Rabbi Zoë Klein is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Isaiah and has served this congregation since 2000. She graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Psychology and received ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998.
She is the author of multiple novels including, Drawing in the Dust and The Scroll of Anatiya, which were published by Simon and Schuster. Of Drawing in the Dust, Publishers Weekly wrote, “Insight into the world of biblical excavation in Israel raises Rabbi Klein's debut novel from a Jewish Da Vinci Code to an emotionally rich story of personal and historical discovery...Rabbi Klein's most vivid passages depict the meditative tedium of digging, the exultation of discovery and the intricate processes of authentication and preservation while love stories past and present—and a balanced, compassionate view of both Israeli and Arab traditions—add to the book's pleasures.” Drawing in the Dust has been published in five countries.
In addition to novels, Rabbi Klein has written articles for numerous publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Tikkun, and Torat Hayim. She has written chapters in a number of collections including The Women’s Torah Commentary, Teen Texts, and Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. Her poems and prayers are used in houses of prayer around the country.
Rabbi Klein gives numerous presentations and is a keynote speaker or panel participant at various assemblies all over the country. She is a resource for reporters in regional newspapers and has appeared as a commentator on the History Channel in “Digging for the Truth.”
Dara was recognized in 2014 as the Human Rights Rabbi of the Year by T’ruah, the national Jewish justice organization. The award reflects her outstanding leadership at Isaiah, among interfaith communities in Los Angeles, and nationally, on issues of health, environment, education, hunger and human rights.
A graduate of Stanford University, with a B.A. in Feminist Studies and Religious Studies and a Masters in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, Dara was ordained in 2006 at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. During her years in NYC, she completed her second unit of hospital chaplaincy, taught “Introduction to Judaism” at the 92nd Street Y, and led trips to Latin America with American Jewish World Service. As rabbinic intern, she served two years at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY. In 2005 she was selected as the Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun where she taught, led services, and helped to grow Tze’irim, the 20's-30's group.
Since joining the Isaiah community in 2007 as Assistant Rabbi, Dara is engaged in every aspect of congregational and life cycle events, with a focus on social justice issues, Israel and religious education. She is active with many local organizations committed to social justice including: American Jewish World Service, Bend the Arc (Los Angeles Regional Council & Selah Leadership), Hazon, Jewish World Watch, Just Congregations, One LA-IAF and Reform CA. Since 2012, Dara has taught The Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage curriculum to the Isaiah community. In January 2014, alumni from the class joined her for a 10 day trip to Israel titled: “Israel 2.0: In Pursuit of Justice & Peace”. In her free time, Dara can be found shopping at the local farmer’s market or pretending to follow Wisconsin sports teams.
Rabbi Joel Nickerson, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, has worked extensively in the Jewish community all over the country.
He first attended Emory University, receiving a B.S. degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology with a minor in Judaic Studies. After college, he returned to the Bay Area and served as the Hillel Jewish Campus Service Corps (JCSC) Fellow at Stanford University.
He relocated to Southern California when he became the Director of Youth Programming at Temple Judea in Tarzana. His work in the Jewish community continued, and Rabbinical school was in his future. He completed his Rabbinic Studies at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). While at HUC-JIR, he held rabbinic internships at Temple Judea in Tarzana and Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino. He also held a summer fellowship at the Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI), co-created an alternative religious school at Temple Judea, and taught at Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades.
Upon ordination, Rabbi Joel became one of a select group of Jewish educators/rabbis, from across all denominations, to become a Senior Jewish Educator for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. The program, funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, was created to establish innovative and relationship-based learning opportunities for students peripherally connected to Judaism. Rabbi Joel moved to Philadelphia and in this role spent two years teaching and building relationships with students at the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2011, Rabbi Joel returned to Los Angeles and joined the Temple Isaiah family. Besides the innovative programming he is involved in at Isaiah, you can find him regularly lecturing to the Pastoral Counseling class at the Los Angeles campus of HUC. He is also a member of a clergy/mental health professional roundtable group sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.
When not working he loves spending time with his wife, Julia, and their three daughters, enjoying a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop, or taking advantage of the great outdoors.
Rabbi Aimee Gerace was awarded an exclusive position in 2011 into the HUC-JIR Mandel Fellowship Program. This prestigious opportunity exemplified Aimee’s qualities, understandings, and competencies to inspire congregational communities, fostering the social reality that transcends denominational and geographical boundaries.
Named the Elizabeth and Fritz Krauss Outstanding Student in Jewish Studies, Rabbi Gerace received her BA in Jewish Studies and Spanish Language from Tulane University in New Orleans. She began working extensively with Jewish youth in Los Angeles as an early childhood educator and youth advisor, before going on to receive her MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew Union College Los Angeles in 2011. Aimee first joined Temple Isaiah in 2012 as a rabbinic intern, and then officially joined the education team after ordination. This is where she successfully began to reshape the religious school and further inspire students and teachers and is now the Senior Director of Youth and Family Education.
In 2013 Rabbi Gerace was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. She now shares her vision on a daily basis in her role as Rabbi-Educator at Temple Isaiah, creating and facilitating a well-rounded and multi-vocal approach to Israel and education within Temple Isaiah’s Religious School. Her passion for learning and deep knowledge of Jewish history gracefully elevates her ability to share her vision with others. She is an American Jewish University Teaching Israel Fellow alumna, a member of the Mandel Leadership Fellowship, a mentor and tutor to Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, and a leader on domestic and international educational student trips.
