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Meet Us

Rabbi Sarit Horwitz

Rabbi Sarit Horwitz is thrilled to be in Memphis as she joins the Beth Sholom community. She is moving to Memphis from New York City, where she served as the Senior Rabbinic Fellow at B’nai Jeshurun, a large synagogue with strong emphases on music, prayer, and justice work. Rabbi Sarit began there as an intern while she was still in Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and she continued on full-time for two years following her ordination. In addition to standard rabbinic functions, in her time at BJ, Rabbi Sarit managed the conversion program and taught an Introduction to Judaism course, developed and engaged the community in extensive holiday programming, taught text classes, and grew the young professionals population. She learned a tremendous amount from this huge, 1700-family community, and is excited to be in the much smaller, more homey community of Beth Sholom.


Rabbi Sarit completed her undergraduate studies in the joint program between Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary with degrees in Psychology and Midrash. Concurrent with her ordination, Rabbi Sarit received a Master’s degree in Jewish Women and Gender Studies. She also served as the Rabbinic Intern at Yale University’s Hillel and completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Bellevue Hospital.


Having grown up in Kansas City, Rabbi Sarit attended Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and is a Jewish summer camp enthusiast. In her free time, she loves biking, cooking (and browsing the New York Times cooking app), and reading. She moves to Memphis with her husband, Rabbi Abe Schacter-Gampel, who will be in a chaplaincy residency program at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.


Rabbi Sarit is excited to get to know all of you, and hopes that you will reach out to connect over a cup of coffee or a good book.


Executive Director - Geo Poor

Geo Poor joined the Beth Sholom community in 2015 as Executive Director. He is a longtime youth educator in the Conservative movement, having worked for USY, Ramah, and Schechter for much of his adult life. He recently received a Certificate of Jewish Studies from the Pardes Experiential Educators Program and both an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership and an MBA in Non-Profit Management from the Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership. In addition to running the business of the synagogue, Geo teaches classes on Kabbalah, spirituality, meditation, and other Jewish topics.

Geo is a guitarist, bassist, and percussionist, a vegetarian foodie, an off-and-on practitioner of yoga, and a rabbit enthusiast. He enjoys Jewish texts, particularly those relating to spirituality, theology, and Kabbalah. After 14 years in Massachusetts, he is thoroughly enjoying the winters in Memphis.

Geo invites anyone to stop by his office for a chat about the synagogue, Judaism, life, music, or anything else. Feel free to contact Geo by email.


Director of Congregational Learning & Programming - Elana Moss

Elana Moss moved to Memphis from Florida where she was involved in Jewish Education for many years.

Elana is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University with a B.A. in Holocaust & Judaic Studies and a Certificate in Ethnic Studies. She will be completing her M.A. in Jewish Education, via distance learning through the Davidson School of Jewish Education, at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Elana has a great passion for education, Judaism, and Israel. She has traveled to Israel several times with family, Birthright, JTS, and twice with the March of the Living. Elana is passionate about teaching others Jewish History, especially as it relates to Israel, and the importance of Israel for the future of the Jewish people.

After spending her entire life in Florida, Elana is truly looking forward to experiencing four seasons and the opportunity of meeting the members of our Beth Sholom family, while making Memphis home.  Reach out to Elana to discuss the wonderful programs and educational opportunities she is planning.


Office Administrative Assistant - Cheryl Strong

Cheryl has been part of the Beth Sholom family since 2003. Her smiling face and warm disposition greet each member or guest who walks in Beth Sholom's front door. She is also often the first voice you hear when you call the synagogue office. When Cheryl is not answering phones, making copies or preparing mailings, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family. You should feel free to contact Cheryl Strong.


Kitchen Supervisor - Claudia Burkins

Beth Sholom just wouldn't feel like home without Claudia here to whip up her Saturday Kiddush luncheons or fry up her famous fried chicken. She has been part of the Beth Sholom family longer than most of our members, as she joined our staff in 1963. In addition to taking care of Beth Sholom's culinary needs, Claudia also works as a private caterer, so it is likely that you have enjoyed her food at a recent Bar Mitzvah, wedding or bris. Claudia stays busy with her seven children, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren when she is not in the Beth Sholom kitchen.

Fri, April 20 2018 5 Iyyar 5778