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The Venture Awards are a new and unique opportunity for Cincinnati teens. This launch party will introduce what the awards are and how you can apply for up to $5,000 to turn your ideas for events, programs and activities into a reality. You can apply independently, with friends or with preexisting organizations and youth groups. This event is open to all high school age teens.

We want Cincy teens to think outside of the box, live in the moment, and really think about and enjoy what they are doing before they graduate from high school. Which leads me to my next point: the theme for the party is Think B.I.G. (before I graduate). At the party, you can expect live music, make-it-yourself food stations with: nachos, s’mores, ice cream sandwiches, popcorn and Arnold Palmer bars (just to name a few, all kosher), TED Talk style speakers, and a chance to win Snapchat Spectacles or a $100 Amazon gift card (must be present to win). I highly recommend attending!

If you have any questions, please contact rmyers@mayersonjcc.org



Rabbi David has been the Director of Kulanu since 2003 and has been a guest lecturer in the Tri-State area on topics of Jewish Mysticism, War in Judaism, Jewish Meditation, Parenting, Issues of Adolescent Masculinity in the Classroom, Sports Psychology and Coaching, Sacred Drumming, and Prayer. He has presented and help lead numerous youth programs and retreats . He also served as Rabbi Educator at Temple Beth Or in Dayton from 2001-2015.

He is a certified Bridges Transition Counselor, trained at Harvard in their mediation and negotiation program and has been part of peace missions to the Middle East and Northern Ireland . An experiential educator he has taught at both public and private high schools and lectured extensively in colleges and graduate programs across the country.and has worked in adolescent education for 27 years.

Rabbi David has played the hand-drum and studied meditation for more than 20 years, holds two black belts in martial arts and is working on his third in Krav Maga serving as an instructor. He has also coached youth, high school, prep school and college club lacrosse. But his greatest joy comes from his wife Elizabeth and his three children Emma Rose, Coby Matan, and Nadia Bess.


Dori Singer is originally from Phoenix, Arizona, and excited to be part of the Kulanu Staff!  She grew up very involved in her Jewish community going to Religious School, spending summers at camp, and participating in youth group on local, regional, and national levels.  While in college, she continued to stay active in the Jewish community while studying Nonprofit Leadership & Management and Youth Service Leadership at Arizona State Univesity.  Dori's passion for Jewish youth engagement followed her to Cincinnati with her fiancé, Austin, where she is excited to be working not just at Kulanu, but also as the Youth Advisor at Temple Sholom and as the Program Coordinator for the Cincinnati Jewish Teen Collective and Hebrew Union College's Youth Professionals Training Program.  Aside from Jewish youth work, she also enjoys photography, going on adventures outdoors, and eating tacos!



Rabbi Sigma Faye Coran, Rockdale Temple, has served as the senior rabbi of K. K.Bene Israel/ Rockdale Temple since 2004. She has previously served Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Massachusetts and the Jewish Community of Williams College. Rabbi Coran is a graduate of Tufts University and was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1993. Rabbi Coran is married to Rabbi Matthew Kraus and they have four children.


Rabbi Michael Danziger is the new assistant rabbi at Wise Temple. He was ordained from HUC-JIR this past spring. While in rabbinical school, Michael interned at Temple Sholom and with HUC's national office of recruitment and admissions. He has taught at Valley Temple and Rockdale Temple, and at Kulanu for three years, offering electives in Jewish Comedy, comparative religion, and ethical decision-making. He went to the University of Texas at Austin and still loves the Longhorns, and is an award-winning stand-up comic.


Rabbi Lewis H. Kamrass is the Senior Rabbi of Isaac M. Wise Temple. He 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 in Cincinnati, as well as a D. D. degree (doctor of divinity, honoris causa). He has served for twenty-four years as Instructor in the Theology Department of Xavier University teaching undergraduates, and as adjunct faculty at Hebrew Union College teaching rabbinical students. And he has been a faculty member of Kulanu/Cincinnati Reform Jewish High School since its inception in 1983.

