Our Summer Guest Rabbis
Friday, June 30– Saturday, July 1st
Torah Study: Just Be Good: Understanding the Holiness Code
Rabbi Li-Paz is the Senior Rabbi of Valley Outreach Synagogue, a liberal Jewish community in Calabasas, California, where he has led since 1996, first as Cantor and then as Rabbi.
Prior to synagogue leadership, Rabbi Li-Paz served in the United States Air Force. He subsequently completed a degree at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London before working in theater, television, film, and broadcasting for the BBC World Service. Rabbi Li-Paz went on to serve as a management consultant for Cap-Gemini Sogetti, developing and implementing communications strategies for multinational clients across Europe. Today, in addition to spiritual leadership, he works with business and community leaders on leadership, communication, and change management strategies. His audiences and clients include the UCLA-Anderson School of Business, the UCLA Management Development Institute in East Africa, Citadel Environmental, Belmond Hotels and the Los Angeles Jewish Federation Business Leaders. He recently guest lectured in Harvard University’s “Music & The Mind” course.
Rabbi Li-Paz is a Vice President of the Center for Interreligious Understanding (CIUnow.org). He represents the organization and its values around the world and has been a member of two United Nations delegations. Rabbi Li-Paz has been honored as a special guest of Pope Francis at the Vatican as well as His All Holiness the Patriarch Bartholomew in his residence in Istanbul.
Rabbi Li-Paz preceded his cantorial career with a successful decade as a leading guest artist in opera and concerts. He sang as a soloist in major roles in eleven countries and in some of the world’s greatest theaters including the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Councertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In 2011, he was invited to sing the anthems of the United States and Israel in Washington, D.C. before President Obama, most members of
Congress and an audience of more than ten thousand people.
Rabbi Li-Paz shares the pulpit with his father, Cantor Michael Li-Paz, his wife, Bronwen Li-Paz and Rabbi Sara Abrams. When the rabbi is not preaching, singing or teaching, he is scuba diving, fishing or cultivating his garden surrounded by a host of sweet hens, a giant
African tortoise and several thousand honeybees.
Rabbi Roberto D. Graetz
Friday, July 14– Sunday, July 16
Rabbi Roberto Graetz has a long history of service in the Jewish community. After ordination from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in 1972, he served in Argentina and Brazil for twenty years. He returned to the USA in 1991 to become the Rabbi of Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA. He is one of the founders and past president of Hope Solutions, (formerly known as Contra Costa Interfaith Housing), past president of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, a member of the North American Board of the WUPJ, past founding chair of ARZA Brazil. After his service in CCIH he brought together a coalition of churches and synagogues into the Multi-Faith Action Committee to work on community organizing and social action on behalf of the voiceless in society.
In Argentina, during the Dirty War he was one of the founders of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights, and while in Rio de Janeiro he was active in the Street Children Movement and interfaith dialogue, representing the Jewish Community at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since he retired from his position at Temple Isaiah, becoming Rabbi Emeritus in 2016, Rabbi Graetz vol-unteers his time in small communities in Puerto Rico and Guatemala and guides the work of the new Reform Rabbinical Institute serving the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, based in Argentina. Rabbi Graetz and his wife, Evelyn, are blessed by three daughters and five grandchildren.
Rabbi Yoshi Zweibeck
Friday, July 28th– Saturday 29th
W e are pleased to announce Rabbi Yoshi Zweibeck, Senior Rabbi at Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles, will be joining us this summer as our guest Rabbi on Friday, July 28th, and Saturday morning, July 29th. Save the date and bring the entire family for what is sure to be an inspirational and musical service on Friday evening, as well as a "hike and learn" on Saturday morning at 10:00am.
Rabbi Yoshi served as Rabbi and educator at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, California where Candice, Richard and JD Stark were members. The Starks have the fondest memories of their son growing up with Rabbi Yoshi’s young girls, family Havdalah services, campouts and even taking a memorable family trip to Israel, led by Rabbi Yoshi. Rabbi Yoshi loves music and is an accomplished singer and guitarist. He even organized a kids’ Jewish band called the Royal Matzahs that their son, JD, played in. The Starks are thrilled that Rabbi Yoshi is able to join us and will host an Oneg after Friday night services.
Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Princeton University in 1991 and was ordained as a Rabbi by the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in 1998. He trained as a Jewish Educator at HUC’s Los Angeles campus, where he received a M.A. in Jewish Education.
He served Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California, as Rabbi and educator for eleven years, until moving to Israel with his family in 2009 to become the Director of HUC’s Year-in-Israel program. In addition to overall management of the graduate level program, he served as an instructor in Jewish Liturgy.
Rabbi Zweiback is a lecturer at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He is also the volunteer Executive Director and Founder of Kavod, a non-profit tzedakah collective which is dedicated to protecting human dignity.
Rabbi Zweiback is also an author, musician and com-poser. His publications include the teacher’s guide to Shalom Ivrit II; Day of Days; and Days of Wonder, Nights of Peace: Family Prayers in Song for Morning and Bedtime. As part of Mah Tovu, he has released three albums, published two books, and performed across the United States.
He is married to Jacqueline Hantgan and, together, they are the proud parents of three daughters.
Shabbat, Friday, August 4
We are looking forward to the return of Stephanie Streja, back in the valley from Los Angeles for a few weeks this summer. Over the last two decades Stephanie has worn many hats for the WRJC including acting as our Choir Director, Director of Children's Education and Cantorial Soloist leading countless services, life-cycle events, holiday celebrations and guiding youngsters in our community to their Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. In California she has been Director of the Adat Elohim Chorale in Thousand Oaks for the last ten years and is often engaged as a soloist or music director/consultant in addition to her active private teaching and tutoring schedule. She returns annually to the valley to continue her work as Head of the Vocal Department for the Sun Val-ley Music Festival's Summer Music Institute.