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Honoring Karen Gerton – Retiring After 32 Years of Service to B’nai Israel


Karen, our community has much to say as we send you off with love and appreciation. Please enjoy some thoughts from our community:

We first met in the summer of 2007. I was looking for a new teaching position and I had been told that the director of BISNS, you, were really wonderful to work for. We scheduled an interview and, from the moment I walked into your office, I felt at home. My interview led to a long conversation about home, family and values. And that conversation led to so, so many conversations and to a friendship that I cherish. I knew that I could discuss anything and everything with you, and you would listen and advise me if that is what I was looking for. We didn't always agree on everything, but I knew that you would listen. And remember. It astounded me that you would always remember what was happening with my family and ask about them with heartfelt concern. I wish you much happiness in your retirement. I hope that we continue our friendship over lunches and Mahjongg. Thank you for all that you have given me. You're the best! Xoxo
–Nancy Robins

From the moment of my tour with you, I knew that BISNS was a special place under your leadership. Thank you for caring for our most precious children. Your loving, kind, and thoughtful approach to learning will be missed greatly— we wish you the best of luck in the future!
–Avery, Noah, Hallie & Brody Sudow

You have had such a valuable impact on so many children, their families, our community and the world that has received all the B'nai graduates. Your devotion has been inspiring. From the moment Amy began pretending that she was Mrs. Gerton, with glasses on her head, I knew how special you were.  May the next part of your journey be filled with love and laughter.  Enjoy every second! With so much love and gratitude.
–The Greenberg Family

Our memories of nursery school at B'nai are only wonderful. Karen was the comfort, safety, guidance and always reassuring smiles for me when Adam & Jenna started in the 2's, and all the way through to Gesher. In our years at B'nai during Nursery School and for all the years following, I don't recall ever seeing Karen without her warm, welcoming smile each and every time. We are thankful to have enjoyed the very special fun learning experience that Karen and her team created at B'nai. Wishing you all the very best, Karen. 
– Eileen, Jenna & Adam Shatzman

Thank you, Karen, for your dedication to B’nai Israel Schilit Nursery School.  It has been a pleasure working with you both as a parent and a staff member.
–The Needleman Family

Since the first day we met Karen she made us feel like a part of the BISNS family. We feel fortunate to have gotten a piece of her for as long as we have (6 years). Karen always greets you with a smile on her face. She will always be a part of our BISNS journey and will be missed greatly. Thanks for all the Hershey Kisses! It's not goodbye but see you soon! 
–Jenni, Matt, Jordan & Noah Weinstein

Our world needs more Karen Gertons! Your character, perspective, and wisdom are second to none.  From the day that Rachel entered the 2s, to the day that Ben graduated from the 4s, we counted our blessings that you were their leader, their teacher, and without a doubt, our teacher. We all learned so much from you—many things that we still think of so often today, many years later. Thank you for being you and for sharing your knowledge, and your kindness, with all of us.  We adore you. With love and good health in the years ahead. 
–Meg, Marc, Rachel & Ben Gold

Your dedication, hard work and above all, your love, made an enduring impact on the school and all the families who have joined. I enjoyed working with you at B'nai Israel and wish you all the best in your new adventure. 
–Penina Alexander

I have had the pleasure of working and sharing offices with you over the last four years. Karen, you are a good friend & colleague who I can always talk to. You created an amazing Nursery school where families and preschoolers feel special because they know that you love and care for every child. Your big heart and passion will be missed. enjoy a well-earned retirement.  
–Moshe Ben-Lev

I remember meeting you in 1997 when we had moved to Rockville.  I had put my children in another preschool and was miserable.  I knew once we spoke that you would provide the loving, caring environment I was searching for.  My oldest was in Kindergarten but fast forward 21 years and my other two still have, not only wonderful memories of BSNS, but lasting friendships as well.  Thanks to you welcoming us to B'nai Israel, we discovered a wonderful community that we continue to remain a part of today.  In fact, I joined the staff 14 years ago.  I will miss our talks but mostly, I will just miss you.  I wish you health and happiness as you transition to the next phase of your life.  Looking forward to lunches out.  
–Jill Gendelman

Thank you for the privilege of working with you to help enrich the minds and hearts of the children at B'nai Israel nursery school. I am so blessed to have met you and pray that you continue your calling to be a light for young minds. God bless.
–Loretta Wright

