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Clergy

Rabbi Leah Lewis

Rabbi

Rabbi Lewis grew up in nearby Riverside. She developed a strong identification with Judaism at an early age, both from her family’s influence and from a longstanding involvement with Jewish summer camps and youth groups. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. After graduating from UCSB, Rabbi Lewis spent a year as a Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C., researching various public policy issues from a Jewish perspective and advocating for these issues on behalf of Reform Judaism.

After spending time in rabbinical school on the Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York campuses of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and receiving Masters degrees in Jewish Communal Service and Hebrew Letters, Rabbi Lewis was ordained in the spring of 2002. Along the way, she held positions at the Valley Alliance office of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Union for Reform Judaism’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns. While at HUC, she also served congregations in Redding, CA, Las Vegas, NV and Scarsdale, NY. She has worked at and spent many summers with Jewish youth at a variety of Reform Jewish camps.

Following ordination, she served for seven years at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles.. From 2009-2011, she served on the faculty at Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School in Irvine, CA as a teacher, Chair of the Department of Jewish Studies and Dean of Jewish Life. From 2011-2017, Rabbi Lewis served as Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning at Congregation Shir HaMa'alot in Irvine.

She is married to David Lewis, a fellow professional pursuer of Jewish learning and engagement. On the rare occasion that she is not busy with synagogue life or her three children, Gabriel, Jonah and Nomi, Rabbi Lewis enjoys running, hiking, yoga, cooking and an occasional baseball game.

She is thrilled to call Temple Menorah home.

Stacey A. Morse, MA

Cantorial Soloist

Born of a brilliant hippie Democrat and a Republican "McGyver," Cantorial Soloist Stacey Morse lives for harmony – in all forms. Her family joined Temple Menorah after they drove from New York, harmonizing all the way ... when she was a toddler. She was given her Hebrew name, Shira (Song), by Temple Menorah's erstwhile cantor Avshalom Cohen (Z"L). Her family’s havurah also created Congregation Tifereth Jacob, now Congregation Tikvat Jacob-Beth Torah, in Manhattan Beach.

Since becoming the 1st bat mitzvah in the history of CTJ, our sheliach tzibbur (messenger of the congregation) has led services and life-cycle events throughout the country, internationally, on the high seas, and at the invitation of our armed forces. She has created and led healing services and drum circles, harmonized for an R&B label, and been blessed to sing with Cantors Phil Baron, Ilan Davidson and Hershel Fox. She is thrilled to be here and working with us, including Dan Spector, the house band Za'atar (spices!), our children, and the Temple Menorah choir.

Stacey attended Mira Costa High School, Brandeis University, CSUDH, and the Academy of Jewish Religion, and studied privately with Cantor William Sharlin (Z"L). (También habla el español, pero es una historia muy larga!) After receiving her Masters degree, Stacey taught English grammar and literature, religion, and Hebrew to children and adults. She has also written and edited calendars, newspapers, magazines, and a physics journal at UCLA. She likely holds the record for the oddest jobs held while working on a theses.

Like the rest of the Morse clan, Stacey has sailed and ridden motorcycles her whole life. She is a member of the Renaissance Faire, Guild of St. Ives. Stacey is also a member of the Redondo Beach C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team), and would love to sign you up! Most of all, she loves hear the congregation sing and harmonize with her. Come make a joyful noise with our Cantorial Soloist Stacey Morse!

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