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Clergy

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Joshua M. Aaronson

Rabbi

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Website: www.templejudea.com/rabbi-josh-aaronson/
Facebook: RabbiJMA
Twitter: @rabbijma

Rabbi Joshua M. Aaronson was born and raised in Philadelphia. He attended the University of Michigan and was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, where he also received his Doctor of Divinity.

In July, 2013, Rabbi Aaronson became our Senior Rabbi. Prior to coming to California, he served as the first rabbi of Temple Har Shalom in Park City, Utah, Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Zion of Buffalo and Fairmount Temple of Cleveland, as the acting Senior Rabbi of Fairmount Temple and as the Rabbi of Temple David in Perth, Australia.

Recognized for his love of Torah and his easy ability to teach Torah, Talmud, and Mishnah, he is equally known for his dry wit, his love of music, and his passion for all Philadelphia sports teams.  

Prior to his role as our Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Aaronson supervised the enormous growth at Temple Har Shalom, where membership grew from about 100 households to over 300. He created such notable programs as Ski Shule at Deer Valley (the only ski-in/ski-out Shabbat worship service in the world); a partnership with the Sundance Film Festival, including Shabbat at Sundance and programs honoring Israeli film makers with films in the festival.

Rabbi Aaronson has served on numerous boards and civic organizations including the People's Health Clinic, the Summit County Sheriff's advisory board and the Westminster College Hillel Advisory Board. Rabbi Aaronson is a rabbinic fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Aaronson is married to Debbie, a pharmaceutical sales executive. They have 3 children.

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Alison Wissot

Rabbi Cantor

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Website: www.templejudea.com/rabbi-cantor-alison-wissot/
Facebook: alison.wissot

Rabbi Cantor Alison Wissot is best known for her joyful spirit, her soulful singing, and her passion for Jewish learning. She is dedicated to revitalizing worship and integrating the ancient sounds of Jewish tradition with contemporary music, and her background in theatre brings life and energy to synagogue experiences. Alison's deepest mission as a teacher, is to make the beauty and joy of Jewish text and liturgy accessible to all. Alison's work on the Board of Directors of Stand With Us has helped strengthen the Jewish community's pro-Israel message across college campuses. She is an active member of the American Conference of Cantors, the Cantors Assembly, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Alison served as cantor at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue in New York, as well as the rabbinic intern at Kehillat Israel in the Pacific Palisades and the High Holy Days cantor in Singapore. Prior to her cantorial career, Alison worked as an actress in New York and London, and was awarded a Spielberg Fellowship to teach Jewish theatre at the Reform Movement's flagship camp, Camp Kutz. Alison has brought her internationally acclaimed teaching of Jewish theatre to such events as Limmud 2002 in London and other conventions and synagogues worldwide. Alison, a native of the San Fernando Valley, resides in Woodland Hills with her husband, Michael, their sons, Jacob & Daniel, and their daughter Abby.

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Samuel L. Spector

Rabbi

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Website: www.templejudea.com/rabbi-sam-spector/
Facebook: samuellspector

Rabbi Spector was born and raised in Seattle. He attended the University of California, San Diego, where he was an active brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. Rabbi Spector graduated with cum laude honors with a B.A. in Judaic Studies, a minor in behavioral psychology, and was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Masters in Hebrew Letters and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.

While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Spector served for three years as the student rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim in Merced, CA, the rabbinic intern of the Santa Monica Synagogue and Temple Judea, and as a chaplain intern at LA County/USC General Hospital. While in school, he led several teen trips to Israel and Eastern Europe. Rabbi Spector is also a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy Reserve, in the Chaplain Corps.

Rabbi Spector brings his love of working with children and young families to Temple Judea. He is an avid fan of baseball, Jewish history, and traveling, having been to over 30 countries. In his free time, he has been involved in advocacy of strengthening the US-Israel relationship and LGBT and Women’s rights in America and the developing world.

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Yonah Kliger

Cantor

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Website: www.templejudea.com/cantor-yonah-kliger/
Facebook: YonahKliger

He is dedicated to revitalizing worship and creating a bridge between the ancient sounds of Jewish tradition and contemporary music. With a strong background in theater, Cantor Kliger infuses his passion for music and performing with his love of prayer, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the synagogue experience. With Rabbi Aaron, he helped create one of the core Shabbat experiences at Temple Emanuel, Shabbat Unplugged. His passions extend far beyond the bimah, with a focus on engaging our Jewish youth as well as illuminating Judasim through the arts. Cantor Kliger's dedication to the B'nai Mitzvah program has helped to make it a model emulated by temples throughout the Los Angeles Area.

A gifted teacher, he has captured the enthusiasm of our teens by establishing the Junior Cantors Program in which post-B'nai Mitzvah students congregate every Saturday to study Jewish text and music, culminating in their leading Shabbat Services throughout the year. Cantor Kliger also serves as Director of Temple Emanuel's Emanuel Arts Center. Through his leadership, EAC has introduced original plays, musicals, concerts, film screenings, and Shabbat experiences to the Temple Emanuel congregation. He is also very passionate about his work as Executive Producer of a concert in support of Israeli Victims of Terror.

Cantor Kliger received his commission as Hazzan-Minister from the Cantors Assembly and proudly serves on the Executive Board of their Western region.

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Donald Goor

Rabbi Emeritus

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Rabbi Donald Goor, Temple Judea’s Rabbi Emeritus, grew up in San Diego, California, as the son of a rabbi. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1987, he was ordained at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Rabbi Goor then joined Temple Judea, where he reinvigorated worship services with new approaches that have brought Jewish traditions to life and have drawn people of all ages to pray and celebrate community together.

During his tenure as Senior Rabbi, Rabbi Goor demonstrated his determination to strengthen the synagogue in two further areas: as a Learning Community and as a Caring Community. For many years, he served on the faculty of Hebrew Union College, in Los Angeles, where he taught second and fifth year rabbinic students, addressing topics that relate to the practical aspects of being in the clergy.

Rabbi Goor continued his own studies at the Hartman Institute as a fellow in the Center for Rabbinic Enrichment Program. He co-founded the HOPE Network and the Valley Interfaith Council’s Homeless Project. He chaired the "Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance's Jewish Community Relations Council," and co-chaired the Jewish Federation's "Cults and Missionaries Commission." Rabbi Goor also served as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles.

After serving Temple Judea for 26 years, Rabbi Goor now lives in Jerusalem, having made aliyah in June 2013. He is working part time for ARZA World Travel, the Reform Movement’s travel department, planning trips to Israel for rabbis and synagogues. Rabbi Goor is married to Cantor Evan Kent, his life partner of over 20 years.