Michael has been involved in Synagogue management since 2002 and in Jewish communal life since childhood. He completed his degrees in Jewish Studies & Industrial Sociology and Labor Relations in Johannesburg, South Africa, before following his passion for Judaic Studies and Biblical Hebrew to the University of Oxford, where he read for an MST degree. He rounded out his skill-set with a Master of Business and Technology degree at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia before settling in the United States.
Michael worked in Information Systems Management for USC before assuming leadership of Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills. After five years as Executive Director there, he moved to Boston and was appointed as Executive Director at Temple Emanuel of Newton in 2007, where he served for six years.
In 2013, Michael returned to Los Angeles with his wife, Dr. Dalia Yasharpour, and their children Gabriel and Sibia. The Yasharpour-Cantor family regularly and enthusiastically participates in many aspects of Temple and school life.
Michael particularly enjoys the connective aspect of his work, getting to know congregants and their families and growing with them in our Jewish home. He looks forward to meeting you soon!
Seth has been a Nonprofit Professional since 2001. He received his Bachelor of the Arts in Classical and Judaic History from the University of Maryland, College Park, and his Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. Before joining Temple Isaiah, Seth served as the Director of Development at Temple Beth Am/Pressman Academy. In addition, he has held a myriad of nonprofit leadership positions including six years as a Hillel Professional at The Ohio State University and San Diego State University and various non-profit organizations working towards enhancing the quality of life of individuals with disabling conditions. Seth has also served as a consultant helping organizations develop mission statements, business plans, marketing plans, program development and numerous other areas.
Seth is married to Allison, and they have two children, Livia, who is enrolled in the religious school and Solomon, who is enrolled in the preschool. Seth loves all sports and is particularly obsessed with soccer, especially his favorite team, West Ham United and is very much looking forward to LAFC launching in 2018. He is also known for his unique neck-tie knots.
He looks forward to building relationships and knowing your story of WHY Temple Isaiah is your spiritual home.
Sheri Vinnecour Gerrman has been working in the Jewish community since graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1996. Her first professional experience was working for the Jewish Federation helping to coordinate the Valley Jewish Festival and Israel’s 50th Anniversary Festival at Pan Pacific Park.
Sheri went on to study at the Hebrew Union College, where she received her double masters in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service in 2001. Following graduation, Sheri began working at Kehillat Israel as their Director of Membership Engagement. She was responsible for all programming, fundraising, and membership at the congregation. After eight years, Sheri left her full-time position to be a stay-at-home mom, while continuing at KI as their part-time volunteer/new member coordinator. Four years ago, Sheri returned to KI, full time, wearing various hats, included reinvigorating the Parenting Center, tutoring in their Religious School and overseeing aspects of the membership process. Most recently Sheri worked as Director of Member Engagement and Development, focusing on both membership and fundraising.
Sheri’s greatest joys are her two daughters, Emily and Samantha. She also loves the Wisconsin Badgers, traveling, cooking and hiking.
Tara's professional experience is very diverse. She is the founder of two multimedia studios Leo Creations and Ki'i Boards. She's held positions as Art Director for a multimedia start-up company, Assistant Producer in the entertainment industry, Creative Director for a Jewish non-profit and Art Educator with Los Angeles Unified School District.
Tara has deep roots in the Jewish community, having served both the Jewish Federation and Temple Akiba in program development, administration and fundraising capacities. In her role as Art Specialist, she was awarded the Sara and Simha Lainer Distinguished Educator Award for outstanding service in religious school education.
As the Marketing and Communications Manager at Temple Isaiah, Tara is responsible for strategic communications planning, knowledge dissemination and outreach to the community and temple members.
When Tara is not creating in her art studio, designing surfboards or doing extreme sports, she likes to spend time working on her novels or scripting her next themed party.
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.
Rabbi Jaclyn Cohen is proud to serve as Temple Isaiah's Cantorial Soloist. An LA native born and raised on the Westside, Rabbi Cohen spent most of her childhood at Stephen Wise Temple. She earned a BA in Religious Studies & Music from UC Davis and spent two years working in various pockets of the Bay Area Jewish community before entering HUC-JIR’s rabbinic program.
Upon ordination from HUC-JIR’s Los Angeles campus in 2014, Rabbi Cohen moved to Seattle, Washington to serve Temple De Hirsch Sinai. Her primary work was with "The Tribe," Temple's hub of Jewish life, learning and spirituality for those in their 20s and 30s, as well as "Village," a programmatic initiative for young Jewish families. She served congregants of all ages through meaningful study, pastoral care and officiation of lifecycles. Additionally, Rabbi Cohen was a founding member of the Engager Network of Seattle's Jewish professional young adult "connectors."
