High School Staff

Nina Loftspring is a Cincinnati native who graduated from the then Cincinnati Reform Hebrew High School.  Nina is excited to bring her extensive experience in Jewish educational leadership, curriculum development, and Holocaust education to the Shelanu community.

Most recently, Nina served as the Director of Youth Education and Family Life for Town & Village Synagogue in New York City, where she worked with students of all ages and their families. Prior to that, Nina served as B'nai Jeshurun's Assistant Director of Education for Curriculum and Learning.

Nina earned her Masters in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and her BA at Indiana University, where she triple-majored in Jewish Studies, History, and Non-Profit Management.

Nina prides herself on making students' interests central to the classroom experience, simultaneously empowering them and creating a community of engaged learners.

Nina is married to Dr. Lee Honig, a Brooklyn native whom she has kidnapped and brought with her to Cincinnati. Nina, Lee and their daughter Isla live in Hyde Park. 

High School Rabbis

Rabbi Burke is an Arizona native with a passion for Judaism and education. After receiving his B.A. from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, he attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati where he earned rabbinical ordination in 2022.

Rabbi Burke has a passion for studying Torah, Talmud, Jewish history, and Jewish Mysticism. While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Burke served congregations in Louisiana and Indiana, interned as a chaplain in both a hospital and retirement community, and worked as a Jewish Foundation Fellow at Shelanu (formerly Kulanu), Cedar Village, and SAFE Cincinnati.

Rabbi Burke is a Chaplain Candidate Program Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and holds the rank of lieutenant. In addition to his love of Jewish learning, Rabbi Burke enjoys cooking, college football (the Arizona State Sun Devils is his favorite team), eating ice cream, being outdoors, and exploring local craft breweries with his family. 

Rabbi Noah Ferro has been the spiritual leader of Northern Hills Synagogue since 2018. Originally from Nashville, TN, Rabbi Ferro worked in bookstores and libraries throughout his college career, and he now finds being a rabbi a convenient excuse for continuing a longtime book addiction. Rabbi Ferro grew up in a non-Jewish household and converted to Judaism as a young adult. He says that this experience is crucial to his core beliefs about what it means to be Jewish: “Judaism creates holiness through obligation. But in today’s world, even obligation is a matter of choice: the choice to recognize it, or not to. Everything rests on the choice of the individual. We choose how we engage with Jewish ritual, thought, prayer, or text — or we choose not to. But without choice, life can have no meaning.” Rabbi Ferro is a 2017 ordinee of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, a parent and a spouse, and self-described “big nerd.”

Rabbi Zachary Goodman is originally from Dallas, Texas and was ordained in 2019 from HUC-JIR here in Cincinnati. After working in Toronto for the past few years, Zachary and his wife, Katie, recently moved back to Cincinnati with their kids Abe (almost 2) and Ira (3 months). Rabbi Goodman loves playing guitar, hiking/camping, learning, and hanging with friends and family. 

Rabbi Kahan is the Senior Rabbi at Rockdale Temple. She earned her bachelor's degree in social work at The Ohio State University, and was thrilled to return home to Cincinnati for her rabbinical education at Hebrew Union College. She served Rockdale as Rabbinic Intern during her final two years at HUC, continuing her work with the congregation’s worship, music, youth, outreach and  education programs, and of course, building relationships with Rockdale members. Rabbi Kahan was ordained from HUC in 2013, after completing her thesis focused on the use of sacred music in teaching children how to pray as Jews. Immediately following ordination, she began serving as Rockdale Temple’s Assistant Rabbi & Educator. Rabbi Kahan is a life-long lover of books and music, enjoys traveling, and can be found cheering on the Buckeyes year-round! 

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 Moshe Smolkin is the senior rabbi at Adath Israel Congregation. He grew up in Texas and New Mexico and holds a B.A. from Brandeis and a M.A.T. in Mathematics Education from Tufts. He enjoyed teaching high school math in Boston, before attending the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. While in rabbinical school, he interned as an interfaith chaplain, studied in Jerusalem, and served at Mishkon Tephilo in Venice, California. Rabbi Smolkin was ordained in 2009, having twice received awards for his excellence in Talmud. He then served for 10 years as the rabbi at Ohavay Zion Synagogue in Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to his love of learning Torah, Talmud, and Jewish Mysticism, Rabbi Smolkin enjoys studying other religions and learning languages - Greek is his current interest. He also has a life-long love of music, as well as many years of study in martial arts. Rabbi Smolkin has been known to indulge in Marvel movies, sushi, and a good cupcake.


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, 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 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 married to Yonatan Eyal, a historian of nineteenth-century America who is from the San Francisco Bay Area. They are the parents of Alma and Ethan.

High School Teaching Faculty

Dianne Benmayor fell in love with yoga after her first practice.  Initially it was the physical aspects, then, she started to realize the many other benefits a consistent practice bestows.  She embarked on a 200HR training with no intention to teach.  She just wanted to enhance her own practice.  After completing the first training class she knew she wanted to explore the possibilities of teaching.  She has since completed 500+ hours of training in various genres.  In 2014,  attended a 90HR Children’s Yoga training.  She has been teaching Yoga for eight years.  It is an honor to share the gifts of Yoga and she feels truly blessed to be able to do something she absolutely loves. 

Madeline T. Budman is a fourth-year rabbinic student at HUC-JIR. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, Madeline attended Georgetown University where she earned degrees in English, Jewish Civilization, and Women's and Gender Studies. After graduating, she studied in the yeshiva at Hadar Institute in New York, and spent time milking goats and working in the fields at Adamah Farm and Fellowship in Connecticut.  Madeline lives in Norwood with her husband Aaron (who is also a rabbinic student) and their cat Percy. When she's not at school or work, she can be found reading, brewing kombucha, and discovering new workouts on Peloton. Madeline has learned so much about Jewish education through the Cincinnati Jewish community, and she is thrilled to be teaching at Shelanu this year!

Jennifer Clark need info

Samara Katz: Since the age of 3, I have been a lifelong lover of crafts and DIY projects. I love the idea of taking something that is considered trash and turning it into something beautiful. When I am not crafting, you can find me reading, playing guitar, or hanging out with my dog Gracie. I have worked at Jewish summer camps, schools, and synagogues for the past 10 years. I am looking forward to teaching my first class since moving to Cincinnati a year ago!

Lowell Lustig is beginning his seventh-year teaching and advising a moot court team which argues a contemporary issue in Jewish Law as part of the international Maimonides Moot Court Competition under the auspices of the Hadar Institute.  In March 2021, the Cincinnati team placed 1st in the Cardozo Division in international competition.

Lowell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he graduated with honors in History and Adolescent Education. He also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Capital University Law School in Columbus, OH. Lowell studied Archaeology and Talmudic Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and learned at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, IL in his mid-twenties.  Lowell is a puppeteer and created Saturday Torah Live, which has been part of Shabbat morning services at Beber Camp in Mukwonago, WI and Perlman Camp in Lake Como, PA for many years. A former Director of Development and Public Affairs at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, he has also served as Director of Illinois Council BBYO and Syracuse University Hillel.  Lowell currently serves as Director of Philanthropy for the three medical school campuses of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Donald Washington (they/them) is a Senior at the University of Cincinnati studying digital media with a minor in communication. Outside of college, Donald performs in local theatre, working with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Landmark Productions. Donald is really excited to teach the next generation of actors skills that they, hopefully, can use as performers or take into their daily lives.