Linda Peck: Executive Director
Linda Peck has devoted her last twenty years to Jewish education in Tidewater. For fifteen years she taught middle school at Hebrew Academy where she distinguished herself as Holocaust Educator of the Year. She helped start up and run BINA High School for Girls. In addition to her role as General Studies Principal, she created marketing materials, published news articles, designed and implemented fundraising campaigns, and developed the school’s website. A role model and mentor to many, she is especially proud of creating meaningful community service projects according to the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world.
With an MBA from Columbia University, Linda brings to OST her diverse background ranging from corporate fundraising at the Philadelphia Orchestra to LBO financing at GE Capital. Her Holocaust curriculum was recently published by Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL).
Avid reader, baker, traveler, and health enthusiast, she is married to Barry Friedman and the mother of two children.
757-625-4295 ext. 104
Stephanie Ben Simon, RJE: Director of Education & Engagement
Stephanie Ben Simon, RJE, comes to the OST community harboring a passion for high-quality Jewish education for all ages and stages of our lives. She believes that Judaism is magical and can enhance our lives as we infused each day with the rich wisdom of middot and mitzvot – values and good deeds – from our Jewish tradition. Stephanie’s passion for Jewish Education and Engagement was ignitied by the right people guiding her during her journey in her junior year of high school studying abroad in Israel with the NFTY-EIE, now called URJ HellerHigh.
Stephanie has experienced Jewish education and engagement first-hand in Israel, studying at Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva, at an archaeological dig in Israel, and through involvement in many communities throughout the United States. These communities ranged from West Hartford, CT, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, to a summer internship at Hadassah through the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) in Washington, DC, to Des Moines, IA, to Atlanta, GA, to New Jersey and then finally landing here in Norfolk, VA. During her travels throughout Israel and the United States, she deeply valued the power of how organized Jewish communities from abroad, the Midwest, South and Northeast could solidify and enhance nurturing, reliable relationships.
While working in the field of Jewish Education, Stephanie obtained her MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Davidson School of Education and was recently awarded her Reform Judaism Educator Certificate.
Stephanie is recently married to Shay Ben Simon – a native Israeli – and they are excited to begin their married life together in Norfolk, VA with all of you. Stephanie is especially ready to get to know you and what makes Judaism magical for you.
Stephanie Ben Simon, RJE
757-625-4295 ext. 110
Kitty Wolf: Early Childhood Advisor
Kitty Wolf is a former Union of Reform Judaism Regional Educator, where her responsibilities included overseeing more than 70 congregations in the Mid Atlantic Region. In this capacity she developed and conducted nationwide teacher, parent, congregational board and school education committee guidelines and training programs, including helping to develop and test the new Reform Chai curriculum and the teacher and parent education programs for the PJ Library. She guided individual synagogues in the development, implementation and maintenance of day, supplementary religious and Hebrew schools, and conducted training programs in every aspect of Jewish school administration. She also presented teacher and parent education seminars throughout the U.S. helping to develop and teach A Taste of Judaism, the URJ three-part program for non-Jews interested in learning more about Judaiam. Kitty also, served as principal of The Portsmouth United Religious School for 28 years. This school served children from both the Conservative and Reform congregations in Portsmouth, VA. Kitty, currently serves as Educator for The Jewish Museum and Cultural Center in Portsmouth, VA.
Kitty is a member of The National Association of Temple Educators (NATE), New CAJE, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). She is a former board member of the Mid-Atlantic Council of the Union for Reform Judaism, where she served as education chair and has been an adjunct faculty member of Virginia Commonwealth University and Tidewater Community College.
She was a Vice President and Director of Dependent Care Services for The Planning Council for over 20 years. In this capacity she was responsible for a six million dollar annual administrative budget and a staff of 81
She holds Masters degrees in Early Childhood Education and Art Education and a Bachelors degree in Jewish History.
She was married to the late Rabbi Arthur Steinberg (of blessed memory) and has 5 children, 7 grandchildren and 2 dogs.
757-625-4295 ext. 116
Paul & Robyn Weiner: Teen Advisors
“Helping the next generation blossom.” That is how Robyn Weiner describes her joint role as new teen advisor for Ohef Sholom Temple, along with her husband, Paul. When Paul was a teen, his NFTY youth group was a source of leadership training and temple connection. Robyn came up through the United Synagogue Youth movement in Florida. The couple recently relocated from Fredericksburg, VA, in January 2016. Robyn got a job with The Virginian-Pilot as a reporter. They learned about Ohef Sholom from their involvement with the Young Adult Division of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.
Paul’s experience includes leadership training from the Coast Guard, a business management degree and sports officiating. He’s also licensed to teach middle and high school English and social studies and is pursuing a teaching career. Robyn is a leader with the Society of Professional Journalists, and brings experience in coordinating professional conferences and trainings.
Together, Paul and Robyn will guide OSTY, JOSTY, and Madrichim teaching assistants to strengthen our 100 teens’ voices in the spiritual growth of our community.
Paul & Robyn Weiner
Charles Woodward: Music Director
Charles Woodward has served as Music Director of Ohef Sholom Temple since 1982. In addition, he is the Music Director of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, Norfolk, and the Artistic Director and Conductor of The Virginia Chorale, the Commonwealth’s premier professional choral ensemble. From 1986-1993, Mr. Woodward was the choral director and collaborative pianist for the Governor’s School for the Arts. During the spring of 2016, he served as director of the Christopher Newport University Chamber Choir.
As pianist, Mr. Woodward is a frequent collaborator in both vocal and instrumental chamber concerts, having performed with the Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Chamber Players, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Norfolk Chamber Consort, among others; at the Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Jordan Hall (Boston), and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; and, in Germany and Italy. In April 2011, he served as Principal Coach for the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Rappahannock County, a music theater work co-commissioned by the Virginia Opera and Virginia Arts Festival. Mr. Woodward’s performances have been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today.
Charles Woodward holds the master of music degree from Northwestern University and has served on the adjunct music faculties of The College of William and Mary, Christopher Newport University, and Old Dominion University.
757-625-4295 ext. 113
Linette Bond: Graphic Designer & Web Developer
Linette Bond joined Ohef Sholom Temple in February of 2018. Not only a graphic designer, Linette hails from an extensive professional background including office management and working in small business development for 8 years under the City of Richmond, VA’s Department of Economic Development. During this time, she also became the Assistant Manager of the 17th Street Farmer’s Market in Shockoe Bottom, responsible for running daily operations and creating, marketing and coordinating every aspect of festivals and special events.
Linette is also a studio artist, whose mediums run the gamut, including (but not limited to) her favorites of watercolor, acrylic, oil, encaustic, and multi-media. She also enjoys building sculptural creations with power and hand tools alike, dabbling in woodworking, welding, plexiglass manipulation and some jewelry-making.
Aside from her professional and artistic pursuits, Linette is an avid beach & sand volleyball player, as well as an animal lover. If she’s not on the beach chasing a volleyball, you can find her on the farm with her horses, ducks, chickens, cats & dogs.
757-625-4295 ext. 106