The Temple has named Lisa Echsner its Temple administrator, and for Echsner, it feels like a homecoming. “I’m excited about being here at The Temple,” she said, “and the possibilities to get more people involved. It’s always been very welcoming.”
A native Louisvillian, Echsner says her parents, Mona and Bernie Herzberg and she and her brother, Larry, were members of The Temple and she grew up there. Her earliest memories are of Adath Israel on Third Street, and she recalled that she was born the year before Rabbi Chester Diamond came to the congregation. She was confirmed at The Temple and was married there. Her mother served as Sisterhood president, and she also remembers Dr. Herbert Waller.
During her teen years, Echsner was also active in the JCC’s BBYO program. A member of Modern Femmes, she participated in many local and Kentucky-Indiana-Ohio regional activities, including conventions and dances.
Echsner holds a degree in health administration from the University of Kentucky, and her first post-college jobs were in nursing homes.
Following her marriage to fellow Louisville native TJ Echsner, she took a job with the Girl Scouts and has been working in the nonprofit world ever since. Most recently, she did fundraising for Habitat for Humanity.
At The Temple, she explained, “we have a large membership. I hope to keep and grow it.” She sees opportunities to do that by reaching out to “unaffiliated younger Jewish people” and providing options for them to get involved.
“That will be the future of The Temple and every congregation in the city,” she added, “so, it’s important to make sure that we make them feel welcome.” She wants to ensure that the next generation will find that “The Temple is their home, just like it’s been ours.”
She’s also eager to keep the congregation’s 35-year-old building in good repair. “We need to work to keep it modern – a place people want to come to have lifecycle events, weddings” and other events.
Echsner is involved with the Kiwanis and has served as the Louisville chapter’s president. She also volunteered at her children’s schools, helping with auctions and fundraisers, and volunteered for Habitat before going to work for the organization. In addition, she served on the Board of the Heuser Hearing and Language Academy, formerly the Louisville Deaf Oral School.
The Echsners have been married for 23 years and have two daughters, Kate, 19, and Maddi, 16.