Meet the Members

Please click on this tab often to become acquainted with Congregation Or Tzion’s fine members. If you want to share something about yourself with us on this page, please contact Ellie Aronow at bearonow@msn.com.

 

Michele and Mark Wiltchik

The Wiltchiks have been married almost 11 years, and are the parents of Max and Madison. Mark was raised in Riverside, CA. He attended UC Boulder and earned a pilot’s slot in the US Air Force upon graduation. He spent 8 years in the military, while pursuing a Master’s in Aviation Management. For the past 17 years, Mark has been a domestic and international pilot for United Airlines. Michele was raised in White Plains, NY, and left high school early in order to attend ASU. After graduation, Michele had a 13-year career in Human Resources Management in the hotel industry. While selling Human Resources software for Oracle, Michele and Mark met. They both lived in Orange County, CA, and met on JDate.com in 2000.

Michele took a sabbatical from the work force in 2001, after they got engaged and moved to Santa Rosa, CA. They did lots of travel prior to getting married and having children. Drastic changes in airline industry following 9/11 resulted in Michele and Mark relocating to Scottsdale ten years ago. Today, Mark is Captain on the Airbus 320 based out of Los Angeles. Michele has her own business, Michele Wiltchik Interiors, and is a Licensed Realtor.

Max, 9, and Madison, 8, attend Pardes Jewish Day school. Maui and Martini, one-year-old Labradoodles add lots of love (and chewed shoes) to the household. As a family, they strive to be participative in the Jewish community, and to continuously learn. Michele studies torah weekly with the Phoenix Community Kollel, chairs the Tikkun Olam committee at Pardes, and has been active on Or Chadash’s design and expansion committees. Mark learns torah via Stitcher radio podcasts while he is on layovers, and is active with Or Chadash’s Honorable Menschen. When Mark gets home from his trips, he is put to work carpooling (mixed in with some coaching) for baseball, soccer, flag football, tennis, and ice skating. The whole family enjoys cooking, exercising, travel, and spending Shabbat together.

Hana and Frank Lange

This is Hana’s third country. Hana was born in Poland, lived ten years in Israel and moved to the U.S. when she was eighteen. When we met, Hana spoke six languages, but Frank likes to joke that he has gotten her down to three. We met in Frank’s home town, Minneapolis, where Hana was visiting her brother. Frank’s parents were refugees from Germany and Austria, and Hana’s parents survived the war years in Russia and then moved back to Poland.

Frank graduated from the Universityof Minnesota with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and, like a lot of Minnesotans, went to work for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M). We were married on March 7, 1970, at Congregation Anshei Israel in Tucson while Frank was on active duty at Fort Huachuaca, Arizona. Following Frank’s time in the Army, we moved back to Minnesota (and 3M) and had two sons, Eddie and Dan.

While Frank was busy with his career, Hana managed a travel agency and was also very active at our synagogue, where she ultimately became president. Frank was transferred to Southern California for two brief years and then promoted back to Minneapolis. Unfortunately, we had to exchange the beautiful California weather for a return to the cold Minnesota winters. However, we survived and maybe even thrived back in Minneapolis.

In 1993, Frank took a job with a company in Chicago and stayed there until we followed Eddie to Phoenix in November of 2000. Eddie had moved to Phoenix to become a youth director at Beth El Synagogue. He met Veronica and they were married at Veronica’s family’s synagogue, Congregation Anshei Israel in Tucson, on March 7, 1999. This was exactly 29 years to the day after we had been married at the same synagogue. Eddie is the founding president of Congregation Or Chadash, and we worked closely with Eddie and Veronica in helping to get Congregation Or Chadash started. Veronica and Eddie have two beautiful daughters, Julia and Aleyna.

Our son Dan married his partner Geoff, in Chicago on September 24, 2005. They have a beautiful daughter, Harper, who they adopted at birth.

Between the two of us we have served Congregation Or Chadash in multiple capacities including: original steering committee, hospitality, co-chair for original location, ritual vice president, education vice president, rabbi search committees, high holiday co-chair, fund raising, rabbi installation co-chair, scholar in residence chairs and more… The members of Congregation Or Chadash are our extended family.

In our spare time we love to spend time with our granddaughters (both here and in Chicago). We enjoy traveling and we do a lot of hiking in the mountains.

Jessica and Mike Sharkey

Mike was born and raised in Albany, New York. His education and career took him from Albany to Easton, Pennsylvania (Lafayette College), Washington D.C., Tucson Arizona (U. of Arizona), Los Angeles (where Mike and Jessica met) and finally Scottsdale. Mike currently works for the University of Phoenix as the Director of Academic Analytics. Basically, he tries to help students by playing with data, numbers, and computers. Mike has a brother who lives in South Pasadena and his parents are both remarried and living in Scottsdale.

Jessica moved from New York to Scottsdale when she was four, so she considers herself a native of the area. She graduated from Arcadia HS and attended the University of Arizona. After working in business for a year, she realized her true passion was education and completed her M.Ed at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduate school, Jessica moved to Los Angeles to become the Program Director of UCLA Hillel. However within a year she found the position of Regional Director of Admissions for the University of Arizona and her love of helping students with the college admissions process. In 2005, Jessica became an independent educational consultant and founded College Pathways of Arizona. She loves guiding high school students through their college search and application process. Jessica has a brother who lives in Phoenix, and her mom still lives in Scottsdale.