Rabbi Kamrass serves as a member of Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and as a member of Hebrew Union College's President's Rabbinic Council and Rabbinic Board of Alumni Overseers. He has been active as well in the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the international association of Reform Rabbis, having served on its Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. He has served on the CCAR's Youth Committee, Nominating Committee and Patrilineal Descent Task Force. He was honored to be selected as one of a dozen rabbis to compose the "Statement of Principles" adopted in 1999 as the Reform rabbinate's platform of beliefs, and to have been selected for the Siddur Editorial Committee of the CCAR, charged with preparing the prayer book for the Reform Movement, published in 2007, the CCAR Machzor (High Holy Day Prayer Book) Editorial Team, and the CCAR Publication Committee.


Rabbi Sandford Kopnick is the rabbi of the Valley Temple. He has served Valley since 2001. He is a member of the faculty of GUCI and serves on the camp board. He has taught workshops at the last 10 NFTY Conventions, and served as the NFTY-OV advisor when he was in rabbinic school.


Rabbi Miriam Terlinchamp joined Temple Sholom July 1st, 2010. Raised in Seattle, WA., she holds a B.A. in Studio Art and Religious Studies from Scripps College in Claremont, California and was ordained from HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, CA. Rabbi Terlinchamp finds joy and spiritual growth in visual art, social action and teaching.


Rabbi Karen Thomashow is currently associate rabbi at Isaac M. Wise Temple. Prior to moving to Cincinnati this past summer, Rabbi Thomashow was an assistant and then an associate rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Canada. She is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts and attended college at Brandeis University, where she majored in Sociology and minored both in Social Policy and Near Eastern and Judaic studies. She earned her rabbinic ordination at Hebrew Union College (HUC) here in Cincinnati.Rabbi Thomashow has recently participated on the board of Camp George, the vision team of the URJ Campaign for Youth Engagement, ARZA Canada, and the Women's Rabbinic Network. She is passionate about teaching teens and is thrilled to join the faculty of Kulanu. Rabbi Thomashow is also the proud parent of a toddler daughter.


KULANU Faculty

Michael Evers is in his third year teaching Religious School and first year at Kulanu. He is immensely excited to teach high school students by engaging them, learning from them and jointly creating a rewarding classroom environment. He loves stories and will bring that passion to teaching Torah this year. Previously he has studied Torah and cultivated a love of Jewish texts starting in his high school youth group days with NFTY-OV, continuing at DePaul University’s Hillel and in various homes and halls of study in Detroit, MI. and Israel. He is an alum of Mechon Hadar's 2015 Summer Fellowship program in New York City. When not in the classroom he can be found behind a computer helping community organizers win campaigns, hanging out at shul or experimenting in the kitchen. Ask him about living in Israel, his thoughts on being a costumed character or share an (appropriate) joke.


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. 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.


Shmuel Polin is a second year rabbinical student at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). A Greater Philadelphia/New Jersey native of Israeli-American nationality, he completed his B.A. at American University in Washington D.C. in Jewish Studies and International Studies. He also completed both a M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and a M.A. in Jewish Studies from Gratz College of Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. His thesis focused on the depiction of European anti-semitism in 1930's-1940's American and foreign cinema. Shmuel has years of experience from teaching Hebrew School at Kehillat HaNahar of New Hope, Pennsylvania, leading Shabbat and Holiday services at Greenwood House in Trenton, New Jersey, and also working for Israeli non governmental organizations. Currently in Cincinnati, he leads services for Temple Israel, in Paduka, Kentucky and teaches at Kulanu Hebrew High School in Cincinnati.


M. Lori Reidel is past president of the Kulanu Board and a lifelong member of K.K. Bene Israel/Rockdale Temple. Lori defines yoga as loving niceness for your body, yourself, and those with whom you come in contact. Her yoga and meditation practices includes being mindful of the body and breathing, the philosophy of body and mind control, the study of nonviolence, compassion and the spreading of goodness. Lori is married to the writer James Reidel. Their three sons are all graduates from Kulanu. She looks forward to sharing with those who wish to experience a spiritual connection to Judaism through the practice of yoga and meditation.


