AISHET CHAYIL AWARD
Aishet Chayil extraordinaire Marilyn Bielory has been extending an incomparably warm welcome to CIS guests for 35 years, entertaining and hosting scores of prospective and newly minted members, chatanim, kallot, Shabbaton participants, out-of state and overseas visitors, job candidates and scholars-in residence—including Rabbi Chaim and Lea Marcus, who spent their first Shabbat in Springfield as guests of Marilyn and her family, together with then-baby Aryeh and toddler Sara. Her evident delight in representing our community is infectious, and has inspired many others to follow her example as our Shul has continued to grow.
But Marilyn does not epitomize the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim alone; she is also an expert at multi-tasking who seeks out communal responsibilities and executes them with aplomb well in advance of every deadline. For example, as a longtime co-chair of the Annual Dinner and Tribute Gala, she devotes hours to everything from teaching members how to solicit Journal ads successfully, to stuffing and stamping our Dinner invitations. In addition, for years she has overseen the monthly sponsorship of our Shul’s Shabbat Bulletin, ensuring that all submissions from members are accurate; and she happily sustains her long tradition of matching members who wish to join a family seder to CIS hosts, sparking friendships that last to this day. Earlier in her career as a dedicated CIS volunteer she assisted with numerous fundraising projects for Sisterhood and the CIS nursery and day camp, and helped prepare Shaloch Manot gifts and Shabbat kiddushim, among many other assignments. One of her greatest pleasures was co-hosting with the Lachs family backyard Shalosh Seudah gatherings every summer, where members of all ages became better acquainted.
Marilyn and her husband Dr. Len Bielory, a three-time former Shul president, moved to Springfield when Len accepted a leadership position at Rutgers University—New Jersey Medical School; they were excited by the prospect of enrolling their son Brett, then 18 months old, in the Shul’s new nursery program. Before their move, Marilyn worked as a medical librarian, having earned a Master’s degree in Library Science from Pratt Institute after graduating from Kean University with a BA in Elementary Education and Library Science. Her roots to our area reach back to her youth; Marilyn was raised in Union and attended the Hebrew Youth Academy in Newark (predecessor of Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy). After establishing her family, Marilyn pursued a new and highly gratifying career in real estate, another arena in which her attention to detail and talent for friendship are unmistakable.
Watching the growth and development of CIS has brought enormous satisfaction to Marilyn and Len. They are currently dedicating themselves to growing their summer community in Bradley Beach, another deeply gratifying enterprise. Marilyn is most proud of her family: Brett, an ophthalmologist; his wife Rada and their two wonderful granddaughters, Arabella and Sasha; and their daughter Amy, a licensed mental health counselor.