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About us


We are THRILLED to be welcoming aboard Lara Weisman, our new Children's Religious Education Coordinator! Here is Lara's bio, in her own words:

Hello Everyone! I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Lara Weisman, and I am the new Coordinator for

Religious Education. I was born and raised right here in Poughkeepsie, NY. I moved away for college, but found my way back after a few years. I have worked full time for the last nine years for Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services in the Intake Department as a Social Welfare Worker.

Although my job can be stressful at times, I enjoy it on most days, for it gives me instant gratification to help someone in need. This job sort of found me, as did many things in my life. As a child, I attended Vassar Temple Religious School from first grade to confirmation class, and had a traditional Bat Mitzvah at age thirteen. My Father made me go, and I used to tell him that as soon as confirmation was done I was out of there! However, as time went on, I found solace and peace in my religion, and in college I formed a Hillel chapter that was wildly successful. As I prepared to move home after school, I received a phone call from my former religious school principal asking me to return as a first grade teacher. I told her I would think about it, and sort of laughed off the idea. I finally

accepted with a little persuasion. This was in 1996.

In 2016 I finally decided to hang up my career as a teacher after 20 years of teaching Judaism! I took a year off from all things Jewish, because there were changes going on in my life, and I wanted a year to

focus on me and my children. During this past year though I missed having a religious and spiritual connection to a congregation, and in June I answered an ad on Craigslist for a Coordinator for Religious Education, which brings me to where I am right now, and where I feel I belong.

This position is very exciting for me, for I am beginning a new chapter in my life. In the beginning of the year I met a great guy named Jay, who has two kids similar in age to my own. My boys are Sam, 10, and Max, 7, and they are my greatest joy and accomplishment. Jay and I are carefully blending our two families together, which requires lots of patience, but totally worth the effort.

I’d like to think that I am exactly where I need to be both personally and professionally, and none of it was planned out like this. One of my favorite quotes is “If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” This statement holds true in many aspects of my life.

As I look forward to this new position with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Poughkeepsie, I first want to thank the dedicated committee of people who hired me, and also the very thorough people who

have begun to train me. It’s been a fantastic experience so far, and I can’t wait to meet other members of the congregation as time goes on.

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