Rabbi Diamond is a native of Southern California, having grown up in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. Long before guitars were popular in Jewish worship services, Rabbi Diamond’s childhood congregation sang the melodies of Shlomo Carlebach and Debbie Friedman, inspiring him to learn guitar and become a song leader at URJ Camp Swig in Northern California. His musical path led him to the rabbinical program at Hebrew Union College where classes in Jewish education were so energizing that he chose to focus the first years of his rabbinate to leading the education programs of large congregations, including fourteen years at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas.
Because of his love of congregational life and a desire to contribute in diverse ways, Rabbi Diamond became interested in strengthening non-profit organizations, and, after receiving advanced training in board governance, he opened a consulting practice focused on strengthening non-profit boards of directors while continuing to serve a congregation part-time as their rabbi. This experience beautifully harmonized with his rabbinate, allowing him to guide synagogue boards to renewed vision, in addition to his other rabbinical duties.
Rabbi Diamond now combines his interest in strengthening congregations and his love of congregational life through his work as an interim rabbi. First in Houston, TX, then Thousand Oaks, CA and Coralville, IA, he is very excited to be joining Beth Haverim Shir Shalom as interim rabbi.
Rabbi Diamond and his wife, Sandy, have a blended family with five children. Oldest son Nate, and his wife Nancy, middle son Micah, and his wife Katie, and daughter Abby, all live in Seattle. Twins Richard and Coco are recent college graduates, both working in California. Rabbi Diamond’s wife, Sandy, is a school administrator and is looking forward to visiting Beth Haverim Shir Shalom as often as possible. They also have a dog, a cat, and a Blue & Gold Macaw.
Email Rabbi Diamond: [email protected]
My name is Cantor David Lessner Perper, and I have been serving this warm and welcoming and, may I say, musical community, for over a decade as cantor and music director. My work here, with the support of our rabbi, an amazing staff and faculty, is focused on teaching all ages, and preparing and leading spirited and moving worship with melodies which are near and dear to us all and some of the newest Jewish tunes.
Together with the Music Committee and its chairperson Nora Berger, and your ideas and input, we strive to bring you musical programming which will inspire and enrich you and your family. During my tenure at BHSS we have been fortunate to bring some of Jewish music’s brightest stars to teach and perform with and for us: names like Rick Recht, Debbie Friedman z”l, and Peter and Ellen Allard. It is due in no small part to your constant giving and donations to my Discretionary Fund that allow us to bring you these events.
This congregation’s service and devotion to its musical legacy are clear. In fact, a couple of years back, we actually expanded our bimah to accommodate the increased numbers in the adult choir. Both the BHSS Youth Singers and the Adult Choir had a successful recruitment season at the beginning of the school year and new members are fitting right in.
I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to work with such wonderful and committed musical Jews. I want to thank the rabbi, Nora Berger, the BHSS Music Committee, and our entire staff, for their love, their time, and their tireless efforts in helping me lead and inspire.
I welcome your visit or call any time.
Sing me your melodies — they’re holy, too.
Email Cantor Perper: [email protected]
Rabbinic Intern Josh Fixler
Joshua Fixler is a fifth-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. For the past two years, he has served as the Rabbinic Intern at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom in Mahwah, NJ. In December, Joshua also completed a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from New York University. This past summer, Joshua completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital. Previously, he served as Rabbinic Intern for B’nai Israel Synagogue, in High Point, North Carolina; Summer Intern at Temple Micah in Washington, DC and at Temple Emanuel in Denver; and Senior Educator at Shwayder Camp, a Reform summer camp in Colorado.
Before beginning his studies, Joshua was the Assistant Educator and Youth Director for Temple B’nai Shalom, a Reform Synagogue in Fairfax Station, VA. Prior to that, Joshua served as the program coordinator for the young adult department of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an interfaith social justice organization.
He has been privileged to have participated in a number of leadership training programs which have contributed to his professional and spiritual growth, including the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, the Tisch Rabbinical Fellowship, the Be Wise Jewish Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and the Jewish Organizing Institute & Network’s Seminary Leadership Course. Joshua graduated from the University of Maryland in 2007 with a degree in Organizational Development and Community Leadership.
Email Josh Fixler at: [email protected]
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