Dr. I. Ezra Staples
Dr. I. Ezra Staples (1920-2006) was President from 1987 to 1989. Long before that, he and Horace Stern served as Confirmation Class teachers at KI. Prior to serving as President, Dr. Staples was elected President of the Philadelphia Federation of Reform Synagogues in 1979. At the end of his KI presidential tenure, which coincided with the mid-point of Simeon Maslin’s KI rabbinate, the congregation selected Shoshana Perry as its first female to serve in the capacity of Assistant Rabbi. Staples’ career in education included his leadership of the School District of Philadelphia’s curriculum department as Associate Superintendent.
During this period of the late 1980’s, our congregation established the volunteer choir. Dr. Staples championed the need for an avenue for members who had recent family losses to express their feelings and seek solitude. This led to establishment of the Conference on Grief and Grieving. Although it may seem arcane today, it was during this period that KI put into operation “a sophisticated, state-of-the-art computer system.”