Harris Returns to Haverhill’s Temple Emanu-El as Religious School Director

Temple Emanu-El Religious Education Director Mindy Harris. (Courtesy photograph.)

Mindy Harris recently returned to Temple Emanu-El of Haverhill as religious school director.

Harris oversees the preK–high school program, working with teachers, lay leaders and Cantor Vera Broekhuysen, spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El, to nourish, supervise and grow the temple’s religious school. Harris previously served as cantorial soloist.

“Being part of the Temple Emanu-El community again is a great joy and honor for me,” said Harris. “This community is so warm and caring. It has never been more important to be part of an extended network of folks with shared values and experiences. I hope I can share my love of Judaism in all its historical richness, diversity and complexity with our students. It’s a precious heritage that I feel privileged to pass down to future generations. I look forward to walking alongside our fabulous teaching staff to achieve that mission.”

Temple Emanu-El President Jennifer Lampron welcomed Harris back, saying she is “confident that her leadership will create exciting opportunities that will engage and inspire our students and their families.”

Broekhuysen added, “Mindy Harris is an incredible presence: warm, energetic, creative, effective and totally imbued with Yiddishkeit (Jewishness). She brings families and individuals alike into joyful and meaningful Jewish learning. Our congregation already knows and loves Mindy from her seven prior years with us as cantorial soloist, and we are absolutely delighted that she is returning in this new role as religious school director!”

Harris served as cantorial soloist at Temple Emanu-El for seven years and currently serves as High Holy Day cantor at Congregation Beth Israel in Andover. She has been on the pulpit in a clergy or educational capacity for 30 years, teaching children and adults in both Reform and Conservative congregations, including Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill, Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley and Temple Aliyah in California.

Harris has worked on global Jewish renewal in Warsaw, Poland, and, most recently, with the Jewish community of Uganda. Harris holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a master’s in education with a concentration in administration and planning from Harvard University.

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