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, served 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. Stay connected to Rabbi Micah through:
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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Assistant Rabbi Bess Wohlner
Following her rabbinic ordination at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Los Angeles campus, Rabbi Bess Wohlner launched her rabbinate at Temple Israel in July of 2015. While at HUC, she opted to add a year to her studies in order to earn a Masters in Jewish Education in 2013. As a student, Rabbi Wohlner served many different communities including Congregation Havurim in Temecula, California; Congregation Aitz Chaim in Great Falls, Montana; and Temple Akiba in Culver City, California. Having lived in the Midwest, and on the East and West Coasts, Rabbi Wohlner looks forward to becoming a Southern Belle at last.
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.
Cantor Emeritus John M. Kaplan
Cantor Emeritus John M. Kaplan served as Cantor of Temple Israel from 1981 to 2014. As Cantor, he was a driving force behind both the adult and youth choirs and worked passionately to assist congregants in need as the clergy liaison to Temple's "God’s Unfinished Business." He is a member of the American Conference of Cantors and has served on its Executive Board and as Chair of the Committee on Ethics and Appeals. Cantor Emeritus Kaplan received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas, his Cantorial Certification and Investiture from HUC-JIR School of Sacred Music in New York, and his Master of Arts in Religion from Memphis Theological Seminary. In June 2015, he received Rabbinic Ordination from the Rabbinical Academy of America and now Rabbi-Cantor Kaplan serves as spiritual leader of Congregation B'nai Israel in Jackson, Tennessee. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and four grandchildren.