I have really appreciated how our work relationship has evolved. You are quick to forgive and understand, and you have shown great concern and willingness to understand things that don't always make sense (Netclockin) Smiles. So many things will be missed about you, and for me, it will be our discussions about your kids, grandkids, raising kids, and most of all... musicals! So, in that vein, while it is not quite a musical, let me say, "I am so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song, seems we just get started and before you know it.... comes the time to say...” I'll leave that last part out, because I do hope to see you for visits and such. (tugging on my ear). Wishing you all the best in this next phase of your life. 
–Gail d'Almeida

I appreciate all your guidance and caring ways. I will miss our interesting discussions on family and students. I wish you a relaxing and enjoyable retirement. One quote I would like to share with you, "The Object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives"- Robert Hutchins. I feel that you have touched many lives. Best Wishes!
–Monique Israel

My children and grandchildren were way past nursery school age when Karen Gerton joined the school. I heard good things about her over the years.  But the letter she wrote announcing her retirement was so heartfelt, gracious and warm it made me wish I had known her.  I could tell from her thoughts and words that B'nai Israel and all the children who passed through the school were privileged to know her.  I wish her all good things in the future. Kol HaKavod Karen Gerton.                       
–Paula Pascal Levine

Karen, seven years ago I walked into your office to introduce myself and start working as a substitute teacher. Shortly after, I was lucky enough to become a full-time employee. Thank you so much for trusting me to become part of B'nai staff. It has been a pleasure and honor working with you and calling you my director. I wish you all the best in the next chapter of your life. Enjoy your retirement and grandchildren. There is nothing more precious than the bond between grandmother and grandchildren.
–Jackie Somekhian

Although we are only in our first year at BISNS, Karen has made us feel welcomed from day 1. Her warm and loving demeanor is what makes her so lovable. We are truly going to miss her but wish her well in this next chapter. Thanks for all you've done for us and all of BISNS Karen, you have left quite the legacy! 
–The Kramer Family

Family. Family is everything to you. You chose B’nai Israel for Lisa's nursery school education, and this led to many special relationships. Manny, Michael (with Jennifer and Cole) and Lisa (with Evan and Remy) watched with pride as you developed and nurtured strong ties of friendship with the BISNS family over three decades. Allie, Bonnie, and I are fortunate to share connections with your B’nai Israel family and privileged to share our lives as part of your extended family. 
–Nancy Goldberg

As the former Gesher teacher at B'nai, and a very long-time congregant, I'd like to thank you for the 32 years of service that you've given to our shul.  Enjoy the next chapter of your life, when I'm sure you'll be having a blast with your own grandchildren. Mazel tov! 
–Sharon Glickman

We first met Karen when she was the teacher for both of our sons during their 3-year old nursery school classes back in the early 90's. She was always so wonderful with the children—very calm and relatable—and a terrific teacher! Over the years since nursery school, we have enjoyed keeping in touch with Karen, and we wish her all the best during this next phase of her life. With love and best wishes.
 –Debbie, Danny, Eric & Todd Glazer

My favorite thing about Mrs. Karen is that she gives the best hugs!
–Abby Watson

Karen has meant so much to our family, even before we became a BISNS family. We love the sense of community she has fostered for the children, families and teachers here at B'nai. It is her biggest legacy! 
–Stacey & Andrew Watson

My first professional interaction with Karen was in the mid-90s. The Ivymount CORE program trained teachers in understanding children with special needs.  Because of Karen's foresight, training by Ivymount was arranged for BISNS teachers.  Fast forward to 2019–20. As the Youth and Education VP, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Karen and BISNS teachers and staff.  B'nai Israel has been fortunate to have Karen as our nursery school director.  In addition to having a strong understanding of all of our children, she has created and nurtured a welcoming and loving community where our children and families have thrived. Todah raba!
–Fonda Lowe

From the moment we met you, we knew that BISNS would become our new home. Thank you for getting to know our kids and providing valuable advice throughout the years. You always knew what was best for them and made us all feel so comfortable at B'nai. We wish you all the best on your next journey. We love you! 
–The Freishtat Family

So happy I have gotten to work with you for the past 2 years. Thank you for every-thing you have done for the community!
–Sarah Jarvis

Karen Gerton changed lives.  Day in day out she showed up for the kids and her staff.  She was loving, insightful and unflappable and we will be grateful forever for what she did for our kids, Molly and Zeke Simon, and for us as parents.  She was always willing to take the time and always had something important to share.  To this day, we think about the wisdom she shared and are grateful.
–Sandy Katz & Ethan Simon