A native of the San Fernando Valley, Rabbi Gerace has made Los Angeles her home along with her husband, Marco, their two cats, and their newest addition, Carson. When she’s not questioning and challenging the norms and objectives in Jewish education, she finds great pleasure in her kitchen seasoning chili with hot sauce, or going on long walks with her family.
Rabbi Gan was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and was ordained in 1967 at Hebrew Union College. He moved to Los Angeles with his wife Sheila and children Michael and Hilary in 1969, after serving as the Jewish Chaplain at Ft. Lewis in Washington and joined Temple Isaiah as its first Associate Rabbi.
In 1979, Rabbi Gan became the Temple's second senior rabbi succeeding Rabbi Albert Lewis. For thirty-eight years, he had the wonderful opportunity of teaching, leading and being part of the lives of several generations of Temple Isaiah families. Involved in the larger community as well, Rabbi Gan held the presidencies of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, ARZA/World Union, and the Inter-Religious Council of Southern California.
Over the years, it has always been his great joy to be immersed in a giving and caring congregation committed to social justice, the acquisition of knowledge and deeds of loving kindness. In 1992, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC.
Cantor Tifani Coyot was born in Long Island New York and grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where she realized her dream of becoming a Cantor during her Bat Mitzvah service.
Cantor Coyot graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a B.A. in Jewish Studies and a minor in Vocal Performance. She spent her junior year abroad at the University College of London, studying in the largest Jewish Studies department in Europe. It was in London where she met her husband Loïc, who introduced her to the French language, culture, and Judaism. She is an avid supporter of the Jewish community in France and serves as an artist in residence and teacher at La Communauté Juive Libérale in Paris.
She received her ordination as Cantor at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with a Double Masters in Sacred Music and Jewish Education. Cantor Coyot is a strong believer in informal education which inspired her to become a Jewish professional. She has been active in Jewish camping and song-leading since high school. The theme of her Cantorate was joy and was centered around relationships and creating meaningful Jewish experiences. While studying at the Hebrew Union College, she served on Student Government and was the president of the School of Sacred Music.
As a member of the American Conference of Cantors, she served on the School of Sacred Music recruitment committee.
She is now a member of the URJ Joint Worship Committee and is an active leader in the Western Region Cantors Network, co-chairing the Regional Cantors Conference. She served as the cantor on the faculty at the Hebrew Union College campus in Los Angeles.
Cantor Coyot’s passion is in creating innovative worship experiences and has performed for communities around the world. She actively builds bridges using music and dialogue with many faith-based and non-profit organizations in Los Angeles. She has a love for revitalizing Jewish and secular music and in her spare time has composed Jewish music with her writing partner, Mary Ekler.
She loves living in California because of the amazing weather and gorgeous terrain. She leads Shabbat and Havdalah hikes, yoga, and meditation/chanting services, and Jewish wilderness programming. During her free time, she enjoys yoga, exploring nature, new restaurants, and traveling. You can find her hiking in Runyon Canyon, biking in Sherman Oaks, or rollerblading in Santa Monica. She is blessed to have a supportive husband, Loïc and a beautiful son Natanel.
Cantor Lorna Lembeck has served as Associate Cantor at Temple Isaiah since 2010. In May of 2009, she received ordination and graduated from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles. She served as Cantor for Creative Arts Temple in Beverly Hills for eight years, and prior to that, as the cantorial intern at Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue.
Cantor Lembeck, a Jew-by-choice, converted to Judaism in 1997 after a powerful journey of soul searching and study. She began participating in Shabbat and High Holy Day services as a lay leader and enrolled at the Academy for Jewish Religion where she obtained her Masters Degree in Jewish Sacred Music.
Shortly after ordination Lorna began teaching Bar/Bat Mitzvah students at Temple Isaiah and officiating at services. She is now deeply rooted in the Temple Isaiah culture. Sharing her passion for Judaism not only by inspiring the congregation during services but also through the meaningful relationships she develops with the many students and families that she tutors and prepares for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Lorna and her husband, Michael Lembeck, are the parents of two children, Sam and Mimi, and have four grandchildren Elijah, Miles, Della, and Louis.
If Lorna is not on the bima or tutoring students, she can always be found enjoying her enchanting grandchildren.
Cantor Lembeck is a member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC).
Cantor Kent, a 1988 graduate of the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music, has served Temple Isaiah since his graduation. Before attending HUC-JIR, Evan received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in music education research.
Cantor Kent enjoys sharing the vast palette of Jewish music and culture with our congregation. Through his vision of the Jewish arts, he has attempted to embody Rav Kook's statement, "Let the old become new and let the new become holy."
Evan has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Israel. He has appeared as a soloist in opera and oratorio in such works as Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Stravinsky’s Cantata. He has sung as a tenor soloist with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony on numerous occasions and was proud to appear in the North American premiere of Shostakovich’s “From Yiddish Folk Poetry” with the orchestra. Also, he has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, the Kol Echad Chorale and Orchestra and the Novakowsky Chorale and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera.
His one-man show “Love Affair: A Jewish Musical Journey” has been seen throughout the United States at synagogues and conventions and workshops.
Evan has been involved in inter-cultural affairs through the production of choral festivals, multi-cultural workshops and clinics. He is currently on the faculty of Hebrew Union College and is the cantor for the school’s synagogue. Also, Evan is on the editorial board of the CCAR Press.
Evan is an avid runner and bicyclist having competed in ten marathons, more than a dozen half-marathons and numerous cycling fund-raisers. He has participated in the California AIDS Ride and the Israeli Ride4Reform- a 5-day mountain biking excursion that traverses Israel.
Cantor Kent is married to Rabbi Donald Goor, his life-partner of more than twenty years and made aliyah in 2013.