Torat Yisrael installs new president


EAST GREENWICH – Michael Katz was recently installed as the new board president of Temple Torat Yisrael, the temple has announced.

Michael and his wife, Elinore, came to Torat Yisrael shortly after they moved to Rhode Island seven years ago. Katz is the associate vice president for intellectual property and economic development at the University of Rhode Island.

“The last few years, living with the risk of COVID, have been challenging for all of us, but under the capable leadership of my predecessor, Andrew Sholes, we continued to safely provide for the spiritual needs of our congregation,” Katz said.  “Now it’s my challenge to help build on that foundation.”

The Katzes have moved several times over the course of their careers and held leadership positions in local synagogues in each new location.

Katz was president of Beth Israel Synagogue, in Wallingford, Connecticut, for two years, managing the recovery from a damaging flood and the search for a rabbi. He and Ellie also previously served as co-treasurers at Temple Or Atid, in Richmond, Virginia.

When they moved to Rockville, Maryland, they served on the facilities committee at Temple Kehilat Shalom and volunteered for synagogue-sponsored community activities such as delivering Pesach boxes to shut-ins and organizing donated food at the local food bank.

Katz said his preliminary goals for the upcoming year include launching a strategic planning process to set and clearly communicate priorities; hearing from congregants across the demographic spectrum to better inform that process; engaging more young members to serve as future leaders; and re­­establishing the pre-COVID programming and activities that made Torat Yisrael a substantial contributor not only to the Jewish community of Rhode Island, but also to East Greenwich and Rhode Island at large.

Submitted by Temple Torat Yisrael