Jessica and Mike met at a University of Arizona College of Business alumni function in Los Angeles. There was a bit of destiny working for them. At the time they met, Jessica’s mother and Mike’s father were both living in Scottsdale. On their third date in L.A., they were having dinner with Mike’s mother who was visiting from New York. She said she had big news – her husband got a job in Arizona, and they were moving to Scottsdale! That just about did it. They were engaged eight months later, moved to Scottsdale, and married in November 2000.

Mike and Jessica are the proud parents of 9-year old identical twins Amanda and Danielle. They are (sort of) best friends. Amanda loves to dance and Danielle is an avid tennis player. They also inherited a nerdy love for math and science which is fostered with computer programming and Lego robots.

The Sharkey’s joined Or Chadash about a year ago – the same time that Rabbi Caplan came to the congregation. They were looking for a stronger sense of community and Or Chadash met that need in spades.

Mike wanted to let everyone know how lucky he is to have met Jessica. In addition to the whole love, family, and friendship thing…Jessica is a great partner when it comes to sports and gambling. Whether it’s watching the NCAA basketball tournament, managing their fantasy football and baseball teams, or sitting at the Pai Gow poker table in Vegas, Mike and Jessica have made a lot of great sporting memories together. Oh yeah…don’t forget to sign up for the Or Chadash Fantasy Football league that Mike commissions (if the NFL has a football season this year!).

 

Susi and Len Wolin

(Sadly, Len passed away two years ago)
Susi and Len Wolin not only grew up in different countries, but in different decades. Susi from Montreal, Canada is a baby boomer, Len from Brooklyn, New York a pre-war child.

Susi’s parents were from Vienna, Austria and immigrated to Canada via England and Scotland. Susi’s brother, born in Glasgow, still lives in Montreal with his family. Len’s parents were second generation Americans descended from Russian Jews who made their way to America, one small village at a time. Len has a brother, who although born in Brooklyn as well, now resides in Dallas, Texas.

Len studied at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and traveled to Basel, Switzerland to attend medical school. He settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan and opened his own practice. In the meantime, Susi was exploring Canada and in 1982 was offered a position with a firm in Arizona. The choice to be weighed – “winters in Toronto or summers in Phoenix”! It was an easy decision and she has been here ever since.

In 2003, Susi and Len found themselves single and interested in finding serious relationship partners. Len was still living in Ann Arbor. They filed their profiles on J-Date, the Jewish computer social network and somehow, through all those listings, Len found Susi and a romance began. They were married in March 2004.

Susi has two children from a previous marriage. Her son, “Lenny“, is a securities broker living in Chicago and her daughter, Toni, will be graduating with a business degree from the University of Arizona this coming May. Len has three married children living across the country. David an attorney in Miami, Eric a museum installation chair at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem and Sara coordinates an after school children’s program in Park City. Together Susi and Len share the joys of 6 grandchildren.

Len is now retired and keeps himself busy playing golf and puttering. In addition, he is a certified desert landscaper and often responds to queries from his friends at Terravita. Susi is still working managing a branch of Edward Jones. To relax, she practices yoga and enjoys crocheting baby blankets.

Susi and Len joined Or Chadash in 2010. They are quoted as saying that “finding Or Chadash has been a true blessing in their lives. It is the total package; i.e. Rabbi Caplan, Cantor Ruth, the services and each and every member they have met has added a new dimension to their celebration of Yiddishkeit.”

Tricia and Andy Beran

Tricia grew up in White Plains, NY. Andy grew up in Ardmore, PA and moved to Israel during High School. They both attended Dartmouth College where they met, didn’t like each other, eventually saw the light, moved in together, and got married right after graduation. They were married in Harrison, NY and lived for a while in Manhattan and Chicago. Tricia studied briefly at JTS in NYC, and both Tricia and Andy have MBA degrees.

Tricia’s Mom lives in Rye. Her dad passed away in 1999. Andy’s folks live in Rockville, MD. They have two daughters—both living in Connecticut—at least for now. Miriam (22) is a Volvo automotive technician in Hartford, CT. Shana (27) is a doctor of clinical psychology working at the Child Guidance Center in Stamford, CT. Andy’s sisters live in Rockville and Ra’anana, Israel, and Tricia’s siblings live in Los Angeles, Seattle and New York.

Tricia and Andy both ended up working for Intel—Tricia in Purchasing and IT for 10 years and Andy in Finance and Operations for over 20 years. While working for Intel they lived in Chandler, Albuquerque, Sacramento and Israel. After leaving the good life at Intel, they started their own business making signs. In 2008, they sold their business and, just this summer, Andy and Ken Fuller bought Quality Transport Services of Arizona, a non-emergency medical transport company. The Berans love to travel and on one trip literally traveled around the world with both children over the course of three months. They “have a restless nature” and are always looking for their next travel adventure.

Tricia and Andy attended their first service at Congregation Or Chadash about five years ago and immediately felt welcomed into the Or Chadash family. Andy has chaired the facilities committee and currently serves on the Board as Ritual VP. Tricia has served on the education committee and now serves on the hospitality committee as well as co-chairing the ritual committee with Andy. Since becoming involved at the congregation, they have developed many of their closest friendships with Or Chadash congregants and, with their increased involvement in synagogue life, they have enjoyed themselves even more. Andy and Tricia also vounteer with SCORE (organization providing free mentoring and training for small businesses), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and AIPAC.

Thu, June 22 2017 28 Sivan 5777