A new president for the Jewish New Year at Temple Emanuel

by | Sep 3, 2018 | Uncategorized

At a congregational meeting on June 5, 2018, Dr. Steven Warsof, a man respected for his myriad admirable traits, became the new president of Temple Emanuel by unanimous vote. As he addressed his congregation for the first time as president, Warsof recognized two congregants who worked to build their spiritual home a firm foundation.

“I am following in the footsteps of Gary Tabakin and Dr. Morris Elstein who, as recent temple presidents, were great role models to me,” he said.

Shortly after moving to Virginia Beach in 1992, Warsof started attending services at Temple Emanuel where he forged a circle of close, supportive friends, and made a commitment to join the temple.

I 1996, Warsof married Lisa, who though not of the Jewish faith, was extended an equally warm welcome by Temple Emanuel’s membership.

“Lisa feels very comfortable at the temple and everybody feels comfortable with her,” says Warsof. “That’s sometimes unusual in certain temples today.”

One of Warsof’s true pleasures of life is helping and empowering others, whether at home or abroad. For years he has taught medical students at Eastern Virginia Medical School and served as a visiting professor at the Bar Ian University Medical School in Sfat, Israel.

In addition, he participates in Volunteers for Israel, a worldwide non-profit organization where volunteers do civilian work on Israeli Defense Forces bases in partnership with Sar-El. Whenever possible, he also visits his large extended family throughout Israel.

As president, Warsof says he plans to continue the legacy of “building a firm foundation,” by focusing on “in-reach.”

“For so many years I have heard people talking about the importance of outreach, while a common complaint in the synagogue is that people don’t know each other,” he says. “It’s impossible to build a community without ever really knowing each other.”

Rabbi Marc Kraus, Temple Emanuel’s spiritual leader, has confidence in his ability to rally people around a worthy cause. “Steve’s humility, empathy, openness to new ideas, and affability is what will make him a unique president.”

Lisa Warsof agrees: “My husband’s complete dedication and love toward me, our children, Judaism, and medicine is his whole purpose in life. Being the new temple president is an honor for him.”

— Devorah Ben-David Elstein