Rabbi Zoë Klein
Rabbi Zoë Klein is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Isaiah and has served this congregation since 2000. She graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Psychology and received ordination from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998. She the author of the novel Drawing in the Dust, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 2009, of which Publishers Weekly wrote, “Insight into the world of biblical excavation in Israel raises Rabbi Klein's debut novel from a Jewish Da Vinci Code to an emotionally rich story of personal and historical discovery...Rabbi Klein's most vivid passages depict the meditative tedium of digging, the exultation of discovery and the intricate processes of authentication and preservation, while love stories past and present—and a balanced, compassionate view of both Israeli and Arab traditions—add to the book's pleasures.” Drawing in the Dust has been published in five countries. Zoë has written articles for numerous publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Tikkun, and Torat Hayim. She has written chapters in a number of collections including The Women’s Torah Commentary, Teen Texts, and Holy Ground: A Gathering of Voices on Caring for Creation. Her poems and prayers are used in houses of prayer around the country. Zoë gives numerous presentations and is a keynote speaker or panel participant at various assemblies all over the country. She is a resource for reporters in regional newspapers and has appeared as a commentator on the History Channel in “Digging for the Truth.” Her second novel, Origin of Color is scheduled to be published later this year.
Rabbi Dara Frimmer
Dara graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Feminist Studies and Religious Studies. Her senior honors thesis, Rosh Hodesh: A Celebration of Jewish Women, explored the intersection of Judaism, gender and ritual through ancient and modern practices of celebrating the new moon. Following graduation, she spent a year in Israel volunteering with Project Otzma. She returned to complete a Masters in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School before enrolling in rabbinic school at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Dara studied at the HUC-JIR campus in New York City and worked for two years as the rabbinic intern at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY. While in NYC, she completed her second unit of hospital chaplaincy, taught “Introduction to Judaism” through the 92nd Street Y, and led alternative spring break trips to Latin America with American Jewish World Service. She was ordained in May 2006 and stayed in Manhattan one additional year to work as the Marshall T. Meyer Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun.
Since moving to Los Angeles in July 2007, she has worked with many national and local organizations committed to social justice including: American Jewish World Service, Bend the Arc (Los Angeles Regional Council & Selah Leadership), Hazon, Jewish World Watch, Just Congregations and One LA-IAF. She is also on the board of Jumpstart. When not pursuing justice or building community, Dara can be found on the hiking trail, shopping at the local farmer’s market, or pretending to follow Wisconsin sports teams.
Rabbi Joel Nickerson
Rabbi Joel Nickerson grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from Emory University with a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and a minor in Judaic Studies. For two years after college, he served as the Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow at Stanford University and then moved to Los Angeles to become the Director of Youth Programming at Temple Judea in Tarzana. He proceeded to enroll in Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and spent his rabbinical school years in Los Angeles. Rabbi Joel held a variety of rabbinic internships and teaching positions, including one year as the rabbinic intern at Temple Judea in Tarzana, one year at Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino, a summer rabbinic fellowship at the Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI), co-created Temple Judea’s alternative religious school, the Nisayon program, and directed its first summer, and taught religious school at Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades.
Upon ordination in 2009, Rabbi Joel became one of a select group of Jewish educators/rabbis, from across all denominations, to become a Senior Jewish Educator for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Senior Jewish Educator position was established at ten universities to develop innovative and relationship-based learning opportunities for students peripherally connected to Judaism. Rabbi Joel spent two years teaching and building relationships with students at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Rabbi Joel enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Julia, and their two daughters, Ella and Kayla. He is also passionate about good coffee, good food, spending time outdoors, and immersing himself in the texts of our tradition.
Cantor Evan Kent
Cantor Evan Kent, a 1988 graduate of the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music, has served Temple Isaiah since his graduation. Before attending HUC-JIR, Evan received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York with Evan is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in music education research.
Cantor Kent enjoys sharing the vast palette of Jewish music and culture with our congregation and through his vision of the Jewish arts has attempted to embody Rav Kook's statement, "Let the old become new and let the new become holy."
Evan has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Israel. He has appeared as a soloist in opera and oratorio in such works as Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Stravinsky’s Cantata. He has sung as tenor soloist with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony on numerous occasions and was proud to appear in the North American premiere of Shostakovich’s “From Yiddish Folk Poetry” with the orchestra. In addition, he has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale, the Kol Echad Chorale and Orchestra and the Novakowsky Chorale and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera.
His one-man show “Love Affair: A Jewish Musical Journey” has been seen throughout the United States at synagogues and conventions and workshops.
Evan has been involved in inter-cultural affairs through the production of choral festivals, multi-cultural workshops and clinics. He is currently on the faculty of Hebrew Union College and is the cantor for the school’s synagogue. In addition, Evan is on the editorial board of the CCAR Press.
Evan is an avid runner and bicyclist having competed in ten marathons, more than a dozen half-marathons and numerous cycling fund-raisers. He has participated in the California AIDS Ride and the Israeli Ride4Reform- a 5 day mountain biking excursion that traverses Israel.
Cantor Kent is married to Rabbi Donald Goor, his life-partner of more than twenty years.
Rabbi Emeritus, Robert T. Gan
Rabbi Gan was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and was ordained in 1967 at Hebrew Union College. In 1992 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC. Joining Temple Isaiah as its first Associate Rabbi in 1969, Rabbi Gan, with his wife Sheila and children Michael and Hilary, arrived in Los Angeles after he served as the Jewish Chaplain at Ft. Lewis Washington. In 1979 Rabbi Gan became the Temple's second senior rabbi succeeding Rabbi Albert Lewis. For thirty-eight years he had the wonderful opportunity of teaching, leading and being part of the lives of several generations of Temple Isaiah families. Involved in the larger community as well, Rabbi Gan held the presidencies of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, ARZA/World Union, and the Inter-Religious Council of Southern California. Over the years it has always been his great joy to be immersed in a giving and caring congregation committed to social justice, the acquisition of knowledge and deeds of loving kindness.