Back in 2005 I began this totally unexpected and most enjoyable chapter of my life, becoming part of BISNS. Over the years you, Karen, have become much more than my valued boss who has enabled and supported me year after year to be in the classroom doing what I love. You have also become a trusted and valued friend. ||Your leadership and positive impact will be greatly missed at B'nai but I could not be happier for you to be able to relax and spend more time with your own precious, growing family! XO.
–Brenda Friedman

You have been a constant warm and loving presence for our grandchildren.  Because of you and your wonderful staff, the children's love of school is cemented.  Thank you for building a strong program and giving our grands a love of school and B'nai Israel.  Enjoy your next chapter. 
–Debby & Gary Bortnick

It's hard to believe that I met you 30 years ago. You were first my friend, then Adam and Alex's teacher and finally my boss and colleague. You have been a huge part of the Greenfest family's lives. We have shared so many ups and downs. You are a true friend who I have the utmost respect for. Enjoy your time with your family. You will be missed! 
–Jaye Greenfest

We love Karen! From the moment we met her when we were looking at preschools, we knew BISNS was the right place for our family. Karen is warm and loving with an open-door policy. We always looked forward to seeing Karen in the morning at drop off with her warm smile and big hugs, and I know the kids also loved when she visited them in the classroom. We wish Karen all the best in retirement and thank her for all she has done for our family and the BISNS community.
–Stephanie, Aaron, Emily & Shayne Udler

Since our children had already graduated from B'nai Israel's nursery school when you arrived, they never had the privilege of benefiting from your teaching talents. However, as presidents of our congregation, we were both fortunate to work with you as a director and in so doing, we always admired your caring and empathetic nature, work ethic, and ongoing dedication to the children and their parents as you led our school in such a positive direction. Now that you are retiring, we hope that you (and Manny) will seize the opportunity to relax and enjoy more time with your own children—and especially those precious grandchildren! We truly appreciate our special friendship and your steadfast devotion to our synagogue for so many years.  What a blessing it has been for us to know and work with you! 
–Sherry & Larry Wachtel

We are a new family to BINS. While searching for a preschool for our son, we knew we felt at home at BINS after meeting with Karen for the first time. Our instincts were right, and our son is thriving in Gan Nahar. When we walk into the building, Karen greets us like family. She has created a warm and accepting environment for both students and parents. We wish Karen the best as she enters this next exciting (and hopefully more relaxing) chapter in her life. Mazel tov! 
–Hayley, Sam, & Adam Cooper

This is my first year at B'nai.  I have not had the chance to work with you very long and for that I am truly sad.  You have shown me nothing but utter kindness.  I wish you much happiness in the road ahead and hope to see your face at school sometimes.  Enjoy your precious grandchildren.  
–Robin Lubin

A hug with the soft Hebrew greeting of Shalom are treasures that will be part of lives for generations to come. This was Karen Gerton's "special gift" to hundreds of nursery school students as they entered the B'nai Israel school building. This will be passed on as these children become parents themselves and define their world. Karen helped shape that. The Schilit Nursery School won awards. Its teachers were well trained, and Karen's loving eye was always present. How blessed we have been to have her loving care present for decade after decade. 
–Rabbi Matthew Simon

Thank you for all the love you have given to the entire B'nai Israel family, but especially to ours! We will miss your smiling face every time we drop off or pick up our grandchildren! Wishing you all the best always!
–Roz & Rob Black

Karen has been the teacher of my children and the director I have worked alongside for many years.  She has been a warm and caring friend and ambassador of the nursery school.  Her door is open, and she is always ready to listen and share.  Her ability to make others feel welcome has been invaluable to making our school a place of love and connection.
–Renee Lessans

We'll never forget the first day of preschool. We were like deer in headlights and so anxious. We had an excited two-year old, but it was us that needed the hug and comforting words—and that's exactly what you gave us! You have always been there for our family, providing a safe, nurturing community for our children. Your office was a place to receive valuable parenting advice, share good news and count on a hug when needed. We are grateful for your leadership, expertise and friendship. We are so excited for you to embark on your next adventure with your children and grandchildren. Thank you for treating our three children as your own and for always being there for our family. Mazel tov! 
–Michelle, Mike, Jacob, Sara & Aaron Logsdon 

