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Clergy

Rabbi Leah Lewis

Rabbi

Rabbi Lewis grew up in nearby Riverside. She developed a strong identification with Judaism at an early age, both from her family’s influence and from a longstanding involvement with Jewish summer camps and youth groups. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. After graduating from UCSB, Rabbi Lewis spent a year as a Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C., researching various public policy issues from a Jewish perspective and advocating for these issues on behalf of Reform Judaism.

After spending time in rabbinical school on the Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York campuses of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and receiving Masters degrees in Jewish Communal Service and Hebrew Letters, Rabbi Lewis was ordained in the spring of 2002. Along the way, she held positions at the Valley Alliance office of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Union for Reform Judaism’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns. While at HUC, she also served congregations in Redding, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Scarsdale, NY. She has worked at and spent many summers with Jewish youth at a variety of Reform Jewish camps.

Following ordination, she served for seven years at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles.. From 2009-2011, she served on the faculty at Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, CA as a teacher, Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies and Dean of Jewish Life. From 2011-2017, Rabbi Lewis served as Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Shir HaMa'alot in Irvine.

She is married to David Lewis, a fellow professional pursuer of Jewish learning and engagement. On the rare occasion that she is not busy with synagogue life or her three children, Gabriel, Jonah and Nomi, Rabbi Lewis enjoys running, hiking, yoga, cooking and an occasional baseball game.

She is thrilled to call Temple Menorah home.

Rabbi Steven Silver

Rabbi Emeritus

Rabbi Silver was the spiritual leader of Temple Menorah from 1987-2017. He now continues to serve as Rabbi Emeritus to Temple Menorah.

Rabbi Silver was born in Boston and raised in Anaheim, California where his family belonged to Temple Beth Emet, then under the spiritual leadership of the late Rabbi Aaron J. Tofield and Cantor Phillip Modell. He graduated from UCLA in 1974 with a BA in Ancient Near Eastern History and is a credentialed teacher.

Rabbi Silver received his Masters in Hebrew Letters in 1982 at the Los Angeles campus of HUC-JIR and was ordained Rabbi by the Hebrew Union College -Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1984. Following ordination Steven became the assistant rabbi and a year later associate rabbi of Congregation EmanuEl in Houston, Texas. In Houston, Rabbi Silver served on the University of Texas medical ethics panel and for many years served in the same capacity at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance. He is a member of the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

In 2009 he was awarded the title Doctor of Divinity (honorus causa) by HUC-JIR in recognition of his devoted service to the Jewish people.

During his 30 year tenure at Temple Menorah, Rabbi Silver brought great growth in membership, expansion of educational offerings and services, and a vision of a totally involved congregation serving the spiritual needs of Jews in our South Bay Community.

Kelly Cooper

Student Cantor

Student Cantor Kelly Cooper graduated from USC with a BM in Vocal Arts with an emphasis in Opera. She won several vocal competitions before embarking on a career that has included opera, jazz, and musical theater. In addition to singing leading roles in productions throughout New York and Los Angeles, Kelly sang with the LA Opera Chorus and performed leading roles on the high seas. After having kids, Kelly began to lead Tot Shabbat services at Temple Israel in Long Beach.

She led these services for five years creating a vibrant program with record attendance. She taught sixth grade Hebrew at Temple Israel and was a regular sub for their Cantor leading the adult services and tutoring the B"nai Mitzvah kids. Kelly co-led services at the Alpert Jewish Community Center"s Biennial Women"s Weekends in 2016 and 2018. She was the song leader for Camp Komaroff at the AJCC for two summers before starting at Temple Menorah. Kelly was the soprano soloist in the Temple Israel High Holiday choir for six years, and in 2017, she led High Holiday services with Rabbi Jules King at Desert Outreach Synagogue in Rancho Mirage. Kelly leads the Senior Shabbat services at the AJCC. While on this journey, Kelly discovered her true passion was in the cantorate and enrolled in the Cantorial school at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California. Kelly is very excited to be a part of the Temple Menorah team!

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