HomeJanuary 2013Faces of the Community

Faces of the Community

Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine will hold its 5th Annual Celebration Dinner on Sunday, January 27.  The theme is “A Night in Israel,” and there will be a live auction, raffle and Israeli market.  The Modern Orthodox congregation is honoring Rabbi Yisroel and Natalie Ciner and presenting the Adina Kaufman Eishet Chayil Award to Elaine Wulfsohn.

Prior to returning to the United States in 2002, Rabbi Ciner was a full time rabbi and maggid shiur at Yeshiva Neveh Zion in Jerusalem for 15 years.  Most recently, he served as the rabbi of Congregation Ohaiv Shalom in New Hempstead, New York.  He was also a senior instructor and the Israel studies guidance counselor at Westchester Hebrew High School, where he taught Gemara, Chumash, Jewish thought and Halacha.

He came to Irvine in 2008 in order to focus his energy on building a great and thriving community around a shul.  Rabbi and Rebbetzin Ciner have nine children (including one daughter in-law and one son-in-law).

Natalie Ciner can be found at the Irvine Community Mikvah at all hours to supervise the immersions of local women.  During the summer, she is the head counselor at Camp Dina for girls in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  When the Ciners open their home to the Beth Jacob community on holidays, the rebbitzen does her own sumptuous cooking and baking.

Last year Beth Jacob celebrated the building of the mikvah, the purchase of the property adjacent to the building it has called home since the early 1990s and the refurbishing of its two buildings to comfortably house the Ashkenazic and Sephardic minyans of the synagogue, the addition of a tent-like structure to serve as a social hall and the opening of the Olam Montessori preschool.  Now the congregation is celebrating the role the Ciners have played in the congregation’s growth.

Elaine Wulfsohn grew up in South Africa and moved with her late husband Julius to San Diego in 1978.  They moved to Irvine in 1982 when their daughter Jennifer and son in law Brian moved there.  She is also the mother of Ronnie and Bracha, a grandmother and a great grandmother.  In South Africa Elaine owned a successful boutique. She and Julius were married for 56 years. She managed her husband’s legal practice.

A member of Beth Jacob for many years, Wulfsohn has always been a great source of help.  According to committee members, “No job is too large for Elaine.  She is very smart, has a positive attitude, is young at heart, and has incredible energy.  Elaine is also generous, kind and has a heart of gold.”  She has headed a Kiddush group,  put a day aside to teach women how to make babke, shops for whatever is needed at the shul, has redone its filing system, stuffed and mailed envelopes, made calls to congregants and assisted with all Beth Jacob Fundraisers.  She is one of the only drivers among her friends and assists friends with rides to the store and doctors’ appointments.  She visits those who are lonely as well as those who are in poor health.

New Maccabi Athlete

Adam Young, a Newport Beach resident whose family belongs to Temple Beth El of South Orange County, traveled to Norman, Oklahoma, where he participated in the 2013 Maccabi Game Gymnastics Trials.  The competition was held at Bart Conner’s Gymnastics Academy and was attended by many, including former Jewish gymnast Mitch Gaylord.  Young, along with 50 other USA gymnasts took part in the competition.

Young qualified to represent the USA in Israel next summer as part of the Six Men USA Gymanstics Delegation.  As a group they will participate in the 2013 Maccabi Games (www.maccabiusa.com).  The Maccabi Games, the third largest international competition after the Olympics and PanAm Games, will be held in Israel July 17 to 30.  Leading the U.S. squad will be 2012 Senior National Team member Jesse Silverstein.

Young started gymnastics when he was 3 years old.  He is a member of Azarian Gymnastics in Aliso Viejo.  His coaches are Olympic gold medalist Eduard Azarian and Tim Klempnuer (www.azariangymnastics.com).

Young will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall of 2013 and will be a member of the Cal Men’s Gymnastics Team.

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  1. I’d have to Echo what Uncle Ronnie said. Just about 22 out of 22 of the Verses of the Eishet Chayil Hymm can be applied to Elaine. Said another way, this Hymm could be written about Mrs Wulfsohn (although it was written about Abraham’s wife). Mazel Tov to her and also, Rabbi Ciner mentioned in this article


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