Rabbi James L. Simon, Interim Senior Rabbi
Rabbi Jim Simon was born and reared in Oakland, California. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1971 with a BA in Political Science. He attended Hastings College of the Law-University of California in San Francisco and graduated with a JD degree in 1974. He was admitted to the California Bar and practiced law for two years. At that point he decided he wanted to be a Rabbi.
Rabbi Simon entered Hebrew Union College-Jewish Instituted of Religion in 1977 and spent six years studying to become a Rabbi, equally dividing his time between campuses in Jerusalem, Los Angeles and Cincinnati. He was ordained as a Rabbi in 1983. As a student Rabbi he served congregations in Merced, CA, McGehee, AR and Ames, IA.
In his 33 years as a Rabbi, Rabbi Simon served congregations in Miami, FL, North Miami Beach, FL and Worcester, MA. Also during that time Rabbi Simon served as the Regional Director of the Mid-West Council for theUAHC (now URJ- Union for Reform Judaism) from 1986-1992. His Region encompassed nine (9) states and seventy (70) congregations.
In 2009-2010, Rabbi Simon became part of the first cohort of Reform Rabbis to be trained as an Interim Rabbi by the Interim Ministry Network (IMN) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). Interim (also referred to as Transitional) Rabbis are trained to go into congregations undergoing significant changes to provide help and healing during a transitional year. Since then he has served as an Interim Rabbi in Sanibel Island (FL), Closter (NJ) and most recently, two years in Park City, UT. To strengthen his skills as an Interim Rabbi, Rabbi Simon was trained in Miami as a certified Mediator in Family law.
Rabbi Simon lives in Miami when he is not working as an Interim Rabbi. His wife, Rebecca, still works as a Nurse at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, FL. They have three children. Their oldest child, Jaclyn (Evan Gottfried) lives in North Bethesda, MD and teaches lst grade. Jaclyn and Evan have two boys - Brody and Benjamin. Deborah Leah Simon works as a nanny in New York. The youngest, Daniel, recently graduated from Emory and works for HBO in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Emeritus Charles P. Sherman, D.D.,was Senior Rabbi from 1976-2013.He retired in 2013 and was given the title of Rabbi Emeritus.
Klara Bode, Executive Director, is a long time Tulsan. She is a graduate of the University of Miami and a CPA who joined the Temple Israel staff as the Temple accountant in 2010. During her years in Tulsa she has and continues to serve on the boards of several Jewish organizations including the Jewish Federation of Tulsa, Mizel Jewish Community Day School and OKIE. Her volunteer time in the Jewish community and career spent in the business sector has prepared her for working within the Temple Israel family and with outside organizations and businesses. Klara enjoys not only interacting with people, but also working with puzzles, numbers and challenges which makes her uniquely qualified to be Temple's Executive Director! Klara and her husband, John, have 5 granddaughters who along with son Brian and daughter-in-law Eryn are Temple Israel members. In addition to time spent playing with granddaughters, Klara enjoys playing card games, Sudoku, Mahjong and going out to dinner with friends. Klara looks forward to meeting you!
Stephanie Marshall, Director of Education, Outreach and Programming, is thrilled to make Tulsa, Oklahoma her home. Born in Chicago, she has lived in different parts of the country.
Stephanie began teaching Sunday School and Hebrew in 1989 and has been working in the field of Jewish Education ever since. With a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Psychology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA she returned to school in 2002 and earned her MA in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2005.
Stephanie’s experiences include teaching all ages, running synagogue schools of various sizes, youth group advisor and youth director, Program Director, Director of county wide high school retreat based program, Youth and Family Activity Director at a JCC and working at a day school. Her true love continues to be synagogue work.
When not working, Stephanie loves to cook and hang out with friends. She enjoys festivals, art shows, music and hiking. She shares her home with her very entertaining dog, Reggie, a Shiba Inu.
Cantor Faith Steinsnyder, Cantor in Residence, is a member of the faculty at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Jewish Theological Seminary, coaching and teaching courses in traditional and contemporary synagogue repertoire. She has served congregations from Maryland to Massachusetts, and has been scholar-in-residence at synagogues across the country. A featured soloist at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, Faith’s recordings have been heard over National Public Radio and PBS.
Jory Bollinger, Bookkeeper/Event Coordinator
Lauren Zeligson, Communications Coordinator
Timothy Wallace, Head Custodian
Eliot Glaser, Accompanist
Bracken Klar and Melanie Gillespy, Librarians