We came to B'nai because of Karen. As a first-time anxious mom trying to find the right preschool for our son, we visited BISNS and met with Karen who gave us a tour. She was kind, she listened, and she made us feel that warm connection we love about this school. From our first day until our (unexpected!) last one this year Karen greeted us every day at the door, and made Max smile each time knowing he was walking into a safe happy place.
–The Haberman Family

We have been a BISNS family for four years, and our daughter Sophie started in Toddler Time. We were familiar with the school and program but had not worked with Karen and the team before. What struck us about Karen was her ability and effort in getting to know each family at the school. She understands the importance of building a strong relationship foundation between families and the synagogue at large. Karen will greet your child by name, remember your family (even extended!) and know your child. Karen takes time to go into the classrooms and read with the children, and is there for exciting days (celebrating holidays, birthdays, etc.). While many administrators may be in their offices—Karen is happy to be part of our community. After so many years shaping and growing BISNS into what it is today, we are sad to see Karen go. But we know her lasting legacy will be one of a strong community and of lasting friendships, and we thank her for her giving of her time and herself.
– Josh, Larissa, & Sophie Schimel

We have so much appreciation for you! Thank you for your dedication and commitment to providing a highly nurturing nursery environment that has supported our children's love of learning, growth, exploration and independence. We will all miss your warm hellos, hugs and chats. May you continue to go from strength to strength always.
–The Aleskow Family

We were instantly sold on the BISNS when we first met Karen over a decade ago.  Our daughters had such amazing experiences in the preschool much of which was due to the dedication and direction of your leadership.  We are thankful we got to know you through many formative years for our girls and hope you enjoy what lies ahead during your retirement.  
–The Feuerstein Family

Thank you for so many years of dedication to the Nursery School. Sophie and Lizzie spent so many wonderful years there, and that is where we met many of our closest B'nai Israel Friends. And most of all, thank you for introducing our girls to Camp Louise, their favorite place in the world. Enjoy your retirement, and we hope to see you soon! 
–Sarah, Doug, Sophie & Lizzie Kotlove

Karen welcomed our whole family into the BISNS Community with open arms. As a Mom of 3 young children, her warm smile and post drop-off talks were always something I looked forward to. More importantly, she was a constant guide, helping us navigate through those tough early years. Her office door was always open, and she was always available to listen and help. I know she will truly be missed the halls of the preschool.
–The Hausfeld Family

Best of luck in the next chapter of your life. It is certainly well- deserved after such a great career. Thank you for caring for each child as your own.
–The Robinson Family
It has been a pleasure working with you these past four years and knowing you since my daughter attended the preschool. I wish you the best in your retirement. Enjoy life, relax, do something fun and eventually when the world opens up, travel. Live life to its fullest. You will be missed around the halls of B'nai. 
–Ruth Kresloff

I first met Karen in 2015 when we were shopping for preschools. For the past five years, she has been a sounding board, a voice of reason and advice, and a shoulder to cry on! In particular she was a huge help when picking an elementary school for our older son. I'm so happy both of my children have been able to experience preschool at B'nai Israel under her tenure. We will miss you Karen! 
–Kelly Paul, Yisroel, Noah, & Gabriel Juskowicz

The first day I arrived at preschool in 2005 you greeted Addie and I by name and you made us feel cared for and at home. On the last day in 2013 at Brielle's preschool graduation you hugged me as I cried that our time at the preschool was complete. You reassured me that we always had a home at B'nai. It's always been apparent that you have given your heart and soul to this school. We have personally shared many moments together—working together when I was VP of Education, and also the "Karen Gerton 25 Years" event. I was so honored to be a part of planning that event for you. You will always be a shining star at B'nai. You will always walk the hall and be greeted with smiles and adoration- because you are loved by your B'nai family. As you start this new chapter in life, remember that we will always greet you by name and always have a hug for you as you did for us. Sending love to you and Manny and your beautiful, growing family! xoxo
–Tobi, Stuart, Addie, Jonah & Brielle Bassin

I am profoundly grateful for the joy that has been mine in "tracking" together with Karen Gerton since our arrival on the B'nai Israel staff in the same year–1989.  Over the decades, we worked closely together and shared so many significant personal and communal moments.  Throughout that "journey", there has been an enduring motif:  Karen's unequivocal commitment and dedication to our Schilit Nursery School—students, teachers and parents.  An entire generation here at B'nai Israel has been nurtured by Karen's love, empathy, energy and presence. Karen's legacy of influence for all of us is the vitality of our Schilit Nursery School and the strong Jewish values which it has consistently projected. Beverly and I deeply cherish our friendship with you, Karen.  We hope that you have deep pride in all your accomplishments and in knowing how you have helped and guided so many. For us, you will always be a star!   
–Beverly & Rabbi Jonathan Schnitzer

