Barry Blum – President

Born in Brooklyn and moving west throughout his life, Barry is an orthopedic surgeon (professionally) and an (amateur) musician. He and his wife, Gloria, joined KBS shortly after arriving in Kona from Northern California in 1986. Several years later he joined the Board, eventually became president and when the opportunity was offered to rejoin the congregation leadership, Barry accepted. His and Gloria’s main interest is to make KBS more attractive with interesting programs and discussions and to enhance communication between members. For 13 years, until his retirement as president, Barry led most (but not all) of the Shabbat services and still occasionally fills that role for Shabbats, Simchat Torah and other observances. Meanwhile the couple organized and continue to lead Kona’s Traveling Jewish Wedding Band and also have become dual wedding officiants.

Vic Greenspan –

1st Vice President

Sarah Kramer –

2nd Vice President

Mike Bernstone – Treasurer

Mike owned and managed wholesale distribution companies for more than 25 years, and, after vacationing on the Big Island since the mid 70s, retired to Waikoloa in 1996. Unable to handle an empty schedule, his retirement has included some two decades as a dive guide and scuba instructor while maintaining other sales jobs on the Big Island.  Mike has been a member and officer of Kona Beth Shalom for over 20 years.  Presently he is enjoying being fully retired while bicycling and paddling several days a week.

Nella Silverman – Secretary

Nella joined the KBS board in 2015 and has  been secretary since 2016.  She and her husband Alan retired and moved to Kona with their daughter and her family in 2013.  Nella worked for UCLA Hospital Labs for the last 15 years of her employment.  She continues her medical connection as a volunteer at the Kona Community Hospital Auxiliary.  Looking for Jewish outreach, Nella and Alan enjoy the Shabbat services and warm atmosphere of KBS.

Una Greenaway – Past President

Una Greenaway has lived in Captain Cook for more than 40 years. She is an organic coffee, chocolate and mac nut farmer. Una is also an accountant who worked in the non-profit world for 15 years. She loves gardening, cooking, environmental activism, dance and quilting. She is the mother of two grown daughters, who reside in the S.F. Bay Area, and has three grandsons. Una is married to Leon Rosner, one of the original members at the founding of Kona Beth Shalom. Una was president of the KBS board 2012-2016 and resumed the leadership role from January 2018 to September 2019.

Vivienne Aronowitz – Past President

Vivienne and her husband Michael grew up in South Africa in tightly knit Jewish communities, attending Jewish Day Schools and participating in Jewish Youth Movements over there. Before they moved to Hawaii Island in 2004 they lived in the San Francisco Bay area, where they raised their daughter Julie and were active in Jewish life. Vivienne is a nutritionist at Kaiser Permanente and also has private practices in Waimea and Kona as well as consulting to a variety of organizations. Since arriving on island, Vivienne has taken an active role in promoting Jewish life, organizing many events for the North Hawaii Chavurah and being involved with KBS as a member and board member.

Rabbi Shari Berman – Past President

Shari and her partner, Alice Bratton, relocated to Kona from Tokyo in 1998. A Chicago native, Shari has spent most of her life with an affiliation to Judaism, a bond strengthened in 2004 when she studied for her adult Bat Mitzvah. A lifelong lover of languages, the melodies to chant the words of the Torah spoke to her. Shari trained a number of KBS b’nei mitzvah students and served as president of Kona Beth Shalom for five years. In 2012, she took a position as Associate Professor at the national university in Hirosaki, a small castle town in Japan. In 2022, she was ordained after completing rabbinic studies. R. Shari’s goal is to create a community atmosphere that engages congregants to participate in, understand and reap the full rewards of Jewish tradition and rituals.

Elaine Dobinson

Elaine joined the board of KBS in 2012, and served as secretary for 2 years.  In 2016 she led the task of building a new website for KBS and now serves as its co-webmaster. Elaine is most recently from Pasadena, CA, where she worked for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Lab for many years. She and her husband are now retired and live in Holualoa. Elaine is an avid swimmer and snorkeler and loves to swim out to the King buoy, where she frequently gets to play with dolphins. She joined KBS to connect with other Jews on the island, and likes the warm, friendly and joyful atmosphere it provides. In addition to serving on the KBS board, Elaine has volunteered at the Waimea headquarters for the Keck telescopes.

Joel Gimpel

Living in Hawai`i since his 1996 retirement from the practice of law, Joel has served on many community boards including those of Kona Beth Shalom, the Aloha Performing Arts Company, Habitat For Humanity, the West Hawaii Regional Hospitals, the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra Society, the Pualani Estates Homeowners Association, and the Kona Orchid Society. He has also been a member of the Hawaii County Cost of Government Commission, Board of Ethics, and Board of Appeals.  Joel has continued his musical pursuits, playing with the Kamuela Philharmonic, performing in solo and chamber music recitals and as a member of Kona’s Traveling Jewish Wedding Band. He has also served as Music Director for Aloha Performing Arts Company productions, most recently “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Evita,” “South Pacific,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Sara Nealy

Sara moved with her family from New York City to Hawi in North Kohala in 1999, and soon after joined Kona Beth Shalom. Sara’s work in Hawai’i has included marketing consulting and film production for a variety of cultural organizations and corporate clients. In 2009, she was the Director of Sales and Marketing at Kona Village Resort. She danced with Halau ’o Ha’alelea under the direction of the late beloved kumu hula, Raylene Ha’alelea Kawaiae’a Lancaster.
Sara brings nonprofit leadership experience from two San Francisco arts organizations. She is the Executive Director of the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, a nonprofit performing arts center with a theatre, galleries, arts education programs, and a media streaming platform. Sara wrote and produced a film called “Black Fire White Fire” to tell the story of Kona Beth Shalom’s Polna Torah scroll.

Alan Silverman

Alan moved to Kona in 2013 with Nella to live close to daughter Rachel’s family, especially granddaughter Ridley. They also have an adult son, Sam, who lives in Southern California. Alan retired after 50+ years in radio broadcasting: anchoring and producing programs, reporting news and covering events from space shuttle launches to backstage at the Oscar ceremonies for local stations in the US, worldwide on Voice of America and internationally to audiences in South Africa, Ireland, Israel and other countries. Since moving to Hawaii, Alan enjoys baking bagels and being part of the KBS community.

Trina Yerlick

Trina Walzer Yerlick came to Kona in 2007 right after leaving Berkeley, CA. She taught Hebrew school there for more than 20 years so when she got to Hawaii Trina immediately joined the board at KBS. She runs a Bed and Breakfast in Holualoa with husband Shai and also teaches ESL at a local public school. She hopes to start an adult Hebrew class sometime next year and also take part in other activities such as Hula and coffee farming. Trina strongly believes in Jewish education and support for the state of Israel where she lived for some 4 years.