Temple Beth-El’s Shema magazine cover from spring 2023 won a Best Cover Design award from the Press Club of Long Island (Image from Temple Beth-El)

Temple Beth-El’s Magazine Awarded

By Sheri ArbitalJacoby

Temple Beth-El of Great Neck’s Shema magazine won another award from the Press Club of Long Island chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, in the 2024 PCLI Media Awards competition on Thursday, June 13. Designer Hallie ArbitalJacoby was awarded third place for Best Magazine Cover Design for the collage of famous faces featured on the spring 2023 edition, spotlighting What Makes Us Special? Hallie is a Wheatley High School graduate and Ithaca College graduate. 

The issue’s lead story, “Our Famous Members” by Managing Editor Sheri ArbitalJacoby, discusses the countless successes of its congregants during the past 95 years as Great Neck’s first synagogue. Some of the people highlighted include actor Andy Kaufman and director Bruce Paltrow, who became bar mitzvah at Temple Beth-El; Morrie Yohai, the mastermind behind Cheez Doodles; and Mets owner Steven Cohen.

“When she was born, Hallie’s picture was featured in the editor’s note of Working Mother magazine, where I worked as managing editor for 25 years,” said the designer’s mother and Shema’s managing editor, Sheri ArbitalJacoby. “From the very beginning, Hallie was exposed to magazine creation when she visited me at work. Maybe that sparked her interest in design. In any event, it’s been a joy collaborating on Temple Beth-El’s Shema magazine, where I am thoroughly impressed by her creativity—and I am so proud that the judges were, too.”

The award-winning cover was for the first of three Shema issues Hallie contributed to Temple Beth-El. 

“I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to step in as designer, let alone have my creativity recognized on my very first issue,” beamed Hallie. “It’s been a pleasure to bring the stories from the Temple Beth-El community to life. It’s especially rewarding working on a small but mighty team, where we’ve built a collaborative professional relationship—in addition to a well-established personal relationship—over the course of several issues.”

What makes Hallie’s contributions even more impressive is that graphic design is currently only a freelance endeavor. What she lacks in time, she makes up for in diligence and passion. 

Hallie is a budding professional and jack-of-all-trades in the communications and design fields. Beyond graphic design, she has a breadth of knowledge within the disciplines of event coordination, project management, strategic planning, art direction, UX/UI design, instructional design, integrated marketing, social media management and more. 

By day, Hallie channels her creativity into a different medium—events. Working as both an event coordinator and graphic designer allows her to flex different muscles that complement and challenge each other.

“I love working with a variety of clients, but it’s particularly fulfilling to build a relationship and grow with an organization over the course of many projects,” said Hallie. “I look forward to seeing how we continue to evolve future issues of Shema magazine.”

Last year, Temple Beth-El congregant, high school English teacher and musical theater lyricist Len Schiff won third place from the Press Club of Long Island in the Narrative Arts category for his story “Super Chutzpah: Talking Comics and Jews with Michael Freeman,” which appeared in Temple Beth-El’s fall 2022 Shema magazine. 

To get the inside scoop about Jews and comics—and Jews in comics—Schiff spoke with industry vet and Temple Beth-El member Michael Freeman. Their conversation focused on the creators behind the comics Freeman loved, which ignited a lifelong fascination that led to a publishing career at Marvel, DC Comics and Disney. 

In 2021, Shema magazine also won the Press Club of Long Island’s third place award in the Best Magazine category for the winter and fall 2020 editions. The award was granted to Managing Editor Sheri ArbitalJacoby, Editor Len Schiff and Executive Director Stuart Botwinick. 

Shema magazine’s managing editor also won two other 2021 PCLI awards in the Health category. First place was awarded for The Immunity Series and third place for “Plant-Based Eating for Better Family Health” in The Well by Northwell. She previously won two first place awards from PCLI for Best Travel Article and Best Health and Science Reporting in a Magazine.

PCLI is the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi. The award-winning cover, article and issues can be viewed under the News tab on the temple’s website at

The peninsula’s oldest synagogue, founded in 1928, has served the community for more than 95 years. To learn more about Temple Beth-El, visit, email [email protected] or call 516-487-0900.

Sheri ArbitalJacoby is the Communications Specialist of Temple Beth-El

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