The AJRCA Clergy and Alumni Association is a professional organization of our graduates. As an alumni organization, it sustains an enriching lifelong connection between alumni and the Academy, whose purpose is to further the excellence of the Academy by fostering an enduring and mutually beneficial relationship. As a professional association, it includes a code of ethics by which its members must abide, in accordance with requirements of most professional clergy associations. As an alumni support group, it offers a supportive community as each graduate faces the challenges of making Judaism more meaningful and relevant in today’s society. Alumni help one another to find resources to support their spiritual development and growth in leadership skills, while also creating a collegial forum for scholarly interchange.
Co-Presidents: Rabbi Avivah Erlick and Chaplain Muriel Dance
Secretary: Chaplain Claire Gorfinkel
Treasurer: Cantor Ed Robin
Board Representative: Chaplain Muriel Dance
The following are graduates of AJRCA’s Rabbinical, Cantorial and Chaplaincy Schools:
Chaplain Ronnie Abrams (2013) serves as Chaplain at the Jewish Healing Center of Los Angeles (JHCLA) in Los Angeles. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaplain Amy S. Altshuld (2010) serves as a Chaplain and Spiritual Care Counselor at Skirball Hospice, a program of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging, and teaches Jewish studies to seniors at Westwood Horizons Retirement Living. email@example.com.
Hazzan Tannoz Bahremand Forunzanfar (2009) is the first Persian woman to be ordained as a Cantor in the United States. She now serves as a Cantor at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Bel Air, California. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Michael Barclay (2007) serves as Rabbi of The New Shul of the Conejo in Agoura Hills, California. He is a recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Humanitarian Award from the B’nai Zion Foundation, and author of Sacred Relationships: Biblical Wisdom for Deepening Our Lives Together. RabbiBarclay@aol.com
Rabbi Tsvi Bar David, PhD (2008) has a private spiritual counseling practice and teaches adults in Jewish communities in northern California. email@example.com.
Rabbi David Baron (2012) continues in his primary profession in the high tech industry, driving innovation developed by Hewlett-Packard teams in Israel. He teaches in the San Diego Jewish community. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Phillip Baron (2005) serves as Hazzan at Valley Beth Shalom (VBS), a Conservative congregation in Encino, California. email@example.com.
Hazzan Wendy Bat-Sarah (2014) serves as Cantor/Educator of Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City. CantorBatSarah@gmail.com
Rabbi Roberta “Birdie” Becker (2010)serves as Rabbi of Temple Emanuel, a Reform congregation in Pueblo, CO. She is also Program Director for “Storahtelling Colorado.” firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Sandy Bernstein (2013) serves as Hazzan at Congregation Beth El Ner Tamid, a Conservative synagogue in Broomall, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia). HazzanSBernstein@gmail.com.
Rabbi Elisheva Beyer (2006) is the founding Rabbi of Temple Beth Or in Reno, Nevada; serves as spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Elko County (JCEC), a Conservative congregation in Elko, Nevada; and is Rabbi of North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation in Tahoe Vista, California. email@example.com.
Rabbi Lisa W. Bock (2012) teaches in the Florence Melton School of the West Valley, and is a facilitator with the Mussar Institute. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Paul Buch (2005) serves as Cantor of Temple Beth Israel, a Union for Reform Judaism-affiliated synagogue in Pomona, California. email@example.com.
Hazzan Sharon Colbert (2009) is Cantor of Temple Beth Am, a Reform congregation with over 500 member families in Williamsville, New York (a suburb of Buffalo). firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaplain Muriel Dance, PhD (2011) serves as Chaplain at Skirball Hospice, a program of the Jewish Home for the Aging. . Muriel_d@msn.com.
