Temple Israel's clergy enjoys a proud legacy of involvement in the Memphis community, taking leadership roles in interfaith activities and on local agency boards. They are involved regionally and nationally in the work of the Union for Reform Judaism, as well as in their respective professional organizations, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the American Conference of Cantors, making Temple Israel recognized throughout the country.
Senior Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein
Rabbi Micah Greenstein has served Temple Israel since 1991, first as Assistant, then Associate, becoming Senior Rabbi in 2000. In 2012 and again in 2013, he was named as one of America's Top 50 Rabbis by Newsweek/The Daily Beast. In December of 2011, Rabbi Greenstein was awarded the Memphis City Council Humanitarian Award, and in February of 2012, he was awarded the Memphis Theological Seminary’s President’s Humanitarian Award. Rabbi Greenstein has been named by Memphis Magazine as one of the city's most significant leaders. He was selected to be the principal speaker for the State of Tennessee at the Washington National Cathedral in 2005. Rabbi Greenstein is a two-time President of the Memphis Ministers Association, is on the Executive Board of the National Civil Rights Museum, and is past-President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis, covering six states. A graduate of Cornell University and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, he studied and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He received his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters at the Los Angeles Campus of HUC-JIR. Rabbi Greenstein and his wife, Sheril, have three children.
Associate Rabbi Adam B. Grossman, R.J.E.
A graduate of The Ohio State University, and yes, a rabid follower of Buckeye sports, my route to becoming a rabbi was non-traditional. I spent time as a "man-on-the-street" for a radio station's morning show, a concert promoter, marketing coordinator, and a surfer and bartender exploring Australia. Each position and experience was dependent on developing partnerships and maintaining relationships, and this passion for building connections ultimately led me to and has defined my rabbinate.
Since becoming a rabbi at Temple Israel in Memphis in 2008, I am inspired by the words of the English novelist, E.M. Forster, "Only connect!" I find myself constantly seeking to break old paradigms with cutting-edge ways to engage Jews of all ages with Judaism whether it's capitalizing on the advantages of social media, developing an HGTV-esque "How-to" Jewish video series, working with Teach for America Jewish fellows, or coaching and mentoring teenagers in alternative Jewish ways such as the Ragin' Rabbis' boys and girls' basketball teams. This passion, centered upon rethinking out-dated models and being an innovative Jewish thinker, has lead to the design of the URJ Belin Award winner, "Community Six Pack" and the creation of the nationally recognized TI Fellowship. Yet, while creativity and relationship building excite me, it's being a husband to my wife, Amy, and a father to my two daughters, Zohara and Lyla, that I find most rewarding in life.
Associate Rabbi Katie M. Bauman
Rabbi Katie Bauman was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on June 6, 2009 and began with Temple in July of 2009. Rabbi Bauman is a graduate of Washington University, where she majored in Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies. She also received a Master of Education Administration with a Specialization in Jewish Education from Xavier University. Rabbi Bauman served pulpits in Natchez, Mississippi, Marion, Ohio, and served as cantorial soloist at Northwestern University Hillel and the Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati. She worked at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, D.C., the Anti-Defamation League, the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, and Washington Hebrew Congregation, and was Temple's Artist and Educator in Residence in 2002-2003. Rabbi Bauman and her husband, Adam Eckstein, have two children.
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Cantor John M. Kaplan
Cantor John Kaplan arrived in Memphis in 1981 to serve as Cantor of Temple Israel. In addition to his work with the Adult Choir, the Youth Choir and the "Klez-Maniacs!" band, which he created, Cantor Kaplan is the clergy liaison to Temple's committee on congregational caring, God’s Unfinished Business. He has served as Secretary on the Executive Board and Chair of the Committee on Ethics and Appeals of the American Conference of Cantors. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas. Cantor Kaplan trained with Cantor Joseph Cycowski in Palm Springs, California, and Cantor William Sharlin, member of the faculty of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, California. He received Cantorial Certification and Investiture from the Board of Cantorial Certification of the HUC-JIR School of Sacred Music in New York. He holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Memphis Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and one granddaughter.
Rabbi Emeritus Harry K. Danziger
Rabbi Emeritus Harry K. Danziger served as Assistant, Associate, and then Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel from 1978 to 2000. He was selected by Memphis Magazine as one of "Who’s Who in Memphis" and continues to be active in our congregation and in the Memphis community. Rabbi Danziger has been President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the conference of Reform/Liberal/Progressive Rabbis in North America and beyond. He is a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and serves on the boards of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi Danziger is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity at Rhodes College in 1984 and at HUC-JIR in 1989. He and his wife, Jeanne, have three children and three grandchildren.