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Clergy and Leadership

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Rabbi Michal Morris Kamil

Born in Jerusalem to Jewish Irish and British parents who were Israeli diplomats, Rabbi Michal worked with youth at risk, youth movement leaders, and Israeli Disabled War Veterans for many years, as well as leading religious schools in the UK and USA. Having trained many teachers in Holocaust education at Yad VaShem, Michal was founding Managing Editor of the Yad Vashem Magazine. She also worked in teacher training and curriculum design for the British Holocaust Education Trust, as well as extensive work with the Anne Frank Trust. Michal, a UJIA Ashdown Fellow with and MBA in International Jewish Educational Leadership, Michal was brought out to the USA from England where she was the London Grants Manager and community consultant for Connecting Communities Plus, a government program to support refugees and asylum seekers, to head up the $6.9 million dollar BASIS Initiative that aimed to train teachers and create vision led curriculum to engage with Israel for the eleven Jewish Day Schools in the Bay Area funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, using her experience as a community shlicha in Leeds, as well as working with Diaspora youth in Kiryat Moriah for many years early in her career in Jerusalem and on Kibbutz. In January 2018 Michal was accepted to Rabbinic Studies at the Academy of Jewish Religion CA and, following her ordination in May, became Rabbi of Ahavat Torah, Rabbi Michal is mother to two daughters.

Rabbi Emerita Miriam Hamrell

Rabbi Miriam E. Hamrell MHL, M.Ed., has served as  our religious and spiritual leader at Ahavat Torah Congregation and helped it grow since it was founded in 2003.  Rabbi Miriam provides classes throughout the world on Jewish Ethics, the Spiritual and Inner Meaning of Prayer, Holy Days, Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, Conversion to Judaism, and advice on interpersonal relationships. Rabbi Miriam was the only woman Head Rabbi in an American congregation who was born and raised in Israel. Rabbi Miriam was inspired at a young age by her father’s passion for teaching Jewish studies and living a holy life in spite of all he had witnessed during the Holocaust.  Rabbi Miriam was ordained as a Rabbi at the Academy of Jewish Religion after many years as a teacher and administrator of Jewish studies in L.A. She spoke in Israel and the Balkans on the roles of female leadership in Judaism. Because of  her warm relationship with the Christian Lutheran and Sufi Muslim Musallah communities, Rabbi Miriam was invited to speak in 2009 at the Parliament of World Religions in Australia about co-existence and mutual understanding among all faiths. The Rabbi is a member of the Tibor Rubin Capitol Post #786 of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America and a leader of the Veterans Holiday Celebration held every year at the VA Grounds in West Los Angeles. Rabbi Miriam is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces. Rabbi Miriam raised three sons with her husband, Dr. Chuck Hamrell in L.A.

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Lay Cantor Gary Levine received his operatic training from New York City Opera leading baritone, David Clatworthy, and his cantorial training from Maarav and Mordecai Finley. When not doing his volunteer chanting, he works in television as a creative executive. He is happily married to his college sweetheart, Maxine, and together they take great pride and joy in their two wonderful daughters, Sylvie and Deena.  

Cantorial Soloist Gary Levine

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Kimberly Haynes is Ahavat Torah’s co-cantorial soloist  She creates sacred space through her warmth and presence. The concepts of Tikkun Olam, healing the world, and Tikkun Ha Nefesh, healing the spirit, are central to Kimberly’s mission. Kimberly has been a vocalist since grade school and has honed her craft and mastered her instrument over her 40 year career in music. 

A long time practitioner of mindfulness, meditation, and body awareness practices, Kimberly is also a Certified Spiritual Life Coach (ACC), a Certified Spiritual Counselor, and a Certified Grief Educator. She uses her skills to support women and men who are ready to make significant and lasting change.

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Cantorial Soloist Kimberly Haynes

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
2023 - 2024

Position

Co- Presidents

Past President

Vice President

Treasurer

Secretary

Membership

 

Ways & Means (Acting)

Social Action

Wellness

Programming

Name

Vicki Crawford/Rena Jaffe

Shayna Lester

Helene Silber/Kecia Weller

Hal Jaffe, Channah Goldman

Uri Nachshon 

Helene Silber, Michael Stevens,

Lynn Stevens

Shoshi Wilchfort & Barbara Burbank

Judy Dubin & Renee Schwartz

Bea Smetana-Beals and Leslie Tuchman

Sally Hackman 

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

2023-2024

Ritual - Debbie Michels

Hospitality Supply Shoppers - Lynn Stevens, Michael Stevens

Program - Sally Hackman

High Holidays - Maxine Levine, Gary Levine

Shabbat D'var Torah - Gerry Owen, Jean Katz

Shabbat Greeters - Helene Silber

Gabbayim - Helene Silber, Michael Stevens

Yahrzeit Notifications - Lynn Stevens

Simhat Shabbat - Marvin Warsofsky

Membership Directory - Marvin Warsofsky

JNF Trees - Lynn Stevens

Torah Chanters' Scheduling - Linda Owen, Miriam Cantor

Anniversary Celebration - Shoshi Wilchfort, Barbara Burbank

Tribute Cards - Marilyn and Marvin Warsofsky

Sacred Circle - Shayna Lester

Theater Parties - Marilyn Warsofsky

Hebrew, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Chanting - Rena Jaffe

Rosh Chodesh - Rabbi Judy Weintraub

Soul Shabbat - Rev Eli Lester

Kabbalat Shabbat - Rabbi Michal Morris Kamil

Security - Lt. Commander Larry Kaufman

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