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Professional Staff

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 Education & Youth Engagement - Danny Kraft

Danny Kraft moved to Memphis after receiving his master's degree in Jewish Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and he holds a bachelor's degree from the great books program at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland.

As a Teach for America corps member, Danny was a middle school special education teacher for two years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then served for a year as Director of Education at Tulsa's Congregation B'nai Emunah. He is passionate about lifelong Jewish learning, and has studied at New York City's Yeshivat Hadar, at the Tikvah Fund at Princeton University, and through a creative writing residency at the National Yiddish Book Center. He has also spent time in Krakow, Poland, researching Jewish life and leading educational programs for the Galicia Jewish Museum. He is particularly excited about Yiddish culture and hisory, Hasidic thought, Jewish literature, and Jewish contemplative practices.

In his free time, Danny enjoys reading, writing, hiking, rock climbing, and training the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He moved to Memphis with his fiancee, Brittany, who teaches sixth grade at the St. George's Independent School.

Danny would love to connect with you, and is eager to talk about Jewish life and learning, good books, and more. Please reach out to Danny by email  - he looks forward to getting to know you.

 

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.

Wed, September 19 2018 10 Tishrei 5779