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 Cantorial Soloist on Temple Isaiah’s dynamic clergy team. Born and raised in West LA, 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 served as a cantorial soloist for a multitude of synagogues and Jewish organizations and since ordination 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 is a member of The Wing, a social and community space for women. In 2018 Rabbi Cohen earned a 200-hour yoga teaching certification, fusing her passion for the practice with a deep love of prayer. Rabbi Cohen and her family live in Culver City.
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.
Dr. Tamar Andrews has been our Senior Director of Early Childhood Education and Engagement for over 15 years. In that time she has tripled our enrollment and our award-winning preschool is now a three-time NAEYC accredited program, an Outdoor Classroom Demonstration Site and a major hub for early childhood training across the state. She cherishes her preschool faculty, and can often be found in the kitchen whipping up a meal for them.
Tamar is also adjunct faculty at both Santa Monica College and UCLA as well as having created the MA Ed in Early Childhood at the American Jewish University. She conducts parenting seminars and is the synagogue’s in-house chef for many of our community events and monthly Shabbat.
Avital has been part of Temple Isaiah for over twenty years beginning as a teacher and now as the Associate Director of Early Childhood Education and Engagement. 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.
Reuben is an experienced educator and non-profit professional with a dynamic, educational background. Prior to joining our community at Temple Isaiah, he was the Founding Camp Director of a new Jewish overnight arts camp, Havaya Arts, located in Southern California. His professional journey began in the Jewish Learning and Engagement department at Hillel International in Washington, DC and has taken him as far as Mumbai, India, where he served as a Jewish Service Corps Fellow with the JDC. He has an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, where he double-majored in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Psychology, and a master’s degree in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the father of two smart, funny daughters - Aria and Hadas - who keep him very busy here in Los Angeles.
As the Associate Director of K-12 Education and Engagement Carla is responsible for all aspects of our K-12 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.
Lisa has been Temple Isaiah's Director of Youth and Camp K-12 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.