Rabbi Educator Lisa LevenbergPhone: 408-358-1751 x3
I attribute my Jewish identity to my parents, whose personal values and professional commitment as owners of the San Diego Jewish Times ingrained in me an appreciation of Jewish history, community, and culture. I was also deeply influenced by my rabbi, Rabbi Marty Lawson of Temple Emanu-El in San Diego, and my experiences in Jewish youth group. My nine summers at Camp Swig, the “Institute for Living Judaism,” were opportunities for finding Jewish role models, exploring my spirituality, and inhaling the spirit of Jewish life that pervaded the entire atmosphere.
After growing up in San Diego, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of California at Berkeley (Go Bears!). Following graduation, I entered rabbinical school at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. As part of the program, I spent a year living and studying in Jerusalem, followed by three years in Los Angeles, where I earned a Master’s in Jewish Education as well as a Master’s in Hebrew Letters. I completed my studies at the HUC campus in New York, where I was ordained in 2002.
At Shir Hadash, I work with all aspects of our youth education and youth worship programs. My portfolio includes Religious School, Hebrew School, Hebrew High, and Family Education, as well as Tot Shabbat and our new family-friendly service, No Shush Shabbat. I am also delighted to be involved with our new Early Childhood Center, which is directed by Robin Adelman.
The Talmud teaches, “Chevruta or meitutah—fellowship or death!,” and in keeping with that tradition, I am involved with several local and national professional organizations, including the Cantors’ and Rabbi’s Association of Greater San Jose; the Educators’ Roundtable; the North American Association of Temple Educators; the Central Conference of American Rabbis; and others.
My partner Topaz is a pediatrician at Santa Clara Kaiser. We have two children, Dov and Ella, and an aged orange cat. As a family, we enjoy camping, swimming, reading, cooking, playing at home, and spending time with family and friends. I am a year-round Cal fan and a fair-weather fan of various San Diego and Bay Area teams.