Rabbi Schaktman received his Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1989. Since that time, the heart of his work has been as a congregational rabbi, where he has found enormous satisfaction learning, teaching, caring for members of the community and creating new approaches to meeting the challenges of synagogue life. As a congregational rabbi, he has served congregations in Houston, Texas; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Livingston Manor, NY; New York City, and Honolulu, Hawai’i. He most recently served as Interim Rabbi of Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Rabbi Schaktman also spent nine years working on the staff of the Union for Reform Judaism at their headquarters in Manhattan as a regional and national consultant in program development, synagogue management and the special needs of small congregations.
Rabbi Schaktman is a proud graduate of Oberlin College, and is certified in Chemical Dependency and Spiritual Counseling. Prior to becoming a rabbi, he also spent two years living in an Israeli Arab village as a community worker in Arab-Jewish relations as a participant in the Interns for Peace program.
In June 2013, Rabbi Schaktman was selected to be a participant in the Alternate Certification for Public School Administrator Program of the state of Hawaii. He completed his residency as a Vice-Principal of the Niu Valley Middle School, a public school on the island of O’ahu, and was provisionally certified as a school administrator in July 2014. He later served as the Vice Principal of King William Lunalilo Elementary School, a Title I school in urban Honolulu. In 2014, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion awarded him the degree Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa.
Whether in sacred worship or as a public school administrator, in committee meetings or youth group events or his pastoral work, the central goal of his rabbinate has been to study, to teach, and to help others find meaning in their lives through the traditions of Judaism and of western intellectual life.
Rabbi Henry Bamberger came to Temple Emanu-El in 1982. When he retired in 1999, he was elected Rabbi Emeritus. Since that time, he has remained active in the general and Jewish communities. He has served as a board member and officer of Planned Parenthood Mohawk-Hudson and the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning and Retirement. He has taught a variety of courses for the latter. He is also a docent at the Utica Zoo.
He and his wife, Sheila, served for four years as executive directors of the National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis. During the early years of his retirement, he conducted High Holy Day services for the Reform congregation in Bryan/College Station, Texas.
Rabbi Bamberger holds an earned Doctor of Hebrew Letters degree from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which also granted him honorary Doctor of Divinity. He has taught courses at Colgate and Utica College.
The Bamberger’s have been married since 1959. They have two daughter and two grandchildren.