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Senior Staff

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Bruce Raff

Executive Director

Office: 818-758-3800 x108

In addition to serving as a Rabbi on our clergy team, Rabbi Bruce Raff was the Director of Education at Temple Judea from 1986 to 2021, save one brief hiatus from 2012 - 2017.  Rabbi Raff loves Judaism and loves making Judaism accessible and family friendly, and he brings this love to everything he does at Temple Judea as our Executive Director.

Rabbi Raff began his career as a public school teacher, and after a short stint with LAUSD, he became a full time Jewish educator. He is known as an innovator in the field of Jewish education, and has been at the forefront of introducing new models of education that have spread across the Jewish landscape.

In addition to his teaching and his extensive work as a school administrator, Rabbi Raff has mentored over 100 Jewish educators and rabbis as a member of the Clinical Faculty of Hebrew Union College.  He holds Master’s Degrees in Jewish Education from the University of Judaism (Now American Jewish University) and in Jewish Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he was ordained as a rabbi in 2001.

Rabbi Raff lives in Woodland Hills with his wife Tamar, the Principal of Valley Beth Shalom Day school.  They have two sons, Rami and Micah, two daughters-in-law, Jordan and Julie,  and two grandchildren, Morgan and Parker.  The Raff family has a long history at Temple Judea, as Tamar grew up here - you can even find her in one of the Confirmation class pictures!  Both Rami and Micah started school in our ECC, both taught Religious School here and both view Temple Judea as their other Jewish home. Now, there is a 3rd generation continuing the tradition, as Morgan and Parker are students at our ECC and Parenting Center.

 Rabbi Bruce Raff loves Temple Judea and its people, and is delighted to be sharing the richness of Jewish life with our members in his role as Executive Director.

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Diane Lennox

Director of Finance


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Eric D. Rosenstein

Rabbi / Director of Education

Facebook: eric.rosenstein.5

As the newest member of our clergy team, Assistant Rabbi Eric Rosenstein is committed to using the power of Jewish tradition, history, and culture to inspire and guide our daily lives.  Rabbi Rosenstein is a graduate of the Rabbinical School and the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.  During his training, Rabbi Rosenstein interned at a number of local congregations, including Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Leo Baeck Temple, and Temple Ner Ami in Camarillo, California. He also served as a chaplain intern at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and has served as an educator, song leader, and cantorial soloist across Los Angeles. Rabbi Rosenstein is a contributing co-author to the book The Fragile Dialogue: New Voices in Liberal Zionism (CCAR Press, 2017). He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Carly, and two children, Lilah and Gabriel.

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Lisa Whitman, M. Ed

Director of ECC


Lisa has taken on the roll of Early Childhood Center Director after 6 years as Assistant Director.  Before joining the administration, Lisa taught in the Temple Judea Nursery School for six years, and loved every minute of classroom time.  Prior to her time at Temple Judea, she taught elementary school in the Beverly Hills Unified School District, after a quick two year stint in television promotion.  She graduated from UC Berkeley in Communications, and earned her Masters degree in Education from UCLA.   Lisa was chosen as a fellow in first cohort of The First 36 Project, a year-long program designed to use the latest neuroscience research to educate early childhood teachers and parents.   She is married to John Whitman, a writer and business owner, and the proud mom of Sarah & Noah Whitman, who learned all about sharing and caring at Temple Judea!  

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Sari Edber

Assistant Director of ECC


Sari came to Temple Judea in 2018 as the Assistant Director of the ECC.  Sari has experience teaching middle school, elementary school, nursery school, and Parenting Center classes.  She brings her skills from teaching, her passion for education, her resources from parenting, and her love of working with children.  Sari graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Jewish Education and, afterwards, completed a one year teaching fellowship program in New York. After many years of working in various school settings, Sari couldn't be happier to have found a home, here at Judea.  She and her family are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful community.

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Tali Tadmor

Music Director


Tali Tadmor is a Los Angeles-based pianist, music director and vocal coach. She has collaborated with prominent musicians such as choral composer Eric Whitacre, Metropolitan Opera Soprano Angela Meade, and Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz, and has performed extensively at venues around the globe including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Great Hall at the heart of China’s Forbidden City. At LA Opera, Tali regularly serves as Assistant Conductor to the company’s General Director, Placido Domingo, as well as Music Director James Conlon. Additionally, she is Music Director and Accompanist for the company’s Education and Community Engagement division.

Tali joined the Temple Judea music staff in 1999. As Music Director, she collaborates with our Cantors on all worship, choir and special event music. In addition for playing for services, Tali arranges all the music for services, rehearses our band, conducts the adult choir on High Holy days, and helps coach our robust CIT program.

Though classically trained, Tali is active in a wide variety of musical settings, ranging from world music, pop and worship, and her own compositions. Tali received both Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Southern California (USC) majoring in Keyboard Collaborative Arts, where she received numerous scholarships and awards underwriting her residency at the school. She is currently on faculty at the Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and California State University in Northridge (CSUN).

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Kimberly Birbower

Director of Communications


For the last 10 years, Kimberly Birbrower has been working as an entrepreneur at her very own Big Picture Educational Consulting. Prior to founding Big Picture Ed, Kim was the first Director of Education at Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation. There, she was responsible for the conception, development, implementation, and assessment of the Foundation's global educational outreach programs. Kim also served as the national Assistant Director of Educational Policy and Programs at the Anti-Defamation League, writing and adapting material to align with national standards, current pedagogic initiatives, and international needs.  Kim has her permanent teaching certification from New York State, and prior to her position at the ADL taught in both public and private schools throughout New York City.  She is a graduate of Boston University and New York University, and studied at Columbia University and Oxford University. In 1999, Kim received an Advanced Placement teaching grant from the Mellon Foundation, and was honored with the Anne Frank Center's Spirit of Anne Frank Award in 2000. Kim grew up in a family that was very active in their temple community, and has always seen the synagogue as the center of her spiritual village.  Perhaps most importantly, she is mom to Helena, Phoebe, and Isaac, who can often be found at Temple Judea, and is passionate about living her life and raising her children with a strong Jewish identity and as active members of a thriving Jewish community.

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Rachel Leah Cohen

Program Director / Social Media Maven


Rachel has been our Program Director since 2013.  Prior to Judea, Rachel worked for Craig Taubman producing Jewish events throughout Los Angeles and beyond.  She also served as the drama director at Milken Community High School for seven years. She earned her degree in theatre and Jewish Studies from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and works professionally as an actor as well.

She has been awarded the Steven Spielberg Jewish Theatre Fellowship and applies her studies as director of Temple Judea’s performing Arts troupe, SULAM.

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Ellen Franklin

Executive Director - Emerita


Ellen Franklin, Temple Judea’s first Executive Director Emerita, served as Executive Director from 2004-2021, after being an active member since the late 80's.  Prior to joining our staff, she was Managing Director of Synagogue 2000, the national non-profit dedicated to revitalizing synagogue life. She enjoyed a previous career in the entertainment industry, serving as a sitcom creative executive at ABC-TV and Warner Bros.