Today is March 22, 2017 -
1300 North Sepulveda Boulevard|Los Angeles, CA 90049|Phone: 310.476.2861
Kenneth Chasen is Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Chasen is an outspoken commentator and author on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to Jewish life, with a special emphasis on social justice in the United States and in Israel. In addition to his activism in support of immigrant rights, affordable housing and environmental sustainability, he has assumed a prominent role in promoting Israeli-Palestinian coexistence, having met with such dignitaries as past Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and former Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He created and led a groundbreaking rabbinic mission to Jerusalem and Ramallah in 2011; the group met with key officials and ministers in the Netanyahu administration and the Palestinian National Authority, as well as influential business leaders on both sides of the Green Line.
Rabbi Chasen’s writings have appeared in a wide variety of national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Variety, Reform Judaism and The Jewish Journal, among many others. Rabbi Chasen is also the co-author of two books which guide Jewish families in the creation of meaningful Jewish rituals in the home. In addition, he serves on the adjunct faculty of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and he is a nationally recognized composer whose original liturgical and educational works are regularly heard in synagogues, religious schools, Jewish camps and sanctuaries across North America and in Israel.
Rabbi Chasen is married to Allison Lee, Executive Director, Southern California of American Jewish World Service. Together, they share the joys and challenges of raising three children, Micah, Benjamin, and Eliana.
Rabbi Lisa Berney is thrilled to be part of the Leo Baeck Temple Community as its Assistant Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Rabbi Berney received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Jewish and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Afterward, she attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles, where she earned her rabbinic ordination, a Master of Arts in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education, a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, and a graduate certificate in Jewish Nonprofit Management. While at HUC-JIR, Rabbi Berney received the Outstanding Female Rabbinic Student Award and the Excellence in Jewish Education Prize.
Prior to her ordination in 2014, Rabbi Berney served as the Community Organizing Student Rabbi at Leo Baeck Temple and as a Synagogue Liaison for the Union of Reform Judaism’s B’nai Mitzvah Revolution. She also served as a student rabbi at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas and Temple Beth Israel in Redding, California, in addition to serving as a student chaplain at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Rabbi Berney remains passionate about community building, social justice, family education, and engaging Jewish learners of all ages.
In her free time, Rabbi Berney enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband, Rabbi Joshua Knobel.
Rabbi Ross was raised in Newton, MA, refined in Brooklyn, NY, and received a B.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Rochester. From 1996 to 2011 he worked as a community organizer in Harlem and Brooklyn and directed national leadership initiatives in the Jewish community for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. While at HUC-JIR he interned at East End Temple in NYC, Kol Ami in White Plains, and Beth Ha-Sholom in Williamsport, PA, and was mentored by rabbis and congregants alike. In addition, Rabbi Ross founded www.ProjectZug.org, connecting hundreds of Israeli, Americans, and Jews around the globe in one-to-one online learning, and conceived and directed HUC-JIR’s Smashing Idols Fellowship, to engage college students to strengthen progressive Jewish life on campus. Rabbi Ross is married to Liz Bennett and they have two boys, Reuven and Zeke.
Cantor Linda Kates is proud and honored to be part of the Clergy team of Leo Baeck Temple. She is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in the San Fernando Valley most of her life. Growing up Cantor Kates sang in school and temple choirs and eventually found herself on staff at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley in 1983. This is where her love for Judaism flourished and her journey really began. From there she was sent to Stephen S. Wise Temple where she stayed for 25 years. At Stephen S. Wise Temple she studied with the renowned teacher of Hazzanut, Cantor Nathan Lam. In 1995, Cantor Kates was certified by the Cantors Assembly of Conservative Judaism as a Master of Cantorial Studies and given the title of Hazzan. She continued to spread both her talents and her love of the cantorate by co-chairing the Western Region of the Cantors Assembly for the last ten years, organizing workshops, conferences and projects, as well as serving on their Executive Council from 2003-2006. Cantor Kates is passionate about teaching young students both in the B’nai Mitzvah program and other programs that will soon be appearing at Leo Baeck Temple. She hopes to inspire Torah readers after their B’nai Mitzvah to continue chanting here at the temple as the LBT Yad Squad. Also in the future, you will see young singers join her on the Bimah, both at Shabbat services and High Holydays. Her joy and hope is to encourage young singers to consider a career as a cantor. Another of Cantor Kates’ goals here at Leo Baeck Temple is to expand the LBT Women’s programming. At her last temple she started the Women of Wise (WOW) and grew it from twenty women in the first year to 400 paid WOW members by the time she left. As Cantor Kates recently stated, “Women can be the movers, shakers, nurturers, and visionaries of an institution. We can also be an integral part in building a community of leaders in our own temple and leaders of social justice in our larger community.” She hopes the women of LBT will continue to learn together, laugh together, and build together a strong community of intergenerational members. Linda is so proud of her work throughout the Jewish community of Los Angeles. She looks forward to a long and inspiring career at Leo Baeck Temple along with her husband, David, and her two daughters, Bria and Chloe.