Rabbi Marcy Delbick (2009) serves as Rabbi of Temple Beth El, a Reform congregation in Salinas, California. email@example.com
Rabbi Avivah W. Erlick, B.C.C. (2009) is the founder and president of L.A. Community Chaplaincy Services, a referral service for freelance chaplains and clergy. She is a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Diane Elliot (2006) directs Wholly Present, a center for embodied Jewish spirituality, in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the founding director of the ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal’s “Embodying Spirit, En-spiriting Body” movement-based Jewish leadership training program. She also teaches nationally and serves as a spiritual director. www.whollypresent.org / email@example.com.
Hazzan Seth Ettinger (2014) is Hazzan Sheini at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the oldest congregation in Los Angeles. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Marcus Feldman (2011), serves as Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California. email@example.com
Rabbi Steve Finley (2009) serves as Rabbi of Congregation Shir Shalom, an independent congregation in Sonoma, California. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Lonee Frailich (2011) is the first full-time professional Cantor in the history of Temple Akiba, a 330- family Reform congregation in Culver City, California. email@example.com.
Rabbi Tsipi Gabai (2003) is Rabbi of Tehiya Day School in El Cerrito, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaplain Yehoshua Gabbai (2014), an ordained Rabbi, serves as head of the Hebrew department at Yeshivat Yavneh, an Orthodox day school in Los Angeles, where he uses chaplaincy skills in relations with students and co-workers. email@example.com.
Rabbi Susan Goldberg (2012) is a Rabbi at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the oldest synagogue in Los Angeles. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon (2013) is a member of the faculty of Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, a community school for about 400 students in Palo Alto, California. email@example.com.
Hazzan Rachel Goldman (2014) is continuing her studies toward rabbinical ordination at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaplain Claire Gorfinkel (2011) serves on the staff of the Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center as coordinator of the Caring Community Program, providing programs and added attention for congregants and unaffiliated Jews in the Pasadena area who are home-bound, ill, bereaved, caring for a loved one or experiencing other transitions. email@example.com.
Rabbi Rita Hertzberg (2010) served as Rabbi of the Eisenberg Village Campus of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging until her retirement in 2015. She was the first woman rabbi in the Jewish Home’s almost 100-year history. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Cecilia Herzfeld-Stern (2011) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in North San Diego County. She also serves as a Disaster Mental Health and Spiritual Care Counselor for the San Diego Red Cross Mass Disaster Team. email@example.com.
Rabbi Robin Hoffman (2013) is Director of Jewish Education at Congregation B’nai Israel, a Conservative congregation of about 500 member families in Tustin, CA. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Jessica Hutchings (2014) serves as Cantor of Congregation Ner Tamid in Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas.email@example.com.
Rabbi Dean Kertesz (2008) serves as Rabbi of Temple Beth Hillel, a Reform congregation in Richmond, California. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Lorna Lembeck (2009) serves as Hazzan Sheini for Temple Isaiah, a Reform congregation in Los Angeles. Cantorlorna@templeisaiah.com.
Rabbi Janet Madden, PhD (2011) is a Spiritual Care Counselor at Skirball Hospice, a program of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging, and serves as Rabbi of Temple Havurat Emet, a 90-household Reform congregation in Sun Lakes, Arizona. email@example.com.
Rabbi Janice Mehring (2010) is Rabbi of Congregation Ohr Tzafon, a Reform synagogue of about 70 families in Atascadero, California. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaplain Jennifer Eaves Nye (2013) is Associate Spiritual Leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue in Woodland Hills, California. She is also continuing in rabbinical studies at AJRCA.email@example.com.
Rabbi Laura Owens (2008) is Co-Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Horin – Children of Freedom in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s oldest Renewal congregations. She currently serves as Chair of AJRCA’s Board of Directors. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Nina Perlmutter (2009) serves as spiritual leader of Heichal Baoranim, an inclusive Reform synagogue in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is also the rabbinical contact for Jewish Services and Programs at Grand Canyon National Park and teaches at Prescott College and Yavapai College. email@example.com.
