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January 2018

Left to right: Betsy Bernstein, Gary Trachten and Michael Karnes

Westchester Jewish Council Hosts 42nd Anniversary Gala

The Westchester Jewish Council (WJC) will celebrate its 42nd Anniversary Gala, on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 7:15pm at Congregation Kol Ami, 252 Soundview Avenue, White Plains. The celebration will honor Westchester Jewish Council Board members Betsy Bernstein of Harrison, Michael Karnes of Ossining, and Gary Trachten of New Rochelle, for their dedication and service to the Westchester Jewish community. The evening will feature a cocktail dinner and dessert by Foremost Caterers with entertainment by comedian Avi Liberman. Kosher dietary laws will be observed.


Betsy Bernstein, a member of the WJC Board since 2005, co-chairs the Julian Y. Bernstein Distinguished Service Awards, named for her husband whose passing in 2005 was the impetus for Betsy to continue the work he had begun as a Council board member. Betsy is also a founding member of the WJC committee that created the Leadership Development Institute and serves as an ad-hoc member of other committees where marketing/marketing research is needed. Concurrently, she has served for a number of terms on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.


The founder of Bernstein Research Group, Inc. Betsy provides marketing research and consulting services globally. She earned her MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Goucher College in Towson, MD. Betsy and her husband, Keith Satter are members of both the Jewish Community Center of Harrison and Congregation Beth El in Norwalk, CT. Betsy and Keith live in Harrison, and delight in their children David Bernstein and Rabbi Sarah DePaolo, Michael Bernstein and Lauryn Muller, Lori and Terran Birrell and Rachel Satter.


Gary Trachten has been on the Board of the Westchester Jewish Council for 9 years including 4 years as an officer on its Executive Committee, and for the past 6 years as the Event Chair for the annual Westchester Jewish Music and Arts Festival.  Gary also serves on the Boards of Hillels of Westchester, is a past president of Pelham Jewish Center, and serves on the Advisory Board of Project T.E.N., international Israel & Diaspora “Jewish Peace Corp,” under the auspices the Jewish Agency.


Gary, a native of New Haven Connecticut, graduated from Boston University and Emory University School of Law. Gary is a founding partner of Kudman Trachten Aloe LLP. Gary and wife Evelyn live in New Rochelle where they raised 2 children, Josef and Sofie.


Michael Karnes joined the Board of the Westchester Jewish Council in 1992.  He has served as a board member, Secretary and most recently as Treasurer.  Michael, a lifelong member of Temple Beth Abraham in Tarrytown was the youngest president in the 118 year history of the congregation and has served in that role three times. Michael has served on the Executive Board and Board of Governors of the JCC on the Hudson, (now known as the Shames JCC on the Hudson) and continues to serve as a voluntary arbitrator in the New York City Civil Court Small Claims Division.


Michael was born and raised in Westchester. He holds a Bachelors degree in Management Information Systems, a MBA with distinction, and a law degree, all from Pace University. Michael is a partner in the law firm of Newman & Karnes, a general practice and personal injury firm that serves individuals in the greater New York metropolitan area.


During his first term as president of Temple Beth Abraham Michael met Jane Rubin when she served as a vice-president. Michael welcomed Jane and her two sons, Alan and Gary, into his life. With the addition of Marisa to the family, Jane and Michael have become the proud grandparents of Ellie, Judah and Sam. Michael is also uncle to William Seggos.


“Betsy, Michael and Gary have so generously given of their time and talent and have done so much for the Westchester Jewish community and beyond. It is our privilege to honor them this evening,” said Lisa Roberts, President, Westchester Jewish Council.


The Westchester Jewish Council connects Westchester’s Jewish communities and strengthens relationships among over 160 Jewish organizations and other ethnic and faith based groups, elected officials, Israel and the community at large.


This event is open to the entire community. Cost varies by donor level. Details and registration are available on line at www.wjcouncil.org. For more information contact the Council at 914-328-7001.