When The Temple chose Lori Holland to serve as interim administrator, they hired an individual with many years of administrative experience who is deeply committed to Judaism, the Jewish people and the congregation and has a passion to succeed in her position.
A native of New York, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from American University in Washington, DC. She also earned her masters in guidance and counseling, her rank one (30 hours beyond her masters) in supervision and administration and her Ed.D. in educational administration.
Holland got married, moved to Bowling Green and began her teaching career in Allen County. She moved to Louisville in 1969 and worked for Jefferson County Public Schools first as a counselor and then as a principal.
In 1984, the superintendent of schools in Kalamazoo, MI, a former JCPS deputy superintendent, recruited her to be director of elementary education, and three years later, she went to Florida to take care of her mother, who had become ill.
A call from Dr. Donald Ingwerson brought her back to Louisville to serve as principal of Atkinson Elementary School, and not long after that she moved to the Central Office, where she worked for about 20 years.
“I retired in ’09,” Holland said, “and came back 90 days later. Then I worked part time for the district for another five years. I just retired last spring.”
That retirement didn’t last long either.
When The Temple found itself without an administrator and a short search didn’t yield a viable candidate, Temple President Craig Goldstein approached her about the job and Holland agreed to serve as interim administrator for three years – through Angeline Golden’s presidency – with the understanding that the congregation would conduct a more extensive search to find a permanent administrator.
Holland finds that she really enjoys the position. For the most part, she said, “I really use the same skill set that I’ve used all my life – supervising people, supervising children and working with parents.
“Actually,” she added, “it’s a lot more fun. Something that I’ve discovered is that working for your faith makes it not like work. I spend many more hours here than I ever did at any job, even the principalship.”
There is a lot of stress, she said, but she’s managing it and attending to all the details from arranging for striping the road on the property to making sure rooms are ready for events – Temple events and activities and those for other organizations that rent the space.
On a recent Sunday, she arrived in time for Sunday School and made sure everything was in order for a big funeral and two different dinners.
Her goal is to ensure that “the congregation feels comfortable that somebody’s in charge.” That means ensuring that maintenance is done on the 35-year-old building that often needs attention, juggling the scheduling of rooms and doing a lot of “behind the scenes stuff that people don’t see.”
Holland sees a lot of things moving in the right direction. A capital campaign is now underway and progressing well. Groups like the Jewish Community of Louiville and Hosparus are scheduling events there. A Boy Scout troop and a Brownie Scout troop call The Temple home and a gymnastic group comes regularly.
The Kling Orchestra practices at The Temple, too, and on a recent Monday, Holland said, the halls were filled with music.”
“Our preschool is full,” she said. “We have a waiting list, which is wonderful. Last year, we opened it up to infants, so now, we’re so big, we had to move one of our kindergarten classes up to the religious school.” The congregation is growing, too.
While many activities, like Religious School, are limited to congregation members, and programs like Temple Scholars are only open to the community when there is room in the classes, all other programs, including adult education are open to the community.
Holland is also looking forward to a special Shabbat program that is open to the entire community. On Friday, November 7, and Saturday, November 8, The Temple is bringing Beit Tefilah Israeli to Louisville.
Last June, Holland was part of a group from The Temple that went to Israel with Rabbi David Ariel-Joel. During their last Shabbat there, they heard Beit Tefila Israeli, a non-affiliated community group known for holding Shabbat on Tel Aviv’s beaches and drawing crowds of 1500 people.
For security reasons, the group now meets in a community center instead of at the shore, but Holland says they are fabulous musicians and they have “a cantor who has a voice that is just incredible. … It was so inspiring that we all got up” and danced and sang.
The group is now making a tour of America and The Temple has engaged them to come to Louisville. “We would love for the community to just fill this place to hear them,” Holland said. “I get goosebumps just thinking about how wonderful it was.”