About

Our Mission

Leo Baeck Temple, a Reform congregation, is a welcoming and inclusive community committed to searching for moral, spiritual and intellectual nourishment from one another and from the wellspring of our Jewish tradition and to sharing that nourishment with the world.  We build our congregational community upon the three pillars that are said in our tradition to sustain the world.

Al HaTorah
(On Torah) 

We seek to engage members of all ages in meaningful Jewish learning.  Our Jewish tradition acknowledges the unique sanctity, joy and peace that emerges from study, and our congregation cherishes the role that lifelong learning plays in deepening the bonds of community, emboldening the resolve to improve the world, and enriching the Jewish spirit.


Al HaAvodah
(On Worship)

We seek to celebrate together the joy, beauty, depth and mystery of life through communal prayer.  Our synagogue is a welcoming home to spiritual exploration for worshippers possessing a wide range of theological orientations and diverse conceptions of God.  We are bound together in the pursuit of holiness to be found in the blessings, melodies and rituals of our sacred heritage, shared during the week, on Shabbat and Festivals, and at the important passages of our life.

Al G’milut Chasadim
(On Acts of Loving Kindness) 

 We seek to embody Judaism’s deepest values in our lives and reflect them in the type of temple community we create.  Sustained by this warm, caring and open community, we work together to improve the quality of human existence and to heal our world by speaking out and by taking action where our religious tradition demands that we do so.  We embrace our Jewish obligation to on another and to the stranger – to those in our city and nation, to those in the land of Israel and to Jews of all lands, and to those in need throughout the world.

Our Leadership

Meet our clergy, staff, and board

Our Clergy

Rabbi Kenneth Chasen

Senior Rabbi

Kenneth Chasen is Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles. Rabbi Chasen is an outspoken commentator and author on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to Jewish life, with a special emphasis on social justice in the United States and in Israel... 

Rabbi Lisa Berney

Associate Rabbi
Director of Lifelong Learning
Rabbi Lisa Berney is LBT’s Associate Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning.  Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Rabbi Berney received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Jewish and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis...

Rabbi Scott Goldberg

 

Scott Goldberg is an exceptional young rabbi who is a perfect fit for Leo Baeck Temple. While his  accomplishments before becoming our intern is long and impressive, it is the broad recognition that Scott has received from our own congregants that sets him apart.

Cantor Sara Hass

 

The union between Cantor Hass and Leo Baeck Temple was bashert – destined to be. Cantor Hass grew up not far from LBT and even served one year as the music specialist in our Religious School back when she was finishing high school...

Our Staff

Abigail Goldberg Spiegel
Executive Director
Abigail Goldberg Spiegel has been Executive Director since the spring of 2004, having joined the Leo Baeck Temple staff, as Program Director, in September 2002.  She is responsible for the daily management of the temple’s operations and facilities.  She serves as an ex-officio member of the Temple Board and Executive Committee and she staffs various temple committees including the Membership Committee, Finance Committee, Budget Committee, Endowment Committee, Communications, and the House and Grounds Committee.  Abigail is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.  She is currently President of the National Association for Temple Administration (NATA), having served as a member of the NATA National Board, and Vice President, overseeing Education.  She is also a Past President of the Professional Association of Temple Administrators (PATA).  Married to Adam Spiegel, they have four children, Sydney, Maxwell, Sascha, and Harry.

Board of Directors

Iris Weinmann
Board President
Iris Weinmann has been a proud member of Leo Baeck Temple since 2005.  She and her husband, Ted Cohen, came with their then one-year old son, Yonah, to a Shabbat Under the Stars service in the outdoor chapel to check out the temple, and immediately felt welcomed into the community.

Iris’ involvement in temple leadership began as a room parent in the Early Childhood Center when Yonah was a student there.  By the time her younger son, Asher, joined the ECC, Iris had become a co-parent chair of the ECC.
2022-23 Board Officers
President
President-Elect
VP of Campus Preparedness
VP of Communications
VP of Development
VP of Engagement
VP of Finance & Administration
VP of Lifelong Learning
VP of People
VP of Strategic Planning
Recording Secretary

Iris Weinmann
Todd Bloomfield
Larry Sterling
Scott Greenberg
Bea Richman
Stephanie Cohen
Robert Ades
Laura Gottlieb
Josh Strok
Jim Kohn
Keren Koretz
Trustees
Natasha Belson
Lee Broekman
Eryn Brown
Danielle Cohen
Susan Davidson
Sally Etcheto
Jill Halper
Jesse Israel
Lisa Katz


Felicia Lewinstein
Marissa Lopez
Richard Marks
Toni Michaels
Melissa Moloshok
Jason Rapp
Karen Wagener
Lewis Wilkenfeld
Steven Windmueller

Celebrate at LBT

LBT is our home for Jewish living, the place where our members – everyone from young children to retirees – truly encounter one another in study, prayer, and the pursuit of social justice.  Leo Baeck Temple is where our congregants want to be.  The design for our campus is grounded in two principles: community-building and integration with nature.  All across our sprawling campus, you will find informal gathering spaces, those that encourage more intimate in-the-round worship, and places to maximize the connection between indoors and out, providing ample natural light – all of which reinforce the temple’s deep communal identity.

History of Leo Baeck Temple

In 1948, a small group of families in Los Angeles dreamed about founding a temple that would become a part of the sweeping movement to establish Reform Judaism in Southern California.  It was a dream of a religious home, the simplicity and sincerity of which would reflect our faith.

With the leadership and guidance of Rabbi Alfred Wolf, Temple Beth Aaron was formed.  Soon after, members of this young congregation heard a legendary rabbi speak.  This rabbi had survived the Holocaust and risked his life as one of the most important leaders of German Jewry in its struggle to survive under Nazism.  He was a model of the human capacity to rise above the most degrading experiences.

This rabbi’s name was Leo Baeck.  So moved were they by his inspiration – our founders chose to rename the young congregation Leo Baeck Temple.