Kathy Golderman

ALBANY– “Going over and beyond” is how Rabbi Scott Shpeen describes Kathy Golderman, Congregation Beth Emeth’s executive director. The National Association for Temple Administration (NATA) agrees.

It recently honored Golderman with its Myron E. Schoen Service to Community Award for her role in setting up COVID-19 vaccine clinics at Beth Emeth last winter when the roll-out was just beginning and shots were hard to get.

At the Erev Shabbat service on Dec. 10, Golderman will be feted by the congregation and receive her award, which she first learned about “virtually,” when it was announced at NATA’s Arizona meeting in October. The service will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the synagogue, 100 Academy Rd., Albany.

It is the first time that an administrator from Beth Emeth has received the honor.

According to NATA, the Schoen award is presented to a NATA member “who has made outstanding contributions to the broader community through service and engagement. It notes contribution in cultural, educational, social action, health and interfaith arenas contribute to a more beautiful, well-rounded community for all.”

Shpeen, Beth Emeth’s spiritual leader, who nominated Golderman, praised her for helping to make Beth Emeth’s clinics available to a broad spectrum of the community, from seniors’ groups to interfaith organizations. When Deb Riitano, commissioner of the county Department for Aging, was searching for a place to hold a vaccine clinic with staff from her office and Rite Aid, she contacted Shpeen. Golderman stepped up to help organize the effort. More than 1,000 people received their two-dose vaccinations at Beth Emeth last spring, and a booster clinic was held recently, the rabbi reported.

Golderman, in her NATA acceptance speech, said: “Opening our temple doors for the COVID clinics was incredible. … While most people were still working remotely, I so enjoyed being part of these wonderful clinics and helping in any way I could.  From simply Xeroxing insurance cards to schmoozing with the people waiting to get their shots, this reminded me of the World War II stories, how everyone pitched in together to help.  Barriers were opened as people said to me, ‘I have lived nearby, but never stepped foot in a synagogue — some even said ‘your church.’  They were able to see us as Jewish people helping others. To see people from all walks of life come in to receive their vaccine and leave with hope in their eyes, was nothing short of miraculous.”

Golderman, who has been Beth Emeth’s executive director since 2013, also served as a trustee at Congregation Ohav Shalom in Albany and was instrumental in founding B’Yachad. She and her husband, Billy, have three children.

Proof of vaccination and masks are required to attend the service. It may also be live streamed via the Beth Emeth website, www.bethemethalbany.org.