Rabbi Alan Lachtman was born in San Francisco. He has been our beloved Rabbi since 1976. He and his wife, Ellen, serve the congregation with warmth, dedication and a spirit of inclusion. Rabbi Lachtman has a degree in Marriage Family Child Therapy. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army Reserves. He teaches at the University of Judaism, the American Jewish Committee and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Hebrew Union College honored him with a Doctorate of Divinity in 1999. He was voted best Rabbi by the readership of the Pasadena Weekly.
Cantor Richard Schwartz for much of the past 25 years, has served communities and individuals as a cantor, spiritual leader, life-cycle officiant, B’nai Mitzvah instructor and mentor, music specialist, choir director, Jewish music and liturgy consultant, Hebrew and religious school teacher, performer, songwriter, and concert producer.
Cantor Schwartz received his Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance from the University of Massachusetts and shortly thereafter, moved to Los Angeles where he trained for the cantorate successively with cantors Samuel Kelemer, William Sharlin and Nathan Lam. He is a commissioned and invested member of both the American Conference of Cantors (Reform) and the Cantors Assembly (Conservative) and a Fellow of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality having completed their Cantorial Leadership program. In 2011 Cantor Schwartz received a Masters of Arts in Education from American Jewish University in Los Angeles. Since 2009 Cantor Schwartz has happily served Temple Beth David as its cantor.
"My 'soul' intention is to inspire people to connect with God and one another through words, actions, prayer, and song. As an educational leader, I aim to guide others in identifying, nurturing, and pursuing their Jewish passions. The motivation to learn about and embrace Judaism is strongest when people sense their power to transform and renew it. To that end, creative expression is an essential component of an excellent Jewish education. Most of all, relationships built upon integrity, honest communication, kindness and respect are indispensable to communities, such as ours, committed to holiness."
Education Director Gal Kessler Rohs joins us with bundles of energy, and passion for the world of children, families, community, education, Judaism and religion. Her experiences are from London, Tel Aviv, New York and Los Angeles. Gal grew up in Israel and London, served in the Israeli Air Force, attended Tel Aviv University, and then relocated to New York where she completed her Masters at the renowned Teachers College at Columbia University. Gal is a certified California Program Director, who believes in the “Children First” philosophy. Gal anticipates rolling up her sleeves, and, yes, engaging in messy hands-on activities with Temple Beth David's children and families!