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Rabbi Ian Lichter

Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Ian Lichter joined Baron Hirsch Congregation in August 2022. Previously he served as the Assistant Rabbi at the Great Neck Synagogue in Long Island, New York for twelve years. He received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University and earned his Master’s degree in Education and Administration from Azrieli Graduate School. Rabbi Lichter strives to provide for a diverse and vibrant community by fully immersing himself in the spiritual and physical well-being of the congregation. He provides both inspiring and practical drashot, shiurim and Divrei Torah to the shul as well as a caring and compassionate ear for our congregants. Rabbi Lichter and his wife Katie have together undertaken to bring a dynamic spirit of warmth, Torah growth and care to their new wonderful community. Katie is a graduate of Queens College with a degree in nutrition and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from American College of Education and teaches third grade at Margolin Hebrew Academy. They enjoy every minute of the excitement and nachas that their four children, Zechariah, Yonina, Gavi, and Yaffa add to their lives. 

Rabbi Joel Finkelstein

Rabbinic Scholar

Rabbi Joel Finkelstein, the Rabbinic Scholar at Baron Hirsch, served as rabbi at ASBEE from 1997-2023. He also serves as a staff chaplain at the Methodist Germantown hospital. Prior to ASBEE, Rabbi Finkelstein was the assistant rabbi of the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York City, the oldest congregation in America, founded in 1654.

A respected leader in community outreach, education, and youth programming--both here in Memphis and in Israel--Rabbi Finkelstein also served as principal of the Polonies Talmud Torah School in New York; served as rabbi of the Young Israel of Lawrenceville, New Jersey; taught Judaic Studies at SAR Academy in Riverdale, New York and at Stern College for Women in New York City; and did outreach work at Nusach Hari B'nei Zion in St. Louis.

Rabbi Finkelstein earned a B.A. in psychology from Yeshiva College in 1986, and received his rabbinic ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1989, where he studied with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He completed his coursework toward a PhD in Medieval Jewish History at Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel Graduate School, where he wrote his Master’s degree thesis on the medieval talmudist, Rashbam. The rabbi's background in the history of halacha draws him to obscure and forgotten opinions among the rishonim, both in halacha and in parshanut. Rabbi Finkelstein has also maintained his interest and involvement in manuscripts of lesser known rishonim.

Rabbi Finkelstein maintains many chavrutot each week with both adults and children of all ages. He also gives a weekly Daf Yomi shiur, as well as numerous classes and divrei Torah throughout the year. The rabbi’s Ten Minutes for Torah, a video series and podcast, can be found on YouTube and YUTorah. He speaks each week about the parasha or upcoming holiday and has over a half million viewers and thousands of subscribers.

His wife, Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein, is an expert in Middle Eastern Affairs. She currently the Executive Vice President at the Memphis Jewish Federation. She also conducts a monthly Rosh Chodesh group for women and speaks on many topics. Together, they are the proud parents of Rabbi Asher and Avigayil, Natan and Sara, Akiva, and Rakhel, and are the proud grandparents of Yosef Baruch.  

Ricky Kampf

Cantor

Cantor Ricky Kampf has been associated with Baron Hirsch since 1989. In his first years, he served the congregation as the assistant Shaliach Tzibur and Executive Director. He received his cantorial degree from the Belz School of Jewish Music, and currently serves as the congregation’s Cantor. Cantor Ricky’s melodious voice is a highlight of all of our Shabbat and holiday services. His Kabbalat Shabbat service every Friday night fills the synagogue with excitement and energy, and his holiday work with both our Men’s and Boys’ Choirs make the High Holy Days very meaningful. He also is a master Bar Mitzvah teacher who has taught Torah reading and davening to countless boys throughout the city. Cantor Ricky is married to Anat, and they have 5 children, Kaylee (Andy) Stahler, Raquel, Benjamin, JJ, and Jack, and two grandchildren, Ella and Avery. 

Robert Schneider

Executive Director

Robert Schneider was appointed to the position of Executive Director in December 2023. He received his B.S. from Yeshiva University in New York. A native New Yorker, Mr. Schneider originally moved to Memphis in 2013 and worked as an IT / Property Director in his previous role. He comes from a background in Management Information Systems with over 15 years experience prior to moving to Memphis. Robert is married to Havah and they have 3 children, Daniel, Talia, and Kayla.

Penina Wender

Congregation President

Penina Wender became president of Baron Hirsch Congregation in January 2024. She has previously served as First Vice President and as a member of the Board of Trustees.
 

 

Dina & Eitan Selter

Youth Directors

The Selters joined Baron Hirsch in August 2021. As our youth directors, the Selters are responsible for organizing and managing youth activities on every level, from tots all the way through High School. They have been instrumental in re-igniting the synagogue’s youth department especially coming out of Covid. Youth activities over the past year have included Shabbat morning programming on all levels, Shabbat afternoon programming, strong youth components for every holiday, and other activities throughout the year.

Dina and Eitan grew up in the United States, both as children of clergy in their respective shuls. Among many other accomplishments, Dina has been a student advisor for Shaalvim for Women and holds a Master's Degree in Social Work. She also spent a year studying in the Matan Eshkolot Tanach Program. Eitan worked for years in Camp Nesher, becoming one of the top camp administrators. Dina and Eitan both made Aliyah, met and married in Israel, and began building a family. Eitan has advanced training in civil engineering, and until recently has worked for the Israeli Army in that field. Before entering the next stage of their professional lives in Israel, the Selters expressed the desire to come to the United States on shlichut for two years to contribute to a community, and a connection was made with leaders at Baron Hirsch.

Atara Segal

Yoetzet Halacha

Atara Segal has been involved in Jewish education for over twenty years. She holds a BA from Yeshiva University in Pre-Engineering, a Master’s in Bible from Bernard Revel Graduate School, and is a certified physics teacher. She has taught in day schools in Long Island, Houston, and Los Angeles. Currently she is the Mashgicha Ruchanit at Shalhevet High School, where she teaches Tanakh, Talmud, and Math. Atara spent a year in Modiin, Israel, as part of her learning to become Yoetzet Halacha; the rest of her training was completed through the Miriam Glaubach Center where she was part of the initial cohort of distance learners.

Fri, July 19 2024 13 Tammuz 5784