Rabbi Robin Podolsky (2013) teaches at Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock, in Los Angeles. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Edward L. Robin (2010) is now pursuing rabbinic studies at AJRCA. Cantor Robin also serves as a substitute cantor at various synagogues throughout the Los Angeles area. email@example.com.
Rabbi Ira Rosenfeld (2008) is co-founder, Rabbi, and Educator for Or Echad (One Light) and HomeShul; serving the Conejo, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita Valleys with a pluralistic, inclusive, joyful, and musical approach to Judaism and life. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Lawrence P. Seidman, PhD (2009) shares the pulpit at Congregation Shalom Bayit, a Reform style synagogue in Banning, California. He also serves as a chaplain in the Orange County jail system and writes columns for the Orange County Register. Rabbi@RationalRabbi.com.
Rabbi Linda Seidman (2010) shares the pulpit at Congregation Shalom Bayit, a Reform style synagogue in Banning, California. She serves as a chaplain in the Orange County jail system, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Orange County Probation Department. RabbiLinda@Seidman.net.
Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman (2005) is Rabbi of Kehillah of Arizona, an independent congregation in Scottsdale, Arizona. She founded and served as Head of School of Pardes Jewish Day School and now serves on that institution’s Board of Directors. email@example.com.
Rabbi Paul Shleffar (2006) is founder and Director of the Center for Contemporary Jewish Spirituality in San Francisco, and translates and interprets Hasidic and mystical texts. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Meeka Simerly (2009) serves as Cantor of San Jose’s Temple Emanu-El, one of the oldest Reform congregations on the west coast. She is the co-author of Voices in the Wilderness – Emerging Roles of Israeli Clergywomen and is expected to graduate AJRCA’s Rabbinical School in 2016. email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazzan Pamela Simmons (2010) serves as a Cantor at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles. email@example.com.
Chaplain Barbara Singer(2009) works as a free-lance chaplain for pastoral care needs, including for the elderly and their families as a hospice chaplain. She also is an Adult Education teacher at Temple Beth Hillel in North Hollywood. SingerLA@aol.com.
Rabbi Mindie Jo Snyder (2015) is Rabbi at Heichal Ba-Oranim, Temple of the Pines, in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Chaplain Judith C. Sommerstein (2006) now retired, previously served as a Board Certified Chaplain at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro, California. She still sits on Providence’s bio ethics committee and does volunteer work at the Canterbury Retirement Facility in Palos Verdes facilitating groups and leading healing services at two synagogues. JudithCaro@aol.com
Rabbi Batshir Torchio (2013) serves as Senior Educator at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Yisraela Tubman (2012) serves as Rabbi at Hallmark West Hills Assisted Living in West Hills, California. email@example.com.
Rabbi Monty Turner (2005) served as a cantor and as Assistant Rabbi at Makom Ohr Shalom, a Jewish Renewal synagogue in Woodland Hills, California.
Hazzan Elisa Waltzman (2009) has moved with her family to Beachwood, Ohio, near Cleveland. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Cheryl Weiner, PhD (2007) is Staff Chaplain for the Greater Miami Jewish Federation (Florida), Director of the Refuat HaNefesh Alumni Network, and Senior Consultant for its Jewish Chaplaincy Program.email@example.com.
Chaplain Robert Weiser (2011) serves as a chaplain at Skirball Hospice, a program of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Lizzie Weiss (2015) serves as Interim Chaplain at Temple Emanu-El of Beverly Hills, California.
Rabbi Liat Yardeni-Funk (2006) is Director of Israel Programs at Milken Community High School. She also serves as Director of Education and Rabbi for the Women’s Minyan and adult education at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, Los Angeles. RabbiLYF@SephardicTemple.org
Rabbi Barbara J. Zacky (2009) is a member of the AJRCA Board of Directors, serves on the Founders’ Council of the Williams Institute, and is a member of the JQ International Advisory Board. She provides spiritual care to families and individuals, and advocates for social justice. email@example.com