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Rabbi Simon Stratford

Rabbi Stratford

Rabbi Simon Stratford, a native Chicagoan by way of Michigan State University and the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati is honored and excited to begin his rabbinate at Congregation Kol Ami. During rabbinical school, Rabbi Stratford has served as student rabbi to a number of communities including Trenton, MI, Hattiesburg, MS, Norman, OK, and South Lake Tahoe, CA. Having had spent minimal time on the east coast, he is excited to start this new journey in Maryland.

With a rich background in youth, teaching, informal education, and outdoor Judaism Rabbi Stratford brings his passion for Jewish life and a desire to empower others to embrace their Jewish identity to the job. While in rabbinical school, he served as the rabbinic intern of the national office of recruitment and admissions, where he had the opportunity to create an inclusive community and meaningful relationships with high school and college students from across the country. Rabbi Stratford completed two units (600 hours) of Clinical Pastoral Education while in seminary. He believes strongly that serving in the capacity of pastoral counselor is a vital piece of his rabbinate. 

Rabbi Stratford was drawn to Kol Ami for many reasons, including its welcoming atmosphere and strong communal identity. His goal is to promote wellness and spiritual growth for individuals, families, and the Reform Jewish community in Frederick.

Rabbi Stratford is married to his better half, Nicole Barrett, whom he met at Jewish summer camp almost nine years ago, and was lucky to reconnect and begin their relationship in 2015. Nicole and Simon married in May 2018 at her home congregation in Akron, OH.

Simon and Nicole are thrilled to be in Maryland and joining the Kol Ami family in Frederick.

Contact Rabbi Stratford: or by calling the office (240) 575-9690

 Cantor DubbinCantorial Soloist – Dr. Eric Dubbin

Eric Dubbin has been singing for Kol Ami since its inception and also taught music for our Religious School for three years.  He grew up singing Jewish music for the youth choir of his home synagogue (Temple Beth Am in Miami, Florida) and at URJ Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Georgia. Eric has lived in Frederick County since the late ‘90s with his wife Susan and their children Kellianne, Ricky, and Justin. He works for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine as an executive coach and has practiced large animal medicine since 1988. His passions include his family and their animals, playing guitar, and being outside. -

President - Daniel SiegerDaniel Sieger

Bio Coming Soon




Executive Vice President – Anne CohenAnn Cohen

I am a retired middle school teacher, and have lived in Frederick for over 40 years. I spend time in my retirement volunteering with various organizations, hanging out with friends, family, (including my five grandchildren), and working my way through my very large bucket list of places around the world that I want to see. Travel is definitely one of my favorite activities! My husband and I joined Kol Ami in 2006. I have been membership chairperson for many years. I thoroughly enjoy that position, because I get to meet so many new people, and get to tell them how wonderful the CKAF community is. My husband and I have developed many lasting friendships through our association with Kol Ami. I’ve been on the Board of Trustees for several years, and am currently serving as Vice President. The Kol Ami community is very important to me, and I look forward to helping us grow and develop new programs and activities.

Director of Religious Education - Joanna SiegerJoanna Sieger

After teaching for 8 years for CKAF religious school, I am excited to embark on a new job as CKAF’s Education Director. I have three children: Molly, who has worked in our school since her Bat Mitzvah in 2014, Zachary, and Sarah, who is entering our 6th grade. I am director at the Beth Sholom Early Childhood Center in Frederick and also teach the 2 year olds there. Additionally, I serve on the Executive Board of Kol Ami as the immediate past president. Our children’s religious school is incredibly important because it is where our youth gain their sense of community.

Assistant Director of Education & Secretary - Mary Cat Lasko Simpson

Mary Cat has been married to Jeff for 18 years and lives in Walkersville. They have three children; Mitch, 14, Caelyn, 12, and Eliana, 9. Mary Cat works fulltime as a medical coder for a local billing company. The Laskos have been members of Kol Ami since 2012. Mary Cat is on the congregation’s Board of Trustees and also keeps busy volunteering for Boy Scouts as the Troop Committee Chair. She is excited to be the Assistant Director of Education for the religious school this year.


Treasurer - Faith MillerMiller

My husband Cliff and I relocated from Georgia to Maryland last April in order to be closer to family. We joined Kol Ami shortly after that and are happy to have found a friendly, welcoming congregation. We enjoy services and the activities offered. In the short time we have been members, we have made great new friends. My background is in accounting and Human Resources. I am looking forward to helping with the “business” end of the congregation.


Financial Secretary - Ralene DamantiRalene Damanti

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, and remembering fondly when the Brooklyn Dodgers were at Ebbets Field, Ralene is married to Frank and they live in Spring Ridge. The Damantis have six children and 10 grandchildren. Ralene retired in 2015 from Frederick County Public Schools after 31 years where she served as the Budget Coordinator for Special Education. Ralene and Frank have been members of Kol Ami since 2007. She has served as a Board Member and is currently the Financial Secretary. Ralene and Frank enjoy traveling, family visits and binge watching on Netflix. Ralene enjoys the many warm relationships she has with other members of the congregation and the outstanding services conducted by Rabbi Stratford.


Congregation Kol Ami of Frederick Board of Trustees

Board meetings are held the 4th Monday of every month, unless that Monday is a holiday, at the downtown office.  Please check our website for exact dates and address.



Daniel Sieger, President

Anne Cohen Vice-President

Faith Miller, Treasurer

Ralene Damanti, Financial Secretary

Mary Cat Lasko, Secretary

Joanna Sieger, Immediate Past President

Cathy Reifman - 3 year term

Dan Bilow - 3 year term

Bob Blumenthal

Harriet Buxbaum

Samantha Lieberman

Ali Lazorchak

Betsy Maymon 

Lee Nelson

Jordan Schneider



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