Beth El is a small congregation located in Woodbury, Connecticut. We are a welcoming and supportive community. We believe in constant dialogue, growth and celebration.

Our Rabbi

Rav Blair Nosanwisch

JTS Rabbinical School student Blair Nosanwisch is a pickler and a lover of Torah. She sees pickling as a literal and metaphorical act, involving transformation and preservation. She is interested in how Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) operates beyond industrialized food systems, how God operates in our lives, and how we build loving and nourishing communities through prayer, Torah, and food.

Before pursuing the rabbinate, Blair undertook a venture called “Pickle Torah” in which she combined a do-it-yourself food ethic, rooted in sustainability and personal responsibility, with an exploration of how Torah informs our lives. Blair was a Board member and Chair of Education and Social Action at the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (IADS), the last free-standing synagogue in Detroit. She is also the co-founder of an educational initiative for Jewish teens and tweens called Peercorps and a cross-cultural urban garden called Eden Gardens’ Garden

Blair graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 with a BA in English, French, and Women’s Studies. She is is a certified shochetet (kosher slaughterer).  She has served as Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack, NY and is currently a CPE intern at the University of Michigan Hospital. Blair has served as Beth El Synagogue’s Student Rabbi since 2017. She currently lives in Metro-Detroit, MI with her best friend and collaborator-in-all-things Phreddy, and their two children Honi and Erev Willow. Phreddy has also been a guest teacher at Beth El over the years.

Watch Rav Blair’s Senior Sermon at the Jewish Theological Seminary

Our Rabbi

Rav Blair Nosan

JTS Rabbinical School student Blair Nosanwich is a pickler and a lover of Torah. Blair’s interest in the way preservation necessitates transformation, both in food and in tradition, has guided much of her work since graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in English, French, and Women’s Studies in 2008.

Blair has been a farmer, the founder of a small triple-bottom line pickle business, a board member and chair of education and social action at the last free-standing synagogue in Detroit, an educator connecting Judaism to environmental and social justice through food, and the co-creator of an urban farming initiative focused on building relationships between her Jewish synagogue and a predominantly African-American neighborhood.

Before heading to New York City to start rabbinical school, Blair actualized her passions for Torah and food in a venture called “Pickle Torah,” where she combined a do-it-yourself food ethic rooted in sustainability and personal responsibility with an exploration of how Torah informs our lives.  Blair followed her passions to JTS, where she saw her interest in transformation and preservation reflected in the core values of the Conservative movement.  She is passionate about halakha – seeing it as the area of Judaism where we articulate and enact our values – and is particularly interested in how kashrut operates beyond our industrialized food system.

She lives in NYC with her partner Phreddy and their son Honi.

Our President

Susan Sieber

I joined Beth El in 2010 as I was looking for a Conservative synagogue, and had moved to Woodbury in 2006.  I became a board member in 2010 and president in 2012.  My daughter, Gwen, had her Bat Mitzvah in our new sanctuary in 2014. My life is focused on my family, my horses and my other 4 legged family members.

I attended religious school at Beth El, a Conservative synagogue in Stamford, Connecticut where I became bat mitzvah and was also confirmed. I have known Cantor Citrin Goldstein for more than ten years, and she prepared my older daughter, Lindsey, for her bat mitzvah. The Cantor was one of the main reasons I became a member of Beth El.  With her guidance and that of many others I am very involved in improving my Hebrew reading and learning to lead services and I also sing in the choir.

One of my goals is to develop the resources within our congregation by encouraging every member to become more involved, and give of their time, energy and knowledge to make our synagogue even more wonderful and meaningful a place than it is already. We all need to work together to achieve this.

I am also very committed to the growth of Chai Center for Jewish Learning and I work with the children every week.  Their enthusiasm for learning continues to encourage me to work hard learning Hebrew and Torah reading. I feel our school will help us grow our membership, and will also help us grow together as a congregation. 

I experienced first hand the warmth and caring of Beth El and have seen how our congregation extends itself to reach out to our new members so that they feel welcome and feel part of our congregation. I, personally, invite anyone to visit and get to know us.

Our President

Susan Sieber

I joined Beth El in 2010 as I was looking for a Conservative synagogue, and had moved to Woodbury in 2006.  I became a board member in 2010 and president in 2012.  My daughter, Gwen, had her Bat Mitzvah in our new sanctuary in 2014. My life is focused on my family, my horses and my other 4 legged family members.

I attended religious school at Beth El, a Conservative synagogue in Stamford, Connecticut where I became bat mitzvah and was also confirmed. I have known Cantor Citrin Goldstein for more than ten years, and she prepared my older daughter, Lindsey, for her bat mitzvah. The Cantor was one of the main reasons I became a member of Beth El.  With her guidance and that of many others I am very involved in improving my Hebrew reading and learning to lead services and I also sing in the choir.

One of my goals is to develop the resources within our congregation by encouraging every member to become more involved, and give of their time, energy and knowledge to make our synagogue even more wonderful and meaningful a place than it is already. We all need to work together to achieve this.

I am also very committed to the growth of Chai Center for Jewish Learning and I work with the children every week.  Their enthusiasm for learning continues to encourage me to work hard learning Hebrew and Torah reading. I feel our school will help us grow our membership, and will also help us grow together as a congregation. 

I experienced first hand the warmth and caring of Beth El and have seen how our congregation extends itself to reach out to our new members so that they feel welcome and feel part of our congregation. I, personally, invite anyone to visit and get to know us.

Officers and Committee Chairs

Executive Committee

President – Susan Sieber
Vice President – Mark Fromowitz
Treasurer – David Isaacs
Financial Secretary – Lenore Sturm
Recording Secretary – Tara Goldman

Standing Committees

Dues and Revisions – David Isaacs, Lenore Sturm
House – Gloria Aronheim
Sisterhood – Chicky Kuhn
Ritual – David Isaacs
CHAI Hebrew School –  Susan Sieber
GEMACH – Tara Goldman
Personnel – Alan Hertzmark
Men’s Club – Lou Kugell

Officers and Committee Chairs

Executive Committee

President – Susan Sieber
Vice President – Mark Fromowitz
Treasurer – David Isaacs
Financial Secretary – Lenore Sturm
Recording Secretary – Tara Goldman

Standing Committees

Dues and Revisions – David Isaacs, Lenore Sturm
House – Gloria Aronheim
Sisterhood – Chicky Kuhn
Ritual – David Isaacs
CHAI Hebrew School –  Susan Sieber
GEMACH – Tara Goldman
Personnel – Alan Hertzmark
Men’s Club – Lou Kugell