There are not enough words to describe the impact Karen has had on our family. Our family has always had a connection to B'nai Israel, but Karen Gerton made it our home.  All you have to do is take one look at her and you immediately feel an overwhelming love and warmth. Thanks to Karen, our mishpacha has grown exponentially, and our family has found friends for life. Our children have the foundational skills to excel in life, and we have Karen to thank. We will very much miss seeing you every morning, Karen, as your smile sets the tone for our day. Thank you for everything. 
–The Maiers

When we visited BISNS for the first time, we immediately felt Karen's warmth. Karen is the perfect mix of kind, nurturing and accessible. She spends time in every classroom, truly taking the opportunity to get to know the needs of every child so that she can act in their best interests. As a parent, it is comforting to know that your child is treated as an individual. It is also comforting to know that Karen's door is always open to discuss concerns. No issue is too small for Karen to devote her energy towards. We will miss her greatly!
–The Schor Family

It has been a privilege to be your colleagues for the past 18 years as you built and supported our outstanding Schilit Nursery School. But more than that, we are so grateful for all you have done for our children. Thank you for always being there with a suggestion for class placement, supportive ideas to help each child thrive, loving moments in the office at your computer or sharing a Hershey Kiss, and SO MANY friendly smiles. Rebecca, Ethan, and Gila would not be the people they are today without the amazing start you provided. And thank you for sharing Manny, Lisa and Evan, Michael and Jennifer and making them a part of our lives too. We will miss seeing you around the synagogue every day, but we are grateful to know you will never be far away.
–Sharon & Rabbi Mickey Safra, Rebecca, Ethan & Gila

Thank you for all that you have done to educate B'nai Israel families for decades. Your dedication to the children, to their families, and to our community is beyond measure. You have inspired generations to love learning and to love Judaism. Mazel tov.
–Mitch, Rebecca, & Ruby Berkowitz

Congratulations on your retirement. May this next chapter of life bring you endless time to do the things you love! Very few people dedicate themselves to their job the way you have. Now, it's time to take some time for yourself. Thank you for treating me so well. Although I'm new, you treated me like family and for that, I will always be grateful! Wishing you all the happiness, good health and joy retirement can bring. Happy Retirement!! You will be missed but never forgotten. 
–Trice Kersner

I met Karen during a transitional time in my life and in an instant, we bonded. She nurtured my family and welcomed us to BISNS with open arms and a caring heart. Her commitment to the school and my own children has been a gift. While we haven't known each other long, we are cut from a similar thread and our friendship will continue to grow outside the walls of B'nai.  Thank you, Karen! We will miss you at BISNS!
–Dana Goldberg

Our relationship with B'nai began more than 15 years ago due to a phone call with Karen Gerton. Her expertise, kindness and calm manner led us to enroll our daughter, and then our two sons, in the amazing nursery school. While there, our children received a solid foundation for their education, socialization, and Jewish life and we all made life-long friends. Karen was always available to reassure and comfort us. Even now, when she sees us, she is quick with a warm smile, a hello, and an engaging conversation. We are forever grateful to her for giving all of us this wonderful beginning. Wishing Karen all the best in her retirement. She will surely be missed!
–The Lieberman Family 

We were so glad that our kids were able to be a part of the BISNS during Karen's tenure.  Her warm and loving nature is evident in the way that she provides individual attention to make sure each child's educational and emotional needs are met. Todah rabah Karen, and best wishes for all of your future adventures. 
–The Willchers

Karen has always been a beacon of wisdom with a calm, reassuring and loving demeanor.  When our oldest daughter was in nursery school and our youngest was a baby, I was visiting with her one day in her office and I told her how upset I was that I had left the stroller in a parking lot a few days ago.  The girls were safely in my car, but I had left the stroller behind.  Ever so calmly, with a slight smile on her face, she very matter-of-factly admitted that it most likely won't be the last time that happens.  She made me feel better laughing about it, reminding me that I was a good mom and the important part was that the girls were safe in the car. (she was right, I did leave the stroller behind a second time, and we never saw it again!).
–Stephanie, Jon, Chloe & Sydney Weiss

