Less than two years after they joined Stephen Wise, David and Audrey Kubie became the first couple to enroll in the synagogue’s two-year Adult B’nai Mitzvah Program, a weekly course of study that will culminate with a group b’nai mitzvah ceremony on April 7. “I remember thinking, ‘This is the place and now is the time,’” David recalls. “We finally have the time to explore our roots, and it’s been a great pleasure,” adds Audrey.
David and Audrey joined the synagogue soon after they retired — David from finance, and Audrey from a multifaceted career that encompassed banking, real estate, and social work. The couple, who met on a blind date in their 20s, are both active supporters of various charitable institutions. David works closely with United Neighborhood Houses, which supports settlement houses, and the Resolution Project, an incubator for social entrepreneurs. Audrey serves on the Auxiliary Board of Mount Sinai Hospital and as a trustee of the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts. “As you transition out of a more structured professional life, it’s important to stay active,” David says.
Last March David and Audrey joined the synagogue’s mission to Israel, a packed ten-day journey through Israel led by Rabbi Hirsch, with nine family members: their children, Camille, Kimberly, and Greg; Greg’s wife, Rachel; Kimberly’s husband, Tucker; and their grandchildren, Callie and Milo.
As a souvenir on their last day in Israel, Callie chose a necklace with her name in Hebrew. Milo urged his parents to sign him up for Hebrew school; days later, his family joined a synagogue in their Brooklyn neighborhood. “It was so powerful to get such a vivid understanding of Jewish history, to enhance what we’ve been learning at Stephen Wise,” David says. Adds Audrey: “It changed all nine of us forever.”