and a Co-Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee prior to his election as President.

Jay is the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Middlesex Water Company, one of New Jersey’s 13 investor-owned utility companies, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Water Companies and the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Public Utility Law Section, where he previously served as Chair. A native of New York City, Jay received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Emory University and his Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School.

A longtime public utilities attorney, Jay has represented clients across every public utilities sector – water, wastewater, electric, gas, telephone and cable – across the entire span of his career. In 2019, Jay was honored as General Counsel of the Year by NJBIZ, and in 2020 was honored with the New Jersey Law Journal’s Professional Excellence Award. Previously, Jay was recognized as a finalist in 2016 for the New York Stock Exchange’s Distinguished General Counsel Award.

In addition to his work with Temple B’nai Abraham, Jay serves on the Board of Directors of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s New Jersey Chapter, a board his wife Jessica also served on from 2018 to 2022. In 2022, Jay, Jessica and their two sons, Jordan and Ethan, were the recipients of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Community Impact Award for their longtime work with the Foundation.

The Koopers moved to Livingston, where they still reside, in 2003 and joined Temple B’nai Abraham that same year. Jordan and Ethan Kooper are both alumni of TBA’s Summer Day Camp, Early School and Jewish Learning Program and celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah at TBA.

Officers 2023-24

Jay L. Kooper

Vice Presidents
Susan Greene
Tara Heyderman
David Silber
Bennett Wasserman

Melanie Wurtele

Assistant Secretary
Deborah Jacob

Carey Gertler

Assistant Treasurer
Scott Moskowitz

Immediate Past President
Julie A. Silbermann

Jakob B. Halpern


Past Presidents

Julie A. Silbermann, 2021-2023
Jeffrey A. Klein, Esq. 2020-2021

*Bruce H. Greene, z”l 2017-2020
Julie A. Silbermann 2013-2017
Edward Meinhardt 2009-2013
BJ Reisberg 2005-2009
Jeffrey D. Roth 2003-2005
Sandra L. Greenberg 1999-2003
Merle H. Kalishman 1995-1999
Ira M. Starr 1991-1995
Marilyn Rosenbaum 1987-1991
*Joel J. Rogoff, z”l 1983-1987
Peter M. Klein 1981-1983
Martin H. Kalishman 1977-1981
*I. Samuel Sodowick, z”l 1973-1977
*Abram Barkan, z”l 1971-1973
*Dr. Sol Parent, z”l 1969-1971
*A. Sam Gittlin, z”l  1965-1969
*Leo Brody, z”l 1963-1965
*Norman Feldman, z”l 1959-1963
*Leo Brody, z”l 1954-1959
*Louis Rosen, z”l 1953-1954
*Samuel Klein, z”l 1949-1953
*Michael A. Stavitsky, z”l 1939-1949
*Albert Hollander, z”l 1926-1939
*Phillip J. Schlotland, z”l  1913-1926
*William S. Rich, z”l 1896-1912
*Moritz Beria, z”l 1871-1896
*Lesser Marks, z”l 1853-1870

* z”l-of blessed memory

Tue, November 28 2023 15 Kislev 5784