Clergy & Staff

 

Rabbi Philip Ohriner
Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Philip Ohriner joined Congregation Beth David in the summer of 2010. He was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee and enjoyed being a part of a small, Southern Jewish community in his youth. Philip graduated from Indiana University with degrees in vocal performance and Jewish studies.  He then went on to pursue investiture as a cantor at the Jewish Theological Seminary.  Midway through his training, Philip transferred into the rabbinical school at JTS. In 2010, he received an M.A. in Hebrew Arts and Letters and rabbinic ordination with a concentration in Talmud and Rabbinics. During his eight years at JTS, Philip served as a student rabbi and student cantor in congregations throughout the country. He also received training in clinical pastoral skills and worked as a chaplain at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Prior to joining Congregation Beth David as assistant rabbi, Philip served as the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellow at Congregation Beth Israel in Flint, Michigan. Philip is married to Rabbi Shoshana Ohriner. They have three boys, Ari, Elior and Kobi.  Contact

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Rabbi Leslie Alexander
Rabbi of Community Engagement and Outreach

Rabbi Alexander comes to Congregation Beth David after 15 years of serving the larger Jewish community in the South Bay as the Federation’s Community Chaplain, the Mikvah Rabbi, and the director of the highly regarded PJ Library program. She believes that the synagogue makes a positive vision and a sense of Jewish identity a reality, so when Rabbi Philip Ohriner described his goal to make synagogue participation exciting, intriguing and creative, she quickly wanted to be a part of it!

Rabbi Alexander began her rabbinic career as an associate rabbi for ten years at Congregation Adat Ari El in Southern California, and now, this point in her career, she wanted to come back to the rabbinate. Her goal for her role at Congregation Beth David is to help people better understand Judaism, and to encourage members, newcomers, and visitors to come in explore and come to find their own place in the community.

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rabbi pressman

Rabbi Daniel Pressman
Emeritus

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Tanya Lorien

Tanya came to Beth David from the private sector with decades of volunteer experience as well as the same number of years in professional operations management and training. She spent years in the “start up” world where, as Director of Operations, she was responsible for the smooth running of multiple departments and anything that might crop up. This environment of many hats was an excellent foundation for synagogue life. Contact

Barbara Biran

As Ritual Director 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 

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