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. 

Rabbi Elana Perry
Director of Family Engagement

Rabbi Elana Perry joined the Wise Temple staff in August 2016 as the Director of Family Engagement. She is passionate about Jewish learning and is experienced in building strong community connections to empower individuals and families and help them to deepen their sense of Jewish identity.

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  • Rabbi Perry grew up in Huntington Woods, MI. She earned her college degree from Duke University, where she majored in Religion, minored in Women’s Studies, and earned a certificate in Judaic Studies. Following graduation she worked as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C., where, reflecting her interest in social justice issues, she monitored Federal legislation, represented Reform Jews on Capitol Hill and planned programs for student social justice conferences.
    Rabbi Perry attended the Jerusalem and Los Angeles campuses of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. While in rabbinic school, she served as student rabbi and rabbinic intern for congregations in Big Bear, CA, Tarzana, CA, and Vancouver, BC. She also served as a rabbinic intern at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago and as a chaplain at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. She was a recipient of a Wexner Graduate Fellowship, and was ordained in May 2007.
    Rabbi Perry served as Assistant and Associate Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Atlanta, GA from 2007-2016, embracing the full range of rabbinic responsibilities, and demonstrating particular passions for education, community building, women’s programming, and social justice initiatives. She is excited to apply her years of experience and a fresh perspective to the work of community engagement at Wise Temple.
    Rabbi Perry is married to Dr. Craig Perry, Assistant Professor in the Judaic Studies Department at the University of Cincinnati. They are the proud parents of two children, Lilah and Asher.

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.

Ben Pagliaro
Director of Youth Engagement

Ben Pagliaro grew up in Long Island, New York. He began his Jewish journey attending URJ Eisner Camp in the Berkshires where he learned to be a Songleader (someone who leads worship and Song Sessions with the guitar). This passion extended beyond his three summers working at Camp into Hillel at the University of Delaware. 

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  • During his study, he worked part-time as a Songleader for Congregation Beth Emeth, and as a music teacher for a private Jewish school (Albert Einstein Academy) in Wilmington. After graduating with a BM in Music Theory, he spent one year working at Larchmont Temple in West Chester, New York. He has also served as Songleader for NFTY in Israel as well as Camp Mountain Chai in Southern California. He is thrilled to be working at Wise Temple and partnering up this position with URJ GUCI Camp in the Summer.

Andrea Rapp

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

​I've worked in many capacities during my years at Wise Temple. Currently, I manage the Temple's website and other technology.

Cindy Schroeder
Accounting Manager

As one of seven kids, I enjoy spending quality time with family. Ask me about any sporting event - I’m a fan of them all, especially football and baseball. ​

Support Staff

Heather Spegal
Assistant to Executive Director
Executive Director Support, Facilities Rentals and Set Up, Memorial Plaques, Adult Learning Support.

I like being the first to greet people who come into the office. There are so many nice people in this congregation. When I’m not at Wise, you’ll find me tending to my large garden of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Michael J. Freeman
Digital Marketing Assistant 
Email. Social Media. 

Family is incredibly important to me, and I’m happy to be part of the Wise Temple Family. When not working, I love spending time with my own family – My wife and five year old twins.

Terri Snavely
Education Administrative Assistant
All things related to Religious School.

I love kids. It’s that simple. I love them all - from my three amazing grandkids to the wonderful kids I’ve come to know during my 17 years at Wise Temple. Everything I do here is with our kids’ best interest in mind.

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 
Celia Tinsley

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