Aaron Rozovsky, who calls the family farm in Rhode Island home, is a fifth year Rabbinical student at HUC-JIR. Aaron holds a BA in History from Providence College, a MS in International Studies from Central Connecticut State University, and an MAHL from HUC-JIR. Aaron is also a Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the Rhode Island Army National Guard. Aaron has over 10 years of military experience, including year-long deployments to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Afghanistan. Aaron's hobbies include running, swimming, languages, history, and world cultures.


Bailey Romano grew up outside of New Orleans in Slidell, Louisiana, and attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, where she received her BA in Religious Studies in 2012. After graduation, she moved to Cincinnati to pursue a MA at HUC-JIR in American Jewish history. While attending HUC-JIR, she taught fifth and sixth graders at Isaac M. Wise Temple. In May of 2014 she began her rabbinical studies at the Jerusalem campus. After returning to the US, she worked at Camp Stein as Judaics Director before returning to Cincinnati for her second year. For the last two years she has been the student Rabbi at Congregation Oheb Shalom in Sandusky, Ohio: She also served as the TJF Fellow at Isaac M. Wise Temple and at Rockdale Temple as their TJF Summer Fellow. This summer she served as a chaplain intern at Jewish Hospital and Health South through the Clinical Pastoral Education program at HUC. Bailey is very passionate about Jewish education, especially experiential learning. Because of this, she is pursuing a dual master’s degree from HUC-JIR and Xavier University in Jewish Education Administration.


Chelsea Simon began fulfilling her middle school dream when she moved to Cincinnati from New York in 2015 to pursue a Ph.D. in Second Temple Jewish History at HUC. Now in her last year of coursework, she is eager to share her interest in Biblical history, archaeology, and medieval and modern Judaism with others! Her interfaith background has provided a unique perspective and range of knowledge, and her education and career in math and finance gives her a nerdy edge! Chelsea's favorite place in Cincinnati is the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. At HUC and UC, you can find her studying, archiving, or working on a Nabatean/Nelson Glueck art museum exhibit (UC/HUC). In the little free time she has, she like to play clarinet and saxophone, dance, cook Middle Eastern/Ashkenazi food, read, and tell stories about her family and NYC.


Yair Walton is a third-year student at HUC and a Cincinnati native who loves cooking and the outdoors.  Prior to HUC he worked with March of The Living in Boca Raton/ Miami and Ramah in California as well as The American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro NC. He has traveled extensively all over the world.  He has even worked in Ukraine leading seders for smaller Jewish communities. Yair is excited about teaching using stories and songs and experiences. Yair looks forward to learning with all the students and facility this year.


Austin Zoot is a third year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College. Born in suburban Chicago, Austin was very involved in NFTY in high school, and discovered his dream of becoming a rabbi. He attended Indiana University where he studied Jewish Studies and Telecommunications, working on his passion of bringing Jewish religion and culture into modernity and beyond. Austin's passions include reading, writing, and, most of all, the Chicago Cubs.


Darryl Dick is a lifelong resident of Cincinnati and former Brotherhood President at Rockdale Temple. He has taught his "Jews, Superheroes, Comics, and Cartoons" class at Kulanu as well as the Cincinnati Public Library and Rockdale Temple Adult Education.


Stav Barkai studied chemistry and biology at Ish Shalom High School. Last year he was a coordinator and instructor in his Israeli scouting tribe Shevet Regavim. He is a member of the Israeli National Orienteering Team; he competes in the elite division and has competed in two European championships. He also loves to play basketball and soccer, read books, and play video games.


In high school, Liat majored in theatre and biology, and played two lead roles in theatrical productions. During middle school and high school, she was part of a delegation to the UK; was a young reporter at the 18th Maccabiah Games; took part in an Israeli propaganda project; and volunteered at S.O.S. Animals, an animal adoption organization. For the last five years, Liat was part of Shevet Ramon tribe of Israeli scouts, where she held leadership roles.



Monthly Quote

"Jewish spirituality is an approach to life in which we strive to become aware of God's presence and purpose in everything."

-Rabbi Micah Greenstein