Meet the Staff


Lisa Thorner | Executive Director

Temple Sinai is thrilled to announce that Lisa Thorner has been promoted to the position of Executive Director as of November 2020.  Lisa has been a passionate and dedicated staff member at Temple Sinai for almost 12 years fulfilling multiple roles. Lisa joined the Temple Sinai staff in January of 2009 as the Director of Programming and Volunteer Recruitment.

During her tenure at Temple Sinai, Lisa has demonstrated a strong desire to connect and communicate with all congregants at Temple Sinai.  Her proven leadership and wealth of knowledge in management, programming and engagement has been appreciated over the years as she embodies the welcoming principles of our Temple. Lisa brings tremendous knowledge, expertise, warmth, enthusiasm, and dedication to maintaining and furthering Temple Sinai’s success.

Prior to Temple Sinai, Lisa spent 17 years working in college athletics. She worked at the Western Athletic Conference from 1997-2007 where she served as the Assistant Commissioner for Championships and the Senior Woman Administra­tor. While at the WAC, Lisa was responsible for planning championships for 17 different sports. Prior to the WAC, she spent five years as the Assistant Director of Media Relations at San Diego State University.

Lisa graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Journalism. Lisa is a Denver native and is the proud mother of two boys, Josh and Zach.

To contact Lisa Thorner, please call (303) 759-1827 x315 or email

Lauren Kimball | Assistant Executive Director

An east coast native, Lauren Kimball moved to Denver a decade ago. Her love of adventure and exploration is what encouraged her to move out west. Lauren holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Maryland as well as academic certifications from institutions in NY/NJ and abroad.

Professionally, she has been in the financial services industry producing Corporate Events and Conferences for nearly twenty years. She’s a strategic leader and a champion of culture.

Lauren joined Temple Sinai a few years after moving here, as she integrated her family into Sinai’s programming. Lauren has three children – Spencer, Alexa and Dani. She joined the Board of Trustees at Temple Sinai to fulfill her passion for serving a greater purpose within the Jewish community, helping others and soulfully connecting with others to make a greater impact where possible. Her work as a Board member is what built the bridge for her to cross over to the nonprofit sector. Along with her husband and children, Lauren enjoys the Colorado mountains all year long!

To contact Lauren Kimball, please call (303) 759-1827 x314 or email

Sheila Purdin | Director of Early Childhood Education

Sheila Purdin began her career in early education over 30 years ago in her native Seattle. She currently serves on the board of The Efshar Project, working to ensure quality early childhood experiences throughout the Denver/Boulder community. Prior to The Efshar Project, she was on the board of Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism, serving as VP of Marketing for five years. During her twenty years in the Atlanta area, she was director of two Reform preschools, actively participated in the Jewish Early Childhood Council of Atlanta as both chairperson and conference coordinator. She previously sat on the PJ Library of Atlanta board and was selected to participate in the Union for Reform Judaism Pursuing Excellence in Your Early Childhood Center Community of Practice. Sheila loves being a part of the Temple Sinai Preschool and greater synagogue community. She is inspired daily by her work in early childhood education, by the curiosity and wonder of children, the journey of parenthood, and the endless learning of educators. She lives in Denver with her hamster, Ralph and partner, Mark and has two adult children who are pretty fantastic.

To contact Sheila Purdin, please call (303) 759-0755 or email

Rachel Cram | Assistant Preschool Director

Rachel Cram began her career in early education with Americorps in an infant classroom with Early Head Start. It was here she found her calling. Rachel then spent over a decade with the Denver JCC, serving as an educator, ECC Coordinator, Assistant Director, and Director. During that time Rachel was selected to participate in the Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute (JECELI), a highly competitive national program training exemplary leaders and as a Sheva Leadership Institute Fellow. Most recently Rachel has led a privately owned school, The Wonder Academy, through the pandemic, creating a safe space for children and educators to thrive. Rachel’s decision to join the administrative team at Temple Sinai Preschool felt, “like coming home.” She has a deep love for the Jewish community. Rachel spends her time away from work hiking, paddle boarding, snowboarding and being in the mountains with her husband, Matt, her two daughters, Gwen and Amber, and their dog, Bear.

