Welcome to Ira J. Wise, Interim Director of Lifelong Learning

We are very pleased to welcome Ira J. Wise as the INTERIM Director of Lifelong Learning at Kehillah. Ira will serve in this full-time interim role effective February 1st through May 31st. During this time, Ira will direct and manage all aspects of the Religious School (RS), B’Yachad, B’nei Mitzvah program, and related duties. Sherri Morris will assist in helping to orient and onboard Ira as needed.
Ira comes to Kehillah with exceptional experience as an educational leader. His focus has been to bring experiential, values-based learning to his work while creating opportunities for learners of all ages to develop their own sense of Jewish values to inform life decisions. We are excited for Ira to bring this experience to our teachers through staff training.
Ira has served successfully as a Director of Education at Congregation B’nai Israel, Bridgeport, CT, where he was responsible for all aspects of Jewish education for children and adults, ages 5 to 105, in a congregation of 700 families. There, he developed a collaborative process that brought together congregants and faculty to redesign and implement a new curriculum aligned with the declared values of the congregation.
Ira also held the position of Temple Educator at Temple Emanu-El, Oak Park, MI, where he led religious school and adult education in a congregation of 725 families.
Ira’s other experiences include being a Mentor and Team Member of the Beit T’shuvah, Elaine Breslow Institute, Los Angeles, CA, and a Content Curator with JEducationWorld.com where he managed an online blog of Jewish Education. Ira served as a Mentor and Documenter with the Leadership Institute, New York, NY, and mentored professional educators, helping them translate their learning into action plans for their schools and taught workshops focused on leadership, pedagogy, and Judaic learning.
We are excited about having Ira as a member of our team during the transition to a permanent Director. To that end, board member and VP of Education, Dave Gotz is leading a search committee of Kehillah members to identify and recruit a permanent Director. Our hope is that the search committee will identify 1-2 final candidates who we can separately bring to Kehillah for a weekend visit with our congregation, teachers, RS committee, and students. Our goal is to have a person hired and onboard by June.
Ira’s first day of work is Wednesday, February 1. He can be contacted at ira@kehillahsynagogue.org or by calling 919-942-5817.
We are extremely grateful to Sherri Morris for helping us since December with the oversight of the Religious School, and her commitment and willingness to help onboard Ira in the days ahead. Many thanks also to Dave Gotz, VP of Education, and Lily Farel and Jen Weinberg-Wolf, RS Chairs for their wisdom and assistance with this process, and to Donna Berkelhammer for her wonderful help each
Sunday during RS activities.
Please join us in welcoming Ira as he supports our efforts to lead and guide Jewish education at Kehillah.