With over twenty years of experience in synagogue music, Rabbi Cohen's background is eclectic and representative of what it means to create a unique kind of rabbinate. Music has always been the lifeblood of her work; since high school, she has regularly served as a cantorial soloist and since her ordination, she has integrated music of all genres into her rabbinate. As the Cantorial Soloist at Temple Isaiah, Rabbi Cohen works closely with Cantor Coyot and Isaiah's talented, dedicated team of synagogue musicians and choirs.
Outside the synagogue, she is a volunteer speaker and advocate for Maternal Mental Health Now and Jewish Center for Justice. She writes for the online wellness guide The Chalkboard Mag and holds a 200-hour yoga teaching certification. Rabbi Cohen and her husband Joshua are the proud parents of Avi Samuel. Together they love bike riding in Santa Monica, watching (and re-watching) every episode of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and sampling every kind of guacamole they can try.
Danny song leads and teaches in the Temple Isaiah Preschool, Religious School, B'yachad program, and at Camp Isaiah. His involvement in Jewish music began as a junior in high school attending Kutz Camp and enrolling in the Song Leader track during the summer of 2005. From there, Danny went on to work at the URJ camp, Olan Sang Ruby Union Institute in Wisconsin as well as teach religious school during his college years in Rochester, NY where he attended undergrad at the University of Rochester.
His passion for Jewish music followed him to Los Angeles where Temple Isaiah gave him his first job out of college in 2012. After his third year teaching music in the Religious School, Danny was asked to work full time as the Song Leader at Isaiah. Danny will continue to increase his involvement with Temple Isaiah by adding Bar/ Bat Mitzvah tutoring to his schedule in the 2016-2017 school year.
When Danny is not working at Isaiah, he spends his time playing and performing in his Jazz band around Los Angeles and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Tamar spent her teen years at Temple Isaiah as a high school student attending YULA HS, whose classes were held here. A graduate of CSULA and CSUN, Tamar also holds a Doctorate in Education. Tamar began her tenure as our Preschool Director in 2003. She is on the faculty of Cal State University, Santa Monica College, and UCLA. Tamar works closely with the California State Mentor program as a Mentor Director. As a national and international recognized speaker, Tamar lectures extensively on early childhood education and child development and is Director of the MA in ECE at the American Jewish University.
The most important reason a family should choose Temple Isaiah Preschool is because they want to join something bigger than themselves. To participate in and feel the joy of being part of a really wonderful community. The best feelings come from sharing: sharing meals at Shabbat dinner, sharing your home with a friend over for a play date, sharing a lunch when your friend forgot his, sharing a smile, a tear, an important event, and sharing our lives with one another. All of this helps to create children that are true mensches.
Tamar lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Edward. They are proud parents of four adult children and love to travel and are active in their community.
Avital has been part of Temple Isaiah for over twenty years beginning as a teacher and now as the Associate Director. In this role, Avital plans and implements every detail of our amazing preschool summer and holiday camps as well as all specialists. She is also very involved in our 4th Friday program, Family Camp, Second Night Seder and other synagogue and community events.
From a young age, Avital always knew that she would be a teacher and involved in education. She loves children and mentoring staff to become better educators. Avital holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and is a California State Mentor Director. As a mentor, Avital helps and guides other directors in the field of early childhood, as well as mentoring many of our own teachers in methods to improving their practices. She is a presenter at many early childhood conferences and a guest lecturer at UCLA Extension ECE courses.
Avital moved to Los Angeles from Israel in 1988 and lives with husband Aaron and her three daughters. Avital's family are all very much a part of the Temple Isaiah Community.
When she is not at Isaiah, you can find her at the gym or a good restaurant and enjoying a glass of Malbec.
Peggy has worked in the Jewish community for over seventeen years. She started working as an Admissions Coordinator in 1997 when she was working for Jewish Community Centers.
Peggy joined the Temple Isaiah staff in 2003 continuing to work as an Admissions Coordinator for the preschool. She processes enrollment for the preschool school, camps, and other programs. She enjoys interacting with the parents and children.
Peggy was born and raised in Los Angeles, has been married for over thirty years, and has two adult children. When not working, she enjoys reading, bicycling, crocheting, hiking and walking. Since 2013 she has participated in over 20 charity walks, including the Avon39 Walk for Breast Cancer in 2015 and will be participating in the Avon39 Walk again in September, 2016.