You have touched so many lives in such a wonderful and inspiring way, mine included. Over 25 years ago, I walked into your classroom and introduced myself as your new assistant teacher. You taught me everything! And I kept it all with me for the next 20 plus years at B'nai Israel. So, my friend, my teacher, I wish you all the joy, love and laughter in retirement, that you have brought to my life throughout the many years. 
–Brenda Speisman

Karen introduced me to the B'nai Israel community and was a huge part of why we enrolled our daughter in the pre-school and joined the congregation. She made our family feel right at home. Thank you for creating a wonderful learning environment for our children!
–Ryan Daniels

One of our first experiences with Karen's dedication to the BISNS children was when our oldest daughter, Eliana, injured herself at school and had to be taken immediately to the hospital.  Karen took it upon herself to ride with Eliana in the ambulance and sat with her in the ER until we were able to meet them.  We were so thankful Ellie had a friendly, comforting face with her at all times during what was otherwise a fairly traumatic event and got to see, first-hand, how much Karen cares about the well-being of the children in her program.  Thank you, Karen; mazel tov on 32 years of service and wishing you all the best in retirement!
–Jason & Jaime Froehlich

I view myself as extremely lucky to have found you and B'nai Israel Schilit Nursery School. You are the best at making both children and moms feel safe and loved. You always valued play and making learning fun and interesting as it should be for our little ones! Thank you so much for making Hayley and Zach's nursery school journey a special one. How can I express my gratitude to someone who has given so much of their time and energy to paying attention to my children's early childhood growth and education? I'll always be thankful to have had you in my life during those ever so important years. I love seeing you at B'nai, giving you a hug and a smile. Thank you for being there for me and my kiddos even as they have grown up. Thank you for providing a safe environment for toddlers to learn and have fun! You are one in a million! 
–Lisa, Mike, Hayley & Zachary Miller

Seventeen years ago, we stepped into the doors of the B'nai Schilit Nursery school dropping off our baby to begin her first school experience. You turned what seemed very scary into one of the most amazing experiences. We thank you for your love, dedication, warm smile, and always having your door open. You will be very missed at the nursery school, but we know this next adventure in your life is going to be just as rewarding as all the wonderful years you gave to the B'nai.
–Jen, Joel, Madeline, Hannah, & Molly Eisenfeld

We are so thankful that Jonah, Aaron, and Shira all spent their pre-school years in your nurturing school.  From the moment we met you, we felt that our kids would be safe and happy under your watchful eye, and they always were.  Thank you for always being there for our kids, for us, and for all the other families you've touched.  Enjoy your retirement!
–Rachel & Steve Kerchner

Thank you for all the love you have shown to all of us—especially Addie and Jordyn since they first met you. They both have always enjoyed thousands of Hershey kisses in your office and we have always enjoyed that special time to visit with you.  Your love of BISNS and all the children shown in everything you did each and every day. Thank you for all you gave to our family over the years.  We love you and will miss you tremendously!
–The Robbins Family









Karen made us feel like family the second we met and before enrolling our oldest in nursery school. She put us at ease from the get-go and has been a wonderful sounding board and a great smiling face see each morning. We have had a great six years at BISNS and thank Karen for waiting until our youngest graduated before retiring! Best wishes and enjoy your quality time with your grandkids!
–Scott, Amy, Darren, & Harlow Goff

Mazel tov on this special accomplishment! Thank you for your dedication, compassion and hard work to the B'nai Israel community. I remember nearly 20 years ago your kindness, and welcoming assurance when I first dropped Sarah off at nursery school. Wishing you all the best in your retirement with many healthy and happy years. Todah Rabah!
–Rene Schecker

Thank you for all your love and support. Best wishes in retirement!
–The Neuringer Family 

I have known you for over ten years since Sam started preschool at B'nai Israel. You have always been kind to me and my family. You always ask about Josh and Sam and genuinely care about their well-being. I will miss sharing their accomplishments with you but know the connection will remain long after your retirement. We have shared happy and sad times over these years. I have come to know Manny, Lisa, Evan, Michael and Jennifer and more recently Remy and Cole. I wish you the best of everything as you begin a new chapter in your life. Mazel tov to you! 
–Debra, Allen, Josh and Sam Diewald

