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 Shalich 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.
David Fleischhacker, Executive Director
David Fleischhacker was appointed to the position of Executive Director in August 2003. He received his M.B.A from Baruch College in New York, and his B.S. from Yeshiva University. A native Memphian, Mr. Fleischhacker has many fond memories of Baron Hirsch, especially of the years he attended Camp Darom. Starting as a camper at a young age, he grew to serve the camp in many different capacities, including being its Director for several seasons.
Prior to his return to Memphis, Mr. Fleischhacker was a lay leader of Congregation Etz Chaim of Kew Gardens Hills, one of the fastest growing young Orthodox shuls in the area. He served as an officer for eight years, and was President during the campaign and construction of the synagogue’s facilities. Along with his wife, Chany, the Fleischhackers were honored twice by Congregation Etz Chaim. They were the Guests of Honor at the synagogue’s annual Journal Dinner in 1996, and were honored again with a special award at the Journal Dinner in June 2003.
Mary Trotz, Congregation President
Mary Trotz became president of Baron Hirsch Congregation in January 2020. She had previously served as 1st Vice President, as well as several other positions on the congregation’s board over the last eight years. Most recently, Mary was instrumental in chairing the ATID campaign which is nearing its $5 million goal.
Mary has been an active member of the Memphis community for many years. She was the first Jewish President of the Junior League of Memphis. She has served on numerous boards and chaired fundraisers for organizations such as Facing History and Ourselves, The Levitt Shell, Children’s Museum of Memphis and West Tennessee Hunter Jumper Association. She is married to Corey Trotz and they have two daughters. Mary graduated from Vanderbilt University and from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt.
Dina & Eitan Selter, Youth Directors
Dina & Eitan grew up in the United States, both as children of clergy in their respective shuls. Among many other accomplishments, Dina has been a program director and advisor for Shaalavim for Women and holds a masters degree in Social Work. Eitan worked for years in Camp Nesher, becoming one of the top camp administrators. Dina and Eitan both made Aliya, 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.
The Selters will be arriving in Memphis on August 22nd and will be immediately assuming their duties. As our youth directors, the Selters will be responsible for organizing and managing youth activities on every level – from tots all the way through High School. They will be instrumental in re-igniting the synagogue’s youth department as it comes out of Covid. Members can expect to see revitalized Shabbat morning programming on all levels, Shabbat afternoon programming, and a strong youth component to every holiday and special activity we host throughout the year. The Selters are also excited to be involved with our young professionals and offer assistance to them as our new programming year begins.
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 Angelos. 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.
Rafael G. Grossman, Senior Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Grossman served Baron Hirsch and the Memphis community for more than a quarter of a century. He led the congregation through a difficult transition from its edifice on Vollintine in mid-town Memphis to the eventual construction of the present magnificent synagogue. The Rabbi established programs for people of all ages which included the South’s only sleep-away camp under Orthodox auspices, Camp Darom; the Southern Traditional singles, with its national weekend celebration; the adult education program which offers more than twenty classes per week, most taught by the Rabbi and highlighted with varied lectures featuring foremost lecturers and scholars in World Jewry. In 1998, the Rabbi established the annual Conference on Medical Ethics. Rabbi’s weekly lectures on Israel cover numerous religious subjects thereby establishing Baron Hirsch as the synagogue with one of the most extensive programs of Torah learning in the South. Rabbi Grossman’s leadership for the sale of Israel Bonds has afforded Baron Hirsch the distinct honor of selling more bonds per capita than any other congregation in the United States. His last pilgrimage to Israel raised the number of those joining him throughout the years to more than eight hundred.
Rabbi Grossman was the first Rabbi outside the New York area to be elected President of the Rabbinical Council of America. He now serves as Honorary President and chairman of the Rabbinical Council International. He is the author of Binah: The Modern Quest for Torah Understanding, a six-part series with Volumes II and III soon to appear. His scholarly papers have appeared in numerous journals and volumes, and his weekly column, “Thinking Aloud,” in the JEWISH PRESS and on numerous websites is now read by approximately 500,000 people, making him today’s most read Jewish columnist in the world. In December 1998, Rabbi Grossman was elected Chairman of the board for the Religious Zionist of America.