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!
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.
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. While studying at the Hebrew Union College, she served on Student Government and was the president of the School of Sacred Music. Over the past decade, she has served in many leadership roles for the American Conference of Cantors, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Hebrew Union College. She served as the Cantor on the faculty at the Hebrew Union College campus in Los Angeles.
Her cantorate is rooted in joy. Her vision it to create Jewish experiences that are meaningful and relevant. Her deepest passion is in the mind, body spirit connection and inspiring others to use Jewish wisdom to enhance their modern lives. She has performed for communities around the world and 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 spinning, yoga, exploring nature, new restaurants, and traveling. a. She is blessed to have a supportive husband, Loïc and their two beautiful sons; Natanel and Rafael.
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 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 Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion’s rabbinic program.
Upon ordination from HUC-JIR, Rabbi Cohen moved to Seattle, Washington to serve on the clergy team of 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 "The Village," a programmatic initiative for young Jewish families.
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; additionally, 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 writer and advocate for maternal and mental health, having contributed articles to Kveller, Jewish Daily Forward and The Chalkboard Mag, among others. Rabbi Cohen is also a certified yoga teacher, 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.
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.
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.