Meet the Staff

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 or email lisa@sinaidenver.org.

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 sheila@sinaidenver.org.

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 rachelc@sinaidenver.org.

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.

DaNae Ronberg | Preschool Operations Manager

DaNae Ronberg has twenty years of experience in the early childhood education field and seven years of experience in administrative work in the front office of schools.  DaNae has a true passion for teaching toddlers which is where she began her tenure at Temple Sinai Preschool before tackling the Operations Manager role. Outside of school, DaNae enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending quality time with her husband, Steve, and two children, Walker and Isla.


To contact DaNae Ronberg, please call (303) 759-0755 or email danae@sinaidenver.org.

Lauren Bubis | Business Manager

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 and her husband, David, are the proud parents of Sadie and Ruth. Lauren and her family love living in the Mile High City!

To contact Lauren Bubis, please call (303) 759-1827 or email lauren@sinaidenver.org.

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