Naming the entryway into Temple Beth El in Cedarhurst after former executive director, Susan Polansky, who died in March, is an appropriate honor for a friendly person who welcomed everyone to the synagogue, according to temple President Richard Holland.
On Oct. 15 Temple Beth Elâ€™s entrance way will officially be named the Susan Polansky rotunda and a plaque will be hung, naming everyone who made contributions to the temple in her memory. â€śWeâ€™ve never named any particular part of the building after anyone,â€ť Holland said. â€śThis was done out of an outpouring of love and affection for Susan.â€ť
Polansky was married to her husband, Harris, a Woodmere resident, for 47 years. His wife was a schoolteacher in Brooklyn and Far Rockaway and then operated Brandeis Day Camp in Lawrence before becoming Temple Beth Elâ€™s executive director for 17 years. â€śShe had been going to the temple for a long time and had her bat mitzvah there,â€ť he said. â€śShe was very comfortable there.â€ť
Woodmere resident and 45-year Temple Beth El volunteer Alvin Epstein said heâ€™d known Polansky for more than 40 years through the synagogue. â€śWe worked together on many social functions such as dinner dances,â€ť he said. â€śWe both were educators and had a lot in common.â€ť
Epstein said Polansky was always upbeat, smiling and helping everyone. â€śShe always knew the right thing to say and was a big asset for our temple because she was outgoing to the entire community,â€ť he said. â€śShe also worked well with other temples and committee chairs. When Susan handled something no one had to worry.â€ť
Holland said, Polansky was a past president of the Temple Beth El Sisterhood as well as member of the Board of Trustees before serving as the executive director for 17 years. â€śShe had such a leadership ability and it was a unanimous decision to hire her as the executive director,â€ť he said. â€śShe was born to be there.â€ť
Harris said itâ€™s an honor that the templeâ€™s rotunda will be named after his late wife. â€śEveryone will see her name and remember her,â€ť he said. â€śTheyâ€™ll remember her not only as an administrator but as the caring, helpful person she was.â€ť
The Susan Polansky memorial event is on Monday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. at Temple Beth El at 46 Locust Ave.