I can't say enough good things about Karen. From our first tour of BISNS to now she has been so kind, warm, and friendly. Her leadership and guidance of the nursery school has enriched our children's lives indescribably. Karen is a gift both as an educator and as a person. She knows all the kids by name and is out there with a "hello" and a smile every day. Thank you Karen for your years of service and enjoy your retirement!
–The Milzman Family

As a new family to the area, Karen welcomed us with open arms. There isn't a specific moment but the feeling we got dropping off our little ones - it's the warm community she has built, fostered and grown that has helped our kids flourish and made us feel at home. We will miss her and want to thank her for everything! 
–Bonnie & Greg Minoff

We first met Karen when she taught our daughter Marla in the three-day 3-year-old class. Karen was always so welcoming to the children as they entered with trepidation in their first days of school, and made them feel comfortable and loved so quickly. Karen's warmth and care continued as she took over leadership of the Nursery School, and we feel fortunate that our children enjoyed such a loving environment.
–Joel and Audrey Goldberg

You have been a wonderful friend, colleague, and mentor. I have been friends with you for 16 years. You always had great advice when I was dealing with Sydney or about life. Enjoy the second chapter of your life!
–Laura Fingerhood 

We were lucky to have started at BISNS the year you began as was David's year in the 2's.  Brian and Aaron followed.  You immediately became a part of our family as we wandered in and out of the school.  Then, I transitioned from being a parent to becoming a part of BISNS. I consider myself so fortunate that I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with you as a Jewish preschool teacher—in many different roles. I also enjoyed visiting in your office and schmoozing (and discussing school).   All of us always looked forward to Nursery School Dinners because we knew that we would see you and Manny (and we would have a chance to visit). Through all this you became a dear friend. We are excited for you to begin this new chapter. Take a breath, do what YOU would like and enjoy your family!  Thank you for everything you have done for me/us and our community.  
–Suzanne, Josh, David, Brian & Aaron Schonfeld

Leich L’cha Karen Gerton Version
L'chi lach to a new journey you will enjoy 
Leich l'cha to a place of wonder 
L'chi lach on your journey we will miss you 
L'chi lach and you will be with your family
Leich l'cha with Cole and Remy
L'chi lach to being all together 
You have been a blessing! You have made a great name for yourself at B'nai Israel. We wish you lots of luck and joy in your new adventures! 
–Allyson Taylor, Cindy Singman, Debra Diewald, & Hava Anderson

Thank you, Karen, for welcoming us with open arms into the Nursery School three years ago and for continuing to be a source of warmth and comfort for Eleanor and our family throughout the years. We know that you have formed a special bond with Eleanor, and she will miss seeing you at school every day. We hope that you enjoy your well-deserved retirement and we hope that we will continue to see you through the years at the synagogue. Mazel tov on a wonderful career and thank you for everything you have done for our family, the Nursery School, and the synagogue!
–The Rappaport/Tulin Family

Best wishes to you on your retirement!  We hope that your retirement is filled with much relaxation and fun.   Enjoy the time with your family. Thanks for all the years of helping our kids in their earliest school experiences.  They loved every minute.  Those years gave us many wonderful memories!  All our best wishes.
–Craig, Marcie, Jacob, Emily, & Jessica 

"Start a child on the right road.... Proverbs 22:6" We join all the other families in thanking you for decades of devotion in starting our children and grandchildren on the right road.   Your tireless efforts have made such a positive impact on thousands! We wish you much happiness and fulfillment in the next stage of your life. With love and appreciation for all the love you have poured into your years at B'nai Israel.
–Diane & Howard Schilit

You've been an ever-present smiling face for the past 5 straight years we have been at BISNS! We will miss that smile and those warm hugs, but we know you always have us in your heart, and we'll look forward to seeing you around at shul! Mazel tov on an incredible & dedicated career to making our children thrive. 
–Abigail, Kelyn, & Brody Kopstein 

You have built a nursery school filled with meaning and love for so many. It is felt by all who enter your doors. May your future hold beautiful memories and good health in the days ahead! Mazel Tov.
–Mincy Neil 

Thank you for guiding our school (and my grandchildren!) in such a loving and educationally exciting manner. Your devotion to the school and the children is so appreciated. Wishing you all good things as you move forward. Enjoy!
–Wendy Fanaroff


The event to honor Karen Gerton is postponed until it is safe for us to gather in person. We look forwarding to expressing our appreciation and celebrating the impact Karen has made on generations of B’nai Israel families.

Sun, July 12 2020 20 Tammuz 5780