Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass
Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass is the Senior Rabbi of Isaac M. Wise Temple of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has spent his entire rabbinate of thirty-four years. Rabbi Kamrass is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia in Sociology and Psychology, with a Master of Hebrew Letters and Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, as well as recipient of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. He served for 25 years as an Instructor in the Theology Department of Xavier University and as adjunct faculty at Hebrew Union College.
In the national Reform movement, Rabbi Kamrass currently serves as a Board Member of HUC-JIR and as the President-Elect and Board member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the 2100-member international body of Reform Rabbis. He was involved in the creation of the Reform movement’s two newest prayer books, serving on the CCAR's Mishkan HaNefesh Editorial advisory committee, the Mishkan T’fillah Editorial team, and has also compiled Wise Temple’s congregational prayer book, Avodat HaLev. He was also a member of the CCAR's 1999 Statement of Principles committee, on several committees, and served as Vice-President of the CCAR.
In the broader local community, Rabbi Kamrass has also served on the Boards of: Cincinnati Pre-School Promise, the Cincinnati Jewish Federation, Cincinnati Board of Rabbis, Cincinnati Jewish Community Relations Council, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, American Red Cross Cincinnati Chapter, Hospice of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Community Action Now, Family Services of Cincinnati and other community organizations. He has been active in local social action endeavors including establishing synagogue and Jewish community involvement in soup kitchens and homeless shelters and maintaining that involvement for nearly 30 years. He has helped lead the growth and development of Wise Temple’s endowment fund and Plum Street Temple Historic Preservation Fund, as well been deeply involved in the ongoing preservation and maintenance of the historic Plum Street Temple.
Rabbi Kamrass is married to Renee Slotin Kamrass of Atlanta and they are the proud parents of three children and four wonderful grandchildren.
Rabbi Karen R. Thomashow
Rabbi Karen Thomashow is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts. She attended college at Brandeis University, where she majored in sociology and minored in social policy and Near Eastern and Judaic studies. Rabbi Thomashow earned her rabbinic ordination at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) here in Cincinnati, where she wrote a thesis entitled, “A Lily and an Apple: A History of Jewish Interpretation to the Song of Songs.” During her years at HUC-JIR, she worked as a rabbinic intern at Wise Temple in 2006-2007.
From 2007 to 2013, Rabbi Thomashow was an assistant and then an associate rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Canada. While there she served on the boards of ARZA Canada, the Women’s Rabbinic Network, the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto, and URJ Camp George. In addition, she was a part of the leadership team for the URJ's Campaign for Youth Engagement.
In 2013, Rabbi Thomashow returned to Cincinnati to join the rabbinic staff of Wise. In addition to leadership in the areas of young family engagement, adult education, and B'nai Mitzvah preparation, she is pleased to participate in the breadth of life and programming at Wise Temple. Outside our organization, she currently serves as the rabbinic co-chair of NOAM, the North American Association of Reform Mohelim.
Rabbi Thomashow is married to Yonatan Eyal, a historian of nineteenth-century America who is from the San Francisco Bay Area. They are the parents of Alma and Ethan.
Rabbi Michael E. Danziger
Rabbi Danziger is a native of Memphis, TN, where his father served as Rabbi at the Reform Congregation, Temple Israel. Upon graduating from The University of Texas with a degree in Organizational Communication and Leadership, he became the assistant director of the URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp (our sister camp) in Utica, MS for several years. He then returned to Memphis and to Temple Israel where he was the Youth and Family Life Director for five years, before working for several years in property management and on the side as a professional stand-up comic. Realizing his passion for Jewish life and fostering Jewish identity for others, he decided to pursue the rabbinate and entered Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and then Cincinnati.
- With his rich background in youth, teaching, informal education, music, and congregational life, Rabbi Danziger brings rich experience and many talents. During his time in Cincinnati at HUC, he worked at Rockwern Academy, and taught religious school in several congregations, including the Reform Jewish High School Program, Kulanu. He served several student pulpits throughout the Midwest and Cincinnati Hillel. He also served as a Rabbinic Fellow for Temple Sholom.
- Rabbi Michael Danziger is married to Rabbi Lindsey Danziger. They have just welcomed their third child.
- Rabbi Danziger says he loves Wise Temple for many reasons, including “It’s rich history and its innovative look toward the future, the great teens I’ve met and worked with, the highly regarded clergy and staff, and the passionate members and leadership.” He hopes to “help make Wise Temple a place where even people of all ages can engage in the richness of Jewish life, and are comfortable taking advantage of all the ways to learn, pray, and connect.”
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