Our community came together to celebrate this year’s Shem Tov honorees, Terry Kassel, Rhonda Steeg, and Jen Stone at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue Spring Benefit on June 3 at 6 p.m. at Guastavino's.

In Jewish tradition a shem tov, a good name, stands above all. Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is  honored to bestow the Shem Tov Award  to three extraordinary women on our 110th anniversary.  Each honoree generously gives her time, wisdom, and financial support. Their involvement in Jewish organizations, community service, education, and philanthropy enriches our synagogue and the world beyond.


Terry Kassel is an avid supporter of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and our Chofshi B’Manhattan program for Israelis. She is a trustee of the Paul E. Singer Foundation, chairman of the board of Start-Up Nation Central, and a board member of One Table, Onward Israel, and the Jewish Funders Network. Terry serves on the Management Committee of Elliott Management, where she is counsel and head of strategic human resources. Previously, she was global head of human resources and a member of the Operating Committee at Merrill Lynch.

Rhonda Steeg, a retired human resources professional, applied her unique skill of bringing people together while serving on our Board of Trustees, as well as the ECC Strategic Planning, Membership, and Caring Community Committees. She also co-chaired our Centennial Celebration. Rhonda is a member of the Chester Theatre Company Board and previously served on the Marymount College Alumni Board. Her greatest passion is the Greg Baker School that she built in a remote African village with her husband, friends, and family, in memory of her beloved son.

Jen Stone became involved at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue through our annual Early Childhood Center Auction when her two children attended the ECC. Many synagogue celebrations have been enhanced by Jen’s artistic talents, including our High Holy Days and spring benefits. Jen also served on the synagogue’s Long-Range Planning Committee. Together with her extended family she has traveled on synagogue missions to Israel and Eastern Europe, and served as a co-chair on one of the missions to Israel. Jen is the principal of Stonekelly Events, a floral and event design studio.