Senior Staff

Sally Harding Schott
Executive Director

Sally joined Wise Temple’s senior staff in 2016. Sally brings many years of experience in finance, human resources, events and facilities management both in the non-profit and for-profit arenas, which she applys to her role as Executive Director. As a lifelong member of Wise Temple, Sally values her relationships with the Rabbis, staff, and congregation, and looks forward to building many new relationships at Wise in the years to come.

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  • Sally grew up in Cincinnati. She received a B.A. in Economics from Williams College, moving back to the Cincinnati area after some time in Boston, so that her children could grow up near their grandparents. Sally has a passion for the martial arts, having achieved third degree black belt in Taekwondo and taught both Taekwondo and self defense for many years. Sally is married to Tom Schott and has three sons, who also grew up at Wise Temple, and three stepdaughters.

Kari Fagin
Director of Member Engagement and Communication

Kari joined Senior Staff in 2015 after over 20 years as a Wise Temple member and active volunteer. Kari wears many hats at Wise Temple, all with the goal of helping congregants feel more engaged. Every day she asks how should we communicate?, who should be involved?, what is our goal?, how will we gain feedback?, how will we determine success?

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  • During her fifteen years as a Facilitator and Organization Development professional in the for-profit world, Kari played key roles in Performance Management, Leadership Development, and Coaching for a global company. Her experience taught her that the keys to success are relationship building, communication, goal setting, planning, and recognition.
  • As a mom of two young adults, Anna and Jacob, who grew up at Wise Temple, Kari is passionate about the Jewish community. Without a doubt, Kari believes the best part of her job is working with the bright and passionate congregants of this Temple.
  • Kari grew up in Indiana and is a graduate of Indiana University, where she met her husband, Dan, who also works as a Jewish community professional. When she’s not at Wise Temple, you’ll find her peering at her family through the lens of her camera, capturing those precious moments. 

Professional Staff

Courtney Anthony
Religious School Director

Courtney brings a warm spirit, a passion for Jewish education, and a wealth of experience to this role. She comes to us from Temple Emanuel in Winston Salem, NC, where she served as the Director of Education. Prior to that, Courtney served as the Principal for grades 7-12 at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA, a large congregation similar in size to ours.  

Joining the Wise Temple team will be a sort of homecoming for Courtney, as she spent three years teaching religious school at Wise Temple while she was pursuing a Masters degree at Xavier University. Courtney starts this summer and will report to Elana Perry, Director of Family Engagement.


Alex Burte
Membership and Program Manager

Alex Burte is a lifelong Wise Temple member and a fervent supporter of the Jewish community. He has been in numerous Jewish leadership roles where he has focused on actively engaging people in Jewish life. He considers his Judaism to be the most formative part of his identity.

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  • Alex comes to us from Alpha Epsilon Pi National organization after a brief stint in sales. He is interested in the individual traits that every congregant brings to the table and channeling those traits to create a vibrant community. Alex attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he received B.A.s in Psychology and Philosophy.  He was recruited to North Carolina to participate on their Division 1 fencing team.  He also serves as the assistant coach at the Queen City Fencers Club.
  • When Alex isn’t busy working or traveling the world with his fencing students, he enjoys playing chess, reading classic literature, and exploring nature, art, and music.

Robyn Friend
Interim Family Engagement Coordinator

Robyn is excited to join the Wise Temple staff as the Interim Family Engagement Coordinator. One of the aspects she loves most about Wise is the emphasis placed on relationships, and in this role she hopes to contribute to the meaningful programs connecting families to this special community. 

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  • Robyn has spent her career in various aspects of Jewish education. Prior to joining Wise, she was the Director of Education at the Valley Temple Religious School, and before relocating to Cincinnati she was the School Counselor at The Davis Academy, Atlanta’s Reform Jewish Day School. There, she helped develop each student’s academic and social/emotional learning, while fostering their Jewish identity. Further, she provided regular consultation and education to both teachers and parents to ensure student success. Additionally, Robyn has spent time teaching in Xavier University’s counseling graduate program.
  • She holds a Masters and Specialist degree in Education and holds licensure in mental health counseling, specializing in children and families.  Along with her husband, Scott, and their two sons, Jordan and Joshua, Robyn loves the Wise community and is eager to join the staff in this meaningful role.

Rhys Ivan
Director of Youth Engagement

Rhys grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a member of Suburban Temple Kol-Ami, and the NFTY-North East Lakes region. He spent his summers attending Goldman Union Camp Institute as a camper, and went on to become a counselor, song leader, and music specialist. Rhys graduated from Ohio University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Choral Music Education, and he enjoys singing almost as much as he enjoys teaching. In his spare time, Rhys enjoys hiking, camping, and stargazing, and he looks forward to joining the Wise Temple community!


Andrea Rapp
Librarian 

I often introduce myself as the lucky person who gets to be our Temple’s librarian. Lucky because we have one of the largest synagogue libraries in the land, with wonderful support from our rabbis and members.

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  • My family has belonged to Wise Temple since we moved to Cincinnati in 1979. That family now includes two baby granddaughters.
  • I have Master’s degrees in history and library science, have taught history in public school and here in our religious school, and was a day school librarian. You can see why I think being the Wise Temple Librarian is the perfect position for me. Sharing a love of Jewish history and literature with children and adults at Wise Temple is hardly what I’d call “work.”

​Stephanie Rozakis
Young Family Engagement Assistant

Stephanie and her family are fully engaged in the Wise Temple community. Stephanie believes that Wise Temple’s programming and warm welcoming community is what helped her family adjust beautifully to their move to Cincinnati in 2016. She is passionate about helping others engage in Temple life and about supporting others as they choose their Jewish path.

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  • Originally from New Jersey, Stephanie attended the University of Delaware, where she majored in Elementary and Special Education. Stephanie loves to learn and instills that lifelong love of learning in all of her students.
  • When Stephanie is not in the classroom, she enjoys working out, reading, and scrapbooking. Her family (husband, Jim, and three children) is her pride and joy. Their weeks are busy with Krav Maga, gymnastics, swimming, and school but special family time is always set aside for Shabbat.
  • Stephanie connects and welcome families who are new to Jewish engagement or new to Cincinnati, helping them meet other young Jewish families and try out the variety of Wise Temple activities. She’s looking forward to meeting young families interested in a warm, fun and engaging Jewish and social community!

 

Meryl Gruber
Education Coordinator

Nina Kieffer
Public Relations and Communications Coodinator

Jenny Schaffzin
Information Technology Manager

Cindy Schroeder
Accounting Manager

Support Staff

Heather Spegal
Assistant to Executive Director

Michael J. Freeman
Digital Marketing Assistant 

Terri Snavely
Education Administrative Assistant

Luana Heinemeyer
Executive Assistant to Senior Rabbi
Scherrie Wabbington
Bookkeeping Assistant
Tonya Perkins
Administrative Assistant
Dr. Michael Unger
Music Director

Building Staff 

Matt Rice
Facilities Superintendent
Mike Williams 
Custodian
Celia Tinsley
Custodian
Jasmine Ford
Custodian
 
 

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513-793-2556 or welcome@wisetemple.org