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JCV Clergy & Leadership

Rabbi Ben Shull

Rabbi Ben Shull and his wife Dr. Stacy Lang came to Venice a little over twenty years ago when the rabbi served as the High Holy Days rabbi of the JCV. They were living in Tampa, Florida, at the time and the rabbi was working as the Executive Director of the Tampa Jewish Family Services. Both Rabbi Shull and his wife fell in love with Venice and always hoped to return one day as residents.

Their life journey subsequently took them to several locations on the East Coast with stops in Virginia Beach, VA, Rivervale, NJ, and Rockville, MD, where Rabbi Shull served congregations in each community. Finally, in the fall of 2019, they decided to move to Sarasota County and, as luck would have it, Ben was able to fill the rabbinic vacancy here at the JCV.

The rabbi has a Masters Degree in Social Work and was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He loves teaching Judaism and guiding the JCV as it continues to build a supportive and welcoming Jewish community in this lovely part of the world.

Click here for a post-Israel trip message from the rabbi. 

Cantor Marci Vitkus

Marci Vitkus has served the JCV since October 5, 2001. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Sarasota in 1993. Coming from a career in Early Childhood Education background, cantorial singing was not in her life plan. But nonetheless, this job was presented to her at just the right time and a shidduch (match) was made. It is here in Sarasota that her husband, Andy, and she brought up their two children, Max and Sadie.

It is also here where she discovered she was from a long line of cantors. She knew of her father’s role as hazzan and choir director. She knew of her grandfather, Hyman Reznick, a pillar of the Chicago Jewish community. But she soon learned her cantorial lineage goes back possibly 17 generations. One of the things she hopes to do when she finds some spare time is to investigate a long line of shochets (ritual slaughterers) and shalliach tzibburim (prayer leaders) also in her lineage. For now, she loves being a part of the family life cycle events that occur in a synagogue: births, namings, anniversaries, b’nai mitzvahs. They all bring joy. Even being there for a family in their most difficult hours is a gift she treasures in the circle of life.

By far the best part of her job is leading the congregation in song. They smile, they sway, they feel the same deep connection to their heritage as she does. Music is a balm to the soul.

In October 2021, we celebrate 20 years with Cantor Marci!

Click here for more from Cantor Marci Vitkus


President  Eli R.
1st Vice President  Steve K.
2nd Vice President  Mardi S.
Secretary  Judy H.
Treasurer  Meg A.
Immediate Past President Harvey C.
Parliamentarian   Annette B,
Member at Large   Barbara K.
Member at Large   Deborah R.
Adult Learning    
Building and Grounds  Jeff W.
Membership  Nessa K.
Ritual  Susan L.
Ways and Means WaysandMeans@thejcv.or  Judy R.
Sisterhood Debbie J. 




Fri, December 2 2022 8 Kislev 5783