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Our Clergy


Rabbi Ron Li-Paz

Rabbi Ron Li-Paz is the Spiritual Leader of Valley Outreach Synagogue. He was ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religions, California, in June of 2013. He has been on the pulpit at Valley Outreach Synagogue since 1996, having served as cantor and shared the spiritual leadership of the community with Rabbi Jerry Fisher for a decade. Rabbi Li-Paz unites the ancient Jewish love of ideas with the beauty of Jewish music. Rabbi Li-Paz and his wife, Bronwen, are the co-founders of the JEWELS Education and Ani v’Atah Teen Empowerment Programs at VOS.

Prior to synagogue leadership, Rabbi Li-Paz served in the United States Air Force at RAF Alconbury, in Huntingdon, England. He subsequently completed a bachelor’s degree at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London before working in theater, international broadcasting for the BBC, and management consultancy with Cap-Gemini Sogetti. Rabbi Li-Paz worked throughout Europe, helping to create communications strategies for large international corporations. Today, in addition to spiritual leadership, he lectures and gives motivational speeches in the areas of leadership, communications, and change management for organizations such as the UCLA-Anderson Management Development Institute in Africa, as well as Los Angeles based companies. Rabbi Li-Paz is a guest lecturer for various organizations including the Jewish Federation and several companies.

Rabbi Li-Paz preceded his seventeen-year 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 cities and theaters. In Los Angeles, he sang in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Universal Amphitheater. In 2011, he was invited by AIPAC to sing the anthems of the United States and Israel in Washington DC, before President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu, most members of Congress and an audience of more than ten thousand people.

Rabbi Ron Li-Paz is a member in good standing of the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis, the MAJR Alumni Association of the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA, and the Sandra Caplan Community Beit Din. He is on the AIPAC National Council. He represents the Jewish religion on Los Angeles’ Interfaith Council. In May 2019, Rabbi Li-Paz was part of a United States delegation to the International Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku, Azerbaijan. Also in May 2019, Rabbi Li-Paz was honored as a special guest of Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Rabbi Li-Paz’s wife Bronwen teaches dance to children, and she produces and directs theater for children and adults. In 2017, she relaunched VOS Players with a production of Oliver! in the new VOS Center for Jewish Life. Rabbi & Bronwen Li-Paz are blessed with wonderful children, Jonah and Hannah.

When Rabbi Li-Paz is not serving the Valley Outreach Synagogue community, he is most likely exercising at the gym, playing on a tennis court, hiking, scuba diving, horse riding in Malibu Creek State Park or cultivating his garden surrounded by a host of farm animals.

https://jewishjournal.com/culture/religion/120790/
https://jewishjournal.com/author/rabbironlipaz/
https://jewishjournal.com/movers-shakers/300326/heschel-robohawks-gehry-honored/

Contact:
Rabbi Ron Li-Paz
818-879-8087 or 818-882-4867

Chaplain Jennifer Eaves Nye

Chaplain Jennifer Eaves Nye

Jennifer Eaves Nye has served at Valley Outreach Synagogue and Center for Jewish Life since 2013. As a Jewish chaplain and Associate Spiritual Leader she collaborates with and supports Rabbi in all things VOS, specializing in compassionate and expert care for congregants going through acute situations whether with illness, end-of-life, grief, family conflict, transition in life, or financial and professional challenges.

Chaplain Nye’s day-to-day responsibilities include teaching children through adults; officiating at life cycle events; advising during conversion; facilitating 7 Conversation with Your Chaplain groups across both Valleys; leading Shabbat services; guiding seasonal walks for reflection and schmoozing. One unique VOS rite-of-passage is that each Spring she gathers high school seniors who take over her home for cooking, conversation and time together dedicated to moral, spiritual and personal growth.

Previously she served in an interfaith capacity as a Spiritual Counselor at Valley's Best Hospice and also as a Chaplain at Methodist Hospital of Arcadia. During her time at Methodist Hospital, she was assigned to every unit assisting patients, families and staff. She worked with organ donation teams as well as interdisciplinary bioethics teams, and she facilitated communication between patients, families, hospital staff, community clergy and law enforcement.

She graduated with an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Chaplaincy school of Academy for Jewish Religion, CA (AJRCA). Prior to her career in chaplaincy, Chaplain Nye graduated with a B.A. from Occidental College cum laude with Honors in both majors of English Literature and Religious Studies. She also holds an M.A. from Claremont Graduate University in Women’s Studies in Religion. As an educator, she taught teens in John Hopkins University's CTY Program, "at-risk" high school students in Alhambra and adults English-as-a-Second-Language.

To restore her menuchat ha’nefesh (calmness of soul) she loves to stay up late playing games even when that makes it a struggle to get up early for flyfishing. She and her spouse, Adam Mehr, have been blessed with two children, Lucy and Asher, which makes for a great 4-handed game of pinochle.

Chaplain Nye was Board Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplaincy (APC) in 2014 and is a member in good standing of the APC, Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC), and the MAJR Alumni Association of the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA.

Contact:
Chaplain-Nye@VOSLA.org

818-879-8087 or 818-882-4867

 

Chaplain FAQ

Chaplain? Is she Jewish?
Yes! She is a Jewish chaplain.

I’ve never heard of a Jewish chaplain.
Jewish chaplaincy is an extension and professionalization of the mitzvah of bikur cholim (visiting the sick) and is responsive to individuals and families experiencing crises and/or life transitions besides illness. The first American Jewish chaplains were three rabbis commissioned by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

What’s the difference between a chaplain and a rabbi?
Two years of education, a chaplain does not sit on a Beit Din (panel of rabbis) as a decisor of halacha (Jewish law), and a chaplain has completed Clinical Pastoral Education work (similar to social workers or therapists) which not all rabbis undertake. Chaplain Nye is clinically trained and was certified by the Association of Professional Chaplaincy to assess and bring various interventions for individuals, their families, and the professionals who treat them. Chaplain Nye is experienced at serving any individual, whether of the same faith, different, or not religious or spiritual at all to support folks in connecting and making meaning for themselves for healing, integration and wholeness.

So can she marry us/name our baby/do a Bar Mitzvah? And is she a cantor, too?
It’s a long running joke at VOS that unlike the talented and operatically-trained Li-Paz family, our chaplain has had it written into her contract not to sing! After all, her role is to bring comfort and healing. . . . Nonetheless, the expertise, care and heartfelt leadership she brings to the lifecycle events she officiates have people singing her praises. (And they have been pleasantly surprised to discover that she can chant just fine).

 

Rabbi Emeritus Richard Schachet, z"l

Rabbi Emeritus Jerry Fisher

Contact:  rabjerr@gmail.com

Wed, July 17 2019 14 Tammuz 5779