It is my pleasure to introduce Jimmy Maloney, TBE’s Head Custodian since August 2021, when he remembers being met immediately with friendly faces and helpful hands. He likes how family-oriented we are and how we care for one another. Jimmy enjoys seeing and getting to know our clergy and all the staff who work alongside each other. Jimmy lives in Lindenhurst with his wife of 33 years, Rosemarie. They have 3 daughters, Caitlin (who lives in Florida), Marissa and Kristina who live with them. He has 2 granddaughters, Mia Rose (5 years old) and Giovanna (2 years old). If you ever hear Jimmy talking about these little ladies, you can tell how devoted he is to them and living in a ‘house full of ladies!’ Before coming to Temple Beth El, Jimmy was the assistant grounds and maintenance person for the Lindenhurst School District. He worked there for 25 years before retiring and coming to us. How lucky are we that Jimmy decided to keep working! Jimmy is an enthusiastic volunteer fireman in Lindenhurst and is now their Captain, a prestigious position he takes very seriously, spending many hours at the firehouse. As Jimmy says, the firehouse guys have always been there for him and “they saved me!” Jimmy is a big Rangers fan and also does Fire Matic racing. I didn’t know what that was either, but it’s like go-cart racing and requires some expertise. Jimmy is the firehouse’s bartender, a skill many of you might be interested in exploring with Jimmy the next time you see him. Finally, Jimmy loves his Irish roots and has been to Ireland a few times visiting family and many sites. He loves the quiet of the countryside, and feels like he’s home when he’s there. He loves “The Abbey “area, which Jimmy speaks of being life-changing, particularly exploring the tombstones in the graveyard. We’re fortunate to have Jimmy and we’ve all benefitted from our conversations with him as well as his smile, laughter and his “can do” attitude.
Talking to Harold Simmons was a special experience and I hope you enjoy learning about his journey to TBE. Along the way, he had many jobs ranging from working for FEMA in the Parks and Recreation program doing cleaning jobs. He worked at the Hotel Roadway Inn as a custodian for 5 years. At this time, he was living at a sober house in Huntington Station along with 17 other men, which is how he met Carol Werblin, since she regularly brought them food. She was also working on delivering furniture for the “Give and Receive” program; they asked Harold if he would help them deliveries, and with the deliveries and he did. Once he created this special relationship with Carol and others on that project, they were able to help Harold move into his own apartment. Six years ago, with Carol’s recommendation, Harold interviewed for the position as a part time custodian, which he sees as a pivotal change in his life and an opportunity he feels lucky to have. He started out working part time at night and continued to work days at the Inn. When a former custodian left, Eric Tenner asked Harold if he would like to work full time during the day. He enjoyed all the people and felt the support of the staff and all the volunteers who regularly come into the temple. He liked how friendly everyone was to him how they made him feel so welcomed. He has worked hard at our temple and feels it’s like family, especially with Irma and Lisa. Irma, he says, reminds him of his Nana. One of Harold’s favorite hobbies is watching old Westerns on TV, especially Gunsmoke. He also loves animals and has had a Siamese cat named Mackenzie for 7 ½ years, since adopting her from the North Shore Animal Shelter. Harold has been sober for 25 years and is very proud of all he has accomplished over the last 6 years with the help and support of many temple partners. Harold hopes to retire in a few years, as he recently turned 65! He hopes to move to Georgia or South Carolina, where his family lives. But for now, Harold has no plans to leave us. You might notice that Harold hasn’t been around the temple lately: he is awaiting cataract surgery. We wish him well and a speedy recovery!
Our newest and youngest custodian is Darrell Thomas. He actually grew up in Huntington and went to Huntington High School, as did his 2 younger brothers. Darrell began working for Temple Beth El on January 19th 2023 on his 31st birthday! He was so impressed that Lisa and the staff got him a birthday cake on his first day of work. He felt so appreciated, like he was joining a family. “I feel so lucky being here, everyone is welcoming and kind.” His parents moved to Alabama with their three boys after they all graduated high school but although the weather was good, Darrell didn’t really like it, and says he especially missed the local pizza. In Alabama, he worked for a carpet cleaning company, becoming familiar with custodial work. His brother Dante stayed in Alabama and works in construction. His brother Darnell also moved back to Huntington and works as a painter. When Darrell moved back to Huntington, he moved in with his Aunt Linda, a retired Huntington School District employee. He was working for Door Dash until he saw the job posting for the custodial position at Temple Beth El. Eric Tenner and Stephanie Kellerman interviewed him and they were very impressed. Darrell was happy to accept the evening and weekend hours that were offered. We all enjoy seeing Darrell’s bright smile whenever we come to Shabbat services or evening meetings. We really appreciate his enthusiastic attitude during the Thanksgiving Dinner that served approximately 200 guests and during so many of our events. Darrell’s hobbies include listening to R&B and hip-hop, especially the instrumentals. He enjoys playing basketball and played for St. Hugh’s. Darrell enjoys watching sports on TV; in case you want to talk sports with him, you should know he is a Yankees and Knicks fan. One of his favorite outdoor activities is to go fishing in Northport. If he catches anything good, he enjoys cooking and eating it. Darrell is presently working during the day while Harold is on his leave. We’re lucky to have him and hope he stays for a LONG time!