Rabbi Michael Datz is a native of Houston, TX and a graduate of Rice University (’78), the University of Houston School of Law (’82), and Cincinnati’s Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (’87). Following ordination he served congregations in Johannesburg, South Africa and Curacao, N.A. His wife Josephine (nee Gon, formerly of Johannesburg) currently serves as Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Springfield, IL. They have two children, Nathan and Geoffrey, both born and reared in Springfield.
This year, 2012, marks Rabbi Datz’s 25th year in the rabbinate. It is, also, his 20th year as the spiritual leader of Temple B’rith Sholom. When asked why he’s been here so long, he will tell you unhesitatingly – and echoing the thoughts of many here – “Springfield is a nice place to live; my children have grown up here; we have a warm and wonderful Jewish community; and the people here have come to mean a great deal to me. I am very blessed to have found this place.”
In addition to his work with the Jewish community, Rabbi Datz has served on the boards of the Central Illinois Foodbank, the Springfield Board of Community Relations, the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association, and the Liturgical Arts Festival of Springfield. He is an occasional contributor to the local newspaper, an outspoken advocate for Israel, and has had a short story published in Jewish Humor Stories for Kids, by Pitspopany Press. Rabbi Datz enjoys cooking, gardening, musical theatre, writing, and travel. Anything else, Rabbi? “Yeah, I love Judaism and love being Jewish.”
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-525-1360 x2.