Yom Rivii, 9 Sivan 5778






“My House Shall be Called a House of Prayer For All Peoples”


To provide a spiritual,

cultural and educational environment inspired by the highest Reform Jewish values.

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Our Staff

Linda Peck: Executive Director

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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.

Linda Peck
757-625-4295 ext. 104


Chris Kraus: Director of Family Learning 

KrausFacebook edit

Chris’ role is to cultivate long-term relationships with all the people that make a community an inspired source of learning: our esteemed clergy and other professional staff of OST, dedicated members of the board of trustees, unique congregants of all ages, and citizens of our seven cities Tidewater region who are interested in making our extended community a better place for all.  These relationships inspire meaningful, relevant, practical, and Jewish learning across generations.  They form the foundation for a sacred learning community on Sunday mornings that have enduring impact Monday through Saturday, so that “even when the child is old, s/he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Chris’ positive religious education includes four decades of learning and teaching at all levels at the historic Isaac M. Wise Temple, Cincinnati, OH; a decade of camping and counseling at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Goldman Union Camp Institute, Zionsville, IN; liberal arts studies in the psychology of religion at Bowdoin College, ME; graduate ecumenical theological studies at The Harvard Divinity School where he majored in Christianity and American Culture, as well as the Program in Religion and Secondary Education for public schools; Kivunim (New Directions) Institute of Experiential Learning for Israel & World Jewish Communities Studies 2008; Visiting Instructor in Jewish Education for rabbinic students at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati Campus; and more recently, part-time Director of Lifelong Learning at the innovative Reform Temple Sholom, Cincinnati, OH.  

“Therefore choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)  This is a calling for Jews to be fully involved in what interests us, and in our world; to continuously seek the sacred within the profane.  My role as OST’s first full-time Director of Family Learning is to discern our learners’ interests, link our inspiration to learn with our Jewish past, and create our Jewish futures in partnership with a pragmatic American culture.  Education, like life, is a journey.   Individually, our final destination is determined.  Collectively, however, our pathway and our legacy is what we make it now.

Chris Kraus
757-625-4295 ext. 114

Click here to read "Sermon: Lift up Your Head and Be Counted as an Angel" 


Kitty Wolf: Early Childhood Advisor

kittyKitty 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 abd 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.

Kitty Wolf
757-625-4295 ext. 116


Jim Dunn: Religious School Administrative Assistant

Jim Dunn web Jim has been working here at Ohef Sholom Temple for over 20 years, beginning as the Administrative Assistant to Rabbi Forman.  He is the face behind the front desk of Sunday Religious School working part-time as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Family Life on Sundays and Summers. During the week, Jim works full time as a 7th grade Science teacher for Newport News Public Schools.  He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Longwood University and his Masters in Education from Old Dominion University.

Jim Dunn
757-625-4295 ext. 115


Paul & Robyn Weiner: Teen Advisors

Paul Robyn Weiner“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

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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. 

Chuck Woodward
757-625-4295 ext. 113


Mike Phillips: Operations Director 

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Mike Phillips graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL with a major in Hospitality Administration and has been working in management in the hospitality industry for the past 30 years. He is a huge cat fan, avid gardener, train collector and an up and coming environmentalist.

Mike Phillips
757-625-4295 ext. 107






 Shelley Stephens: Office Manager

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Shelley Stephens
757-625-4295 ext. 101







Anna Rivera: Controller

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Anna Rivera
757-625-4295 ext. 109







Elizabeth "Liz" Vincent: Clergy Assistant 

Elizabeth Vincent
757-625-4295 ext. 110



Lauren Meyer: Engagment Assistant

Lauren Meyer
757-625-4295 ext. 106



Linette Bond: Graphic Designer & Web Developer

Linette Bond
757-625-4295 ext. 108