Meet Our Staff
Naomi Looper, Regional Director of Youth Engagement
Naomi has been active in the OSRUI and NFTY community as a camper, NFTY-CAR president, unit head of Kallah, and now as the NFTY-CAR Regional Director and OSRUI Assistant Director. She believes that Jewish summer camp and youth group are places and communities that allow kids to find their voice, develop lifelong and meaningful relationships, and discover their Jewish identities.
Prior to joining the OSRUI and NFTY team, Naomi worked at Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, IL as the Youth and Family Engagement Director and oversaw youth group programs for kids 0-18. Naomi was also the Youth Group Director at Temple Beth El in Madison, WI. Naomi spent a year after high school in Israel studying Jewish leadership in youth movements and has a wealth of experience with informal Jewish education.
Naomi grew up in Oak Park, and received her degree in Jewish Studies and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.
Rabbi Ricahrd Prass, Rabbinic Advisor
Email Rabbi Prass at Congregation Beth Am
Rabbi Richard Prass is the Rabbi Educator at Congregation Beth Am of Buffalo Grove. Before joining Beth Am in the summer of 2007, Rabbi Prass served as both Associate Rabbi and Director of Education at Temple Israel in New Rochelle, New York, and has experience in administration, teacher recruitment, teacher development, curriculum development and instruction.
A native Midwesterner, Rabbi Prass heralds from Minneapolis, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was ordained by Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2000. In addition to his experience in leading Temple Israel’s education program, Rabbi Prass was instrumental in energizing and enlarging the Temple’s youth groups. As an Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel, prior to his acceptance as Beth Am's education lead, he maintained a full pulpit, with preaching and lifecycle responsibilities.
Rabbi Prass also spent several summers working at Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute in Wisconsin. He is a member of the Chicago Association of Reform Jewish Educators (CHARJE), serving as the treasurer (2010-2015) and president (2015-2017). He serves as the Rabbinic Advisor to NFTY-CAR (2009-present), being granted the honor of lifetime membership in December of 2015. He volunteers at OSRUI, currently serving on the Rabbinic, Educator, Cantorial Advisory Committee (RECC). Rabbi Prass currently lives in Deerfield with his wife, Cantor Jennifer Frost, and their children, Lyla Ann, Ruth Adina and David Lev.