Clergy & Staff

Rabbi Jaymee Alpert
Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Jaymee Alpert is excited to arrive in the Bay Area and to join Congregation Beth David as its new Senior Rabbi. Previously she spent 13 years as the Rabbi at Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel in Port Chester, NY. She is passionate about Jewish life and strives to create a warm, inviting atmosphere, where people from all backgrounds are welcome, and all questions are valid.  She cares deeply about interfaith relations and was a founding member of the Port Chester Interfaith Clergy Group.  She is dedicated to serving the community and served as the chaplain for the Port Chester Police and Fire Departments. Rabbi Alpert is a past president of the Westchester Board of Rabbis and served on various local boards and committees, including the Port Chester Board of Ethics.  She was a member of the inaugural cohort of the UJA Federation of New York’s Rabbinic Fellowship for Visionary Leaders, and is proud to be a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. In addition, Rabbi Alpert is the co-creator of Neshama Body and Soul, a practice that combines exercise with prayer, in an effort to help participants connect their bodies to their souls.  She was ordained by The Jewish Theological Seminary, and holds two Master’s degrees. She is looking forward to getting to know the entire  CBD (and Silicon Valley) community over the next few months!  Contact

Rabbi Daniel Pressman
Emeritus

Rabbi Emeritus Daniel Pressman was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He had a rich Jewish upbringing. His parents, Rabbi Jacob and Marjorie Pressman, modeled devotion to Judaism and community. Camp Ramah and United Synagogue Youth gave him formative Jewish experiences. He graduated from UCLA, while also attending the University of Judaism, and was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Rabbi Pressman served Congregation Ner Tamid in Palos Verdes, California for seven years before coming to Congregation Beth David.  He was active in leadership roles both locally and nationally. He originated the Torah Sparks on the weekly Torah portion for the USCJ, now appearing in five volumes as Torah Encounters. Rabbi Pressman served as our Senior Rabbi for 33 years until his retirement in 2014. He recently served as a Transitional Rabbi for Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, Texas. Contact

Barbara Biran
Director of Lifecycle Events & Synagogue Ritual
Interim Director of Operations

As Director of Lifecycle Events and Synagogue Ritual, Barbara has mastered her skills with Rabbi Pressman, Rabbi Schonbrun and with our former Hazzan, Melanie Fine.  Barbara tutors all of our B’nei Mitzvah students – adults as well as children.  Additionally Barbara teaches in the Religious School supervises the kitchen staff, manages the cemetery, the memorial wall and works with the Rabbis on Ritual related projects. Contact

 

Sarah Hanuka
Director of Lifelong Learning 

As Director of Lifelong Learning, Sarah approaches Jewish education with a passion and tenacity that flows from both her roots in Israel and her immigrant experience in America. Her intense commitment – as there is no other way to describe it – has a tremendous impact on all who meet her. She taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies at several Jewish Day Schools, became School Principal at Temple Anshe Sholom in Illinois, and directed the Religious schools at Temple Sholom of Chicago and Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. “At regular school you learn how to become a doctor, a lawyer. In Religious School, we learn how to become human beings.” Sarah’s approach to teaching Judaism is through knowledge and love of the language, the land and the people. Contact