Laurie Thomas, who joined the teaching staff of Temple Israel’s early childhood program in 1999 and remained with us through the transformation to our full-time Kehillah School program, has served as Assistant Director since September 2013, and became the Kehillah School Director in 2018. A well-respected, dedicated educator and devotee of our Temple schools, Laurie brings enthusiasm and a multitude of talents honed during her fourteen plus years of both early childhood teaching at TINR and responsibilities as Director of nearby Bayberry Camp.
Ordained as a chaplain in 2015 and then as a minister in 2016, Laurie pursues the study of Torah with our Senior Rabbi, adding deep spirituality to our values-based program. Active as a volunteer with religious affairs at Montefiore Children’s Hospital, Laurie ministers to the needs of hurting families and brings comfort to sick children. In the near future, she plans to work closely with other hospitals and families as well.
Twenty-four years ago, Laurie immigrated here from the “Nature Island” of Dominica in the Caribbean. In her words, “I first came in contact with Temple Israel in 1995. It was there and then that I cultivated my love for Judaism, which at this point is in every fiber of my being. It was there and then that I also experienced the power and love of the spirit of the community.” Her warmth, compassion, soulful perspective, and professionalism provide inspired leadership for our school.