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CLERGY AND STAFF

 

RABBI JOSHUA KATZAN 

SENIOR RABBI

Rabbi Katzan served as the senior rabbi at Congregation Habonim in New York City for eight years, but he has deep roots in Los Angeles. In fact, his great-grandparents were founders of Mishkon, his great-grandfather was the first president of Mishkon, and his parents were married at Mishkon. 
 
Rabbi Katzan has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State Northridge and received his Rabbinic Ordination at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University), along with master’s degrees in education and rabbinic literature. Additionally, he holds certifications in non-profit business management and Jewish meditation instruction. He has wide experience in education at all levels, non-profit organization, and music, especially guitar. He has also studied and worked in Israel. Most recently, he’s been teaching at Ziegler.

Feel free to call Rabbi Katzan at (310) 392-3029 extension 6, on his direct line at (323) 943-2943, on his cell phone at (303) 204-0351, or email him at rabbikatzan@mishkon.org

To view past Shabbat services and sermons, please click here.

Coming Soon! PDFs of Rabbi Katzan's sermons.


RABBI DANIEL R. SHEVITZ 

RABBI EMERITUSrabbishevitz

After 20 years of service as pulpit rabbi of Mishkon Tephilo, Rabbi Dan Shevitz has transitioned to the position of Rabbi Emeritus.  He is known for many things at Mishkon – preaching, singing, playing accordion, telling stories, reading Torah, and blowing shofar – but most of all for bringing clarity and real-world application to Mitzvot and traditions.

Among his accomplishments, Rabbi Dan is the principal percussionist of the Palisades Symphony Orchestra, a trained sushi chef, a private pilot, a messader gittin (rabbi trained in arranging Jewish divorce), and a Talmud teacher at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies of the American Jewish University. Rabbi Dan lives in Venice with Humuhumunukunuku (lovingly known as Humu), his Mollucan cockatoo.  He can be reached at shevitzdan@gmail.com.


TATIANA ZAIDMAN, M.A. Ed.

DIRECTOR OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Tatiana has been educated entirely in Jewish institutions, and that has instilled in her Jewish values that have inspired her passion for Jewish early childhood education. Her professional career has been spent working in preschools connected to synagogues around Los Angeles and receiving a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from American Jewish University. Her time as an educator has furthered her passion for cultivating and nurturing the ethical and moral aspects of development in young children in addition to the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical aspects.

Her belief that children learn best through emergent curriculum has resulted in her success with children of all ages and developmental stages. Listening to what children are interested in and differentiating from there has led to her success in classrooms and programs through the years. All developing children deserve a nurturing environment that supports their individual needs while providing plenty of fun and engagement.

She looks forward to bringing her expertise to Mishkon and providing uniquely loving, innovative, and high-quality programming to the community. Feel free to call Tatiana at (310) 396-7733, or email her at Susan Sims Bodenstein Preschool  at  preschool@mishkon.org


ELLIE LAYCOOK

RELIGIOUS SCHOOL DIRECTOR

Ellie is a creative educator with extensive experience in both formal and informal Jewish educational settings. Most recently, she served as the Religious School Director for University Synagogue. As Religious School Director, she helped teachers develop authentic experiences within the curriculum. She wrote and created new, enriching experiences for learning, and she led family learning activities to bring families into the community and connect with their children’s learning. 

Ellie has spent more than 15 years working with youth groups and religious schools in and around the Los Angeles area where she supervised, mentored, and collaborated with staff to develop a variety of learning experiences for youth and teens.

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GEOFF FINUCANE                                               

SYNAGOGUE ADMINISTRATOR                                                                                        

Geoff comes to Mishkon with a background in business administration and a passion for Jewish communal life. Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, he grew up and had his bar mitzvah with the local Reform community. Spending his evenings and weekends with the local youth group and his summers at Jewish summer camp, he developed an intense appreciation for his Jewish background and since then has aspired to devote his time and energy to Jewish living. Entering Indiana University majoring in Jewish Studies, he eventually switched majors and graduated with degrees in History and Arabic. He also spent time living in Israel to study Hebrew - so be sure to give him the practice if you can. He worked for years as a project manager for an event promotion company in Texas before moving to California with his wife, dog, and two cats. In his spare time, he enjoys watching “Star Trek,” reading history books, and exploring his new hometown of Los Angeles.

Geoff is thrilled to bring his operations and programming experience to a Jewish professional environment and the warm and exuberant community at Mishkon Tephilo. Reach out to him at Executive@Mishkon.org for any questions, comments, or concerns and be sure to stop by the main office to say hello!


NEDA KERENDIAN 

OFFICE ASSISTANT

 

Neda brings to Mishkon her background in customer service and graphic design. Besides her creative background and keen aesthetic eye, Neda contributes her organizational skills. She earned her bachelor's degree in Studio Art from UC San Diego. Before that, she graduated from Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles. She is also fluent in Farsi. Over the last four years, Neda has worked as an assistant for a small clothing brand as well as for a coach and therapist.

Neda will be helping Geoff in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 to 2. Her phone number is 310-392-3029, ext 1, and her email is office@mishkon.org.


BOOKKEEPER

Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Vivienne, our bookkeeper is our behind-the-scenes money manager, keeping track of all the funds flowing in and out of Mishkon, helping us stay in the black at all times.  She also handles payroll and taxes (even nonprofits have to deal with taxes), making sure our employees are paid regularly and correctly.  When we apply for grants and Payroll Protection Plan forgivable loans, she provides all the numbers, which make us look capable and deserving.  We wouldn’t even think about doing anything financial without consulting her! She can be reached at (310) 392-3029 ext 7 or by email at finance@mishkon.org.


RUBEN CARRILLO 

CUSTODIAN

As our custodian, Ruben keeps the place humming. He maintains the cleanli­ness of the premises. He sets up tables and chairs for classrooms and events. He mops up messes. He waters the plants. He oils squeaky hinges. And he gets the trash and the recycling where they need to go. Ruben also keeps a watchful eye on the premises, promptly reporting safety hazards and other facilities issues that our executive director might not otherwise know about. Occasionally, he also undertakes special maintenance and repair projects. One of Ruben’s most important jobs, however, is greeting the children outdoors when they come to preschool.  They love him, and he loves them, and it’s obvious to everyone!


 

Tue, November 30 2021 26 Kislev 5782