People & Business: Aug. 2

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Beth Israel Congregation welcomes new rabbi 

After an extensive national search, Beth Israel Congregation in Bath has brought on Lisa Vinikoor as its new rabbi. Vinikoor is moving to Bath from Brooklyn, New York, and will start as the spiritual leader of Beth Israel on Aug. 1. Vinikoor will also be working with Bowdoin College’s Jewish student group during the academic year. Joining Vinikoor is her wife, Dr. Alyssa Finn, hired by Mid Coast-Parkview Hospital as a family medicine physician in their new Brunswick office.

Vinikoor, who was born and raised in Vermont, graduated in May from Hebrew Union College in New York City. Before moving to Brooklyn for her rabbinical studies, Vinikoor lived in the greater Boston area, where she worked as an teacher and social justice community organizer. In New York, she has taught in religious schools in reform and conservative synagogues and worked with the Union of Reform Judaism, helping congregations develop social justice initiatives. Most recently, she served as a racial justice organizer with Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, engaging hundreds in the congregation to help win passage of significant statewide criminal justice reform.

“I look forward to moving back to New England,” said Vinikoor, “and I’m honored to join Beth Israel Congregation in the important and holy work of strengthening Jewish life in Midcoast Maine.”

Beth Israel is an inclusive congregation offering a variety of programs and services. It was built as a synagogue in 1922 at 862 Washington St. and is newly affiliated with the Union of Reform Judaism. 

Volunteers cheered at People Plus

More than 60 volunteers gathered at People Plus on June 29 to be recognized with awards, ribbons and certificates. Executive Director Stacy V. Frizzle acknowledged the “power and importance” of Center volunteers. In all, nearly 200 volunteers support more than 50 programs each month at the Brunswick-based center.

Top honors went to Vince McDermott of Brunswick, who was named Volunteer of the Year, and to board member Charles Evans of Topsham, named Board Trustee Volunteer of the Year. Brunswick Area Teen Center Volunteers of the Year included Winnie Chan of Harpswell.

New board members at Fort Williams Foundation 

The Fort Williams Park Foundation, which works to preserve the natural beauty and history of Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, recently welcomed new members to the board of directors:

• Tom Atwell, who authors a horticultural newspaper column.

• Dawn Brennan-Daly, who has experience with nonprofit boards and fundraising.

• Mike Duddy, a licensed professional forester and arborist, as well as a lawyer and judge.

• Ilya Fleishman, a landscape architect.

• Rod Harmon, a communications expert and social media strategist.

• Barbara Powers, who has over 25 years in a variety of leadership positions.

• Ray Sapirstein, a writer, historian and media producer.

Recognition and awards

Little, located at 42 Exchange St. in Portland, was the first-place winner of the inaugural Summer Window Display contest sponsored by Portland Downtown in which 10 business participated. 

Preti Flaherty attorney Bodie B. Colwell is one of 40 young attorneys who will participate in the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Next Generation Program in Las Vegas in October.

Granted

Avesta Housing in Portland has received a $10,000 grant from KeyBank Foundation for its NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center to provide free financial counseling and education to low-income applicants and residents.

Maine Women’s Giving Tree awarded a $2,500 grant to Brunswick Area Teen Center, a program of People Plus.

New Ventures

Kennebec Savings Bank had a ribbon-cutting July 20 to celebrate the opening of the bank’s Electronic Banking and Loan Center in Freeport at 181 Lower Main St. As part of the ceremony, the bank presented $2,500 checks to Freeport Community Services and Wolfe’s Neck Farm, also in Freeport. 

Infinity Federal Credit Union opened a new Portland branch at 29 Baxter Blvd. near Back Cove in downtown Portland on July 26. President and CEO Elizabeth Hayes presented $1,000 checks to new community partners Community Financial Literacy and Catholic Charities Maine Office of Refugee Services.

Dr. Sarah Holland opened Holland Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics at 74 Gray Road, Falmouth, in early July.  

Hires, promotions, appointments

Tamara Risser, P.E., an environmental compliance and management expert, has joined Sevee & Maher Engineers in Cumberland as an environmental engineer.

Molly Ryan, a Falmouth native, has been hired as a staff assistant in U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ Washington, D.C., office. Ryan previously served as an intern in Collins’ Portland, Lewiston and D.C. offices.

Sebago Technics, a South Portland-based, engineering consulting firm, has hired environmental scientist Mike Jakubowski of South Portland, who will provide soil science, septic design and wetlands services, and Cameron Mullen, a Portland native and recent graduate who has a degree in civil engineering. 

Tom Buckland joined Fluid Imaging Technologies in Scarborough as materials manager, and Jonathan Mayorquin joined the company as shipper/receiver/quality control technician. 

Portland-based BerryDunn, an integrated assurance, tax and consulting firm, announced the following new hires: Government Consulting Group – Danielle Bergner, consultant, of South Portland and Laura Bong, consultant, of Portland; Information Systems Group – Donald Landry, applications administrator II, of Falmouth; Valuation Group – Andrew Hutchins, staff analyst, of Portland, and Katherine Whitehead, senior analyst, of Yarmouth.

Giving Back

Scarborough’s Black Point Inn is helping end child hunger in Maine through the Stay It Forward program, Full Plates Full Potential, which challenges hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts to make a donation for each room that is occupied a night – typically $1. Participants also invite their guests to learn more about child hunger in Maine and make a contribution of their own.

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