Mark Gruensfelder, Portfolio Trustee

My wife Beverly and I have been members of MRT since the early 90’s, having joined when our sons Paul and Lee reached school age. We have lived in the same house in Tinton Falls for almost 35 years, within
theoretical walking distance to MRT (although we never have actually walked). My professional background is an electrical engineer, designing and managing the design of telecommunications equipment for AT&T Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies. I then had a 12 year stint leading the technical aspects of a small custom software company before re-joining AT&T as a software project manager five years ago.

I was completely uninvolved in MRT activities until around 1999 when Beverly and I attended the monthly B’Nai Mitzvah classes that Rabbi Priesand ran. These were intended for both the students and the parents, and occurred on Saturdays and often included attending a service, having lunch together, then followed family-fun exercises. One of the byproducts is that Bev and I made some lasting friends during that year, which ended up being a gateway to our further participation in temple events. (It didn’t hurt that Bev was an MRT Religious School teacher at that time so she already knew quite a few people.) I then took the next step of attending a couple of Brotherhood functions(yes, Men’s Club was called Brotherhood at that time). After one of them, a long-standing Brotherhood leader Don Leeds invited me to immediately become Brotherhood President! After wondering what circumstances would lead Don to ask someone he didn’t really know, I said yes – at which point I became fully engaged in temple activities. I served two years as Brotherhood President, several years as MRT Treasurer, a couple of years as Vice President, and then four years as MRT President. After taking a break, I returned to the Board as Recording Secretary, my current position. While each of these roles was challenging in their own way, they also were rewarding; I made many friends and and will always have a feeling of accomplishment with my little piece of MRT history.