To contact Rachel Cram, please call (303) 759-0755 or email

Doni Kaye | Director of Education

Doni’s professional experience expands across leadership, education, hospitality, outreach and research. He most recently taught 4th and 5th grades at Denver Jewish Day School where he developed and implemented curricula within a dynamic, private school classroom setting. Amongst many other accomplishments, Doni completed the Ezra Springboard Fellowship with Hillel at Virginia Tech which earned him experience in relationship development, implementation of experiential learning and strategic planning for engagement and outreach work.

Doni earned his B.A. in Psychology and American Studies from Stanford University and his M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.

In his role at Temple Sinai, Doni will help provide a strategic vision for our Religious School.  This vision will foster the use of dynamic teaching styles and techniques suitable for varied ages. In addition, Doni will work to implement an innovative and creative curriculum along with related programming for the Religious School’s Judaic and Hebrew programs.

Leah Goldberg | Director of Programming

Leah Goldberg is thrilled to combine her passion for Jewish education and outdoor adventure in her role as the Director of Programming at Temple Sinai. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Leah graduated from the University of Vermont in 2018 with a B.S. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Hit by the “travel bug”early on, Leah worked for a student Travel Company based in Rome, Italy right out of college, selling trips across Europe to study abroad participants. Her love for working with college students propelled her to apply for Hillel’s Springboard Fellowship.

The Springboard Fellowship took Leah to The University of Cincinnati Hillel, where she spent two years building relationships with hundreds of Jewish students across campus, leading meaningful discussions, and organizing innovative and educational programming for Jewish college students.

Leah moved to Denver in the Spring of 2021, wanting to be closer to nature and the ski slopes. Leah has spent the past year continuing her career in the travel industry as an Owner Success Advisor at Evolve Vacation Rental and has enjoyed her experience helping homeowners with their vacation rental homes. Now, Leah is delighted to be back working in the Jewish community and utilize her previous experiences in the role of Director of Programming here at Temple Sinai. Welcome, Leah!

Leah can be reached at or 303.759.1827.

Kelsey Oliver | Preschool Operations Manager

Kelsey Oliver is a Temple Sinai Preschool alum. She started her career with Temple Sinai as an Assistant Teacher and moved through the ranks becoming a Lead Teacher in a 2-year-old and then a 4-year-old classroom.  Kelsey has settled in the preschool office but still enjoys visiting the classrooms. In Kelsey’s free time you can find her spending time with her family and enjoying being a mom.

To contact Kelsey Oliver, please call (303) 759-0755 or email

Lauren Bubis | Business Administrator

Lauren Bubis began working at Temple Sinai in January 2018. She graduated in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Political Science and Jewish Studies. She worked with the programming, membership, and development departments at Temple Sholom of Chicago from 2008 to 2011. Lauren then moved to Houston for three years where she was the Special Events Coordinator at Jewish Family Service. For a year, she served as the Community Engagement Associate at the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. After a year in Nashville, she moved to Orlando where she worked as an Accessibility Consultant for the University of Central Florida. Lauren, her husband, David, are the proud parents of Sadie and Ruth. Lauren and her family love Denver and have begun to plant roots in the Mile High City!

To contact Lauren Bubis, please call (303) 759-1827 x322 or email

Email not required. If you want us to email you the answer, please include your email. Otherwise the Q&A may be posted publicly on the website.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


Journey (Reflection, Return and Renewal): Families, educators and children come together to begin a continual journey that implies both struggle and promise. We make time for moments of celebration; regularly gathering for Shabbat, holidays and other important moments.


Journey (Reflection, Return and Renewal): Families, educators and children come together to begin a continual journey that implies both struggle and promise. We make time for moments of celebration; regularly gathering for Shabbat, holidays and other important moments.

Tikkun Olam

Repair of the World (Responsibility): We recognize our school communities’ responsibility to the world around us. Learn more.


Interpretation (Inquiry, Dialogue, and Transmission): By studying together and through joint inquiry and dialogue our community will bond and grow.


Awakening (Amazement and Gratitude): Built on children's joy of discovery, their sense of amazement and wonder as a source of energy.


Holiness (Intentionality and Presence): Families come together to appreciate the blessing of having a community.

Tzelem Elokim

Divine Image (Dignity and Potential): Our school community honors everyone’s uniqueness and diversity is celebrated.


Covenant (Belonging and Commitment): Families and Temple Sinai Preschool enter into a “covenant” of mutual support with clearly defined, but evolving, obligations and roles.