Rivkie began working at Temple Isaiah in 2008 after moving to Los Angeles from New York. Her involvement in Jewish Education has spanned over twenty years holding various positions such as teacher, youth program coordinator, camp counselor, camp director and office manager of a large community preschool.
Her work in the Jewish community has positively impacted the lives of children, teens, and adults globally. In her current role as Preschool Office Manager, Rivkie handles anything related to the preschool. "I love what I do and feel fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community of parents and staff."
Rivkie is one of twelve children and is a certified health coach and energy healer. She shares her passion for health and nutrition with our teachers, students, and parents. When not at Isaiah, she loves spending time in nature, at the beach, hiking, traveling, cooking, and promoting healthy eating.
Rabbi Zoë KleinMiles 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 was 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.”
As the Religious School Educator for Pre-K–6, Carla is responsible for all aspects of our K-6 religious school program and works closely with the rest of the religious school staff on many other programs.
Carla was born and raised in Mexico City and attended Jewish day school from preschool through high school. She studied for one year at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and immigrated to the United States in 1987. Carla graduated from UCLA with a BA in history and earned her MAEd and a BA in Hebrew letters from the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) here in Los Angeles.
She began working at Temple Isaiah in 1994, and she finds it as exciting now as it was when she began. She's committed to understanding the needs of our congregants regarding the Jewish education of their families and to be able to satisfy those needs in a fun, interactive and creative way.
Carla has been happily married for twenty-eight years to Philippe. When not at work, Carla enjoys taking Zumba lessons, going to the movies with her husband and spending time with her fantastic daughters Miriam, Robin, and Erica.
Stephanie Stephanie joined Temple Isaiah in 2015, quickly becoming an active and integral part of the Isaiah community and educational team.
Stephanie's work in Jewish education began when she was a junior in High School as a teaching assistant and a NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth) regional board member. She continued her path in Jewish education while in college, becoming a Religious School teacher and helping run youth group events. After receiving an Interior Design degree from Virginia Tech, Stephanie worked for a design firm, continuing to fill her free time with teaching and running youth programs all over Los Angeles.
After a year in the field, she realized that her passion was working with children, not in interior design and decided to head back to school. Stephanie attended The University of Judaism (currently American Jewish University), obtained her Master’s in Education, and has been working as a Jewish Education professional ever since. In 2018, she received the honor of being granted the title of RJE (Reform Jewish Educator) by the RJE Title-Granting Commission. Which is currently comprised of representatives from the American Conference of Cantors (ACC), the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE), the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). Being granted this title means that Stephanie exemplifies the standards set by these organizations as an outstanding Jewish Professional and Educator.
As one of Temple Isaiah's Religious School Educators, Stephanie works closely with our students, families, and the faculty, creating amazing experiential learning experiences for all involved.
When Stephanie is not working with Jewish youth, she enjoys doing almost anything related to creating/doing art (painting, knitting, photography, scrapbooking), being outdoors, and travel.
Lisa has been Temple Isaiah's Youth and Camp Director since 2004. Overseeing and advising our three youth groups, designing and staffing approximately a dozen retreats, and growing our amazing Jewish day camp, Camp Isaiah.
After graduating from USC with a BA in Psychology, Lisa pursued a career in financial/tax/estate planning before happily returning to the world of Jewish experiential education. Lisa holds a Certificate from Hebrew Union College in Jewish Education with a focus on Adolescents and Emerging Adults. She is a founding and current board member of RYPA, Reform Youth Professionals Association as well as the local chair of YPAC, Youth Professionals Advisory Council.
Ellen Goldberg Z"L was Temple Isaiah's Religious School Director for twenty-one years and the assistant director for five years before that. During that time, with the wonderful help of Assistant Director, Carla, and Administrative Assistant, Michelle, she proudly watched the school grow from 165 to 530 students.
During her time as RS Director, she was quite active on the Bureau of Jewish Education's Religious School Principals' Council and was honored to have been selected as the first recipient of the Bureau of Jewish Education's Sara and Simcha Lainer "Distinguished Jewish Educator" award.
Ellen worked with many interns from Hebrew Union College and the American Jewish University. Many of them now work all over the United States (and one in Australia) as Jewish Educators.
Ellen was involved at Temple Isaiah as a member of HaSharim (Temple choir) and several other committees. She also regularly attended Friday evening Shabbat services.