Temple Beth Sholom of Roslyn Heights installed Richard Levine as the new president of its executive board during its Shabbat services last Friday night.
Levine, the temple’s former executive vice president, will serve a two-year term in his new position on the volunteer board, which oversees the temple’s religious education programs and community activities and groups.
Levine replaces former president Marc Magid, who has served the temple in various capacities for more than 20 years.
“Becoming the president of a great institution like this is not an easy task because there are always big shoes to fill,” Levine said during his installation speech. “I am following in the footsteps of accomplished leaders who along with the entire congregation, have now put their faith in me. I am honored by their confidence, and humbled by their legacy.”
According to Magid, Temple Beth Sholom is comprised of approximately 750 dues-paying families.
“I think [Levine is] bound to be a great leader and will be able to continue the strength of the synagogue,” Magid said by phone Monday. “He’ll absolutely be able to continue to lead with strength and lead a strong synagogue community.”
Levine, a second generation Beth Sholom member who attended the temple’s religious education school, became a Bar Mitzvah and was married at the temple, runs his family’s Great Neck-based insurance business, MRL Agency Corp.
He also served as a Roslyn Estates trustee for six years and is currently the village’s emergency manager.
“My goal is to make TBS the place to be for the entire membership,” Levine said. “TBS, we are more than just a synagogue, we are a warm and caring place in the community. I want everyone to find their place of comfort may it be religion, volunteering, teaching, fundraising or just socializing.”
Levine thanked his parents for “imparting their values and deep commitment to Jewish life” as well as prioritizing Jewish education as members of the temple for more than 45 years.
Levine said he first became involved with the temple’s administrative matters approximately five years ago, when he received a phone call from Magid and former president Louis Naviasky to oversee the construction project on the temple’s early childhood center.
“I asked why they would want me,” Levine said. “After all, I sell insurance for a living and know nothing about education or construction. Their answer was, ‘you know how to move a project along.’”
Levine said he wants to make Beth Sholom “your go-to place for everything Jewish in our community,” continuing the temple’s series of religious and social activities that include bingo nights, comedy night, scotch tastings and its annual disco, which Levine called his favorite.
“I want the entire congregation to feel the warmth as they walk through our doors,” Levine said. “There are no strangers here. We are all part of the TBS family. I welcome your suggestions to help make this great organization even better and welcome your help in any way you can offer.”
Levine and his wife Lisa have three sons, Seth, who will be entering his senior year at Syracuse University; Aaron, who will be entering his senior year at Roslyn High School; and Ethan, who will enter high school in the fall.
Levine, who graduated from Roslyn High School in 1981 and New York University in 1984, also chairs the temple’s insurance committee and serves as Beth Sholom’s liaison between the Roslyn School District and the Roslyn Little League, where he has coached, served as board president and led the student umpire program.