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Professional Leadership

Clergy                   Youth                   Administrative Staff


Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, Senior Rabbi

Over the last 25 years, Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky has built B’nai David-Judea into a leading center of Modern Orthodoxy. Rabbi Kanefsky’s embrace of creative innovation, devotion to the dignity of all people, and commitment to intellectual inquiry and ethical striving, all within the framework of traditional Halacha, have established Bnai David-Judea as one of the most dynamic, warm and respected Modern Orthodox shuls in the country.

Rav Yosef is driven by a firm belief that Jewish tradition can provide a blueprint for modern ethical living for everything from business dealings, to relationships, to communal standards to our interactions as global citizens.

He helped to introduce changes in synagogue ritual and leadership to enhance the role of women, and most recently guided the congregation through hiring its first female clergy member. He has devoted himself to establishing meaningful relationships with Jewish leaders of all denominations, engages in interfaith dialogue, and is respected throughout the broader Los Angeles community. He believes ongoing Jewish education is the foundation to meaningful practice, and he teaches weekly Talmud, Midrash and halacha courses, as well as special courses on a variety of contemporary topics.

Most importantly to his congregants and friends, Rav Yosef is known as a true mensch — his empathy, honesty and desire to give are central to all his endeavors.

He is deeply committed to programs that engage the congregation in caring for the poor and homeless, as well as people who are mentally ill, disabled, or frail. He oversaw a renovation to make the sanctuary accessible to people with disabilities. He has nurtured an atmosphere of warmth and inclusivity among the membership and newcomers.

Rabbi Kanefsky was ordained in 1989 at Yeshiva University, where he also received a master’s degree in Jewish History. He began his rabbinic career in 1990 as the associate rabbi at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in New York, where he worked under the tutelage of spiritual activist Rabbi Avi Weiss. He came to B’nai David-Judea Congregation in the summer of 1996.

He is a past president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, and of the International Rabbinic Fellowship, which he helped found. He is a teaching fellow for the Wexner Heritage Foundation.

Rabbi Kanefsky is married to Sari Abrams, who is the director of parent and child education at the Pressman Academy, and an active leader within the congregation. He likes to hike, bike and visit Israel. They have 3 wonderful sons, two incredible daughter-in-laws and 3 adorable grandchildren.

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Rabbi David Stein, Assistant Rabbi

Rabbi David Stein ensures that our Minyanim throughout the week are running smoothly and well, and he works with Rav Yosef to assist individuals and families as they are preparing for lifecycle events. He also works closely with our youth professionals, both in Rechov Yeladim and in Teen Minyan, supporting their work and assisting us to continuously enhance and improve the quality of our youth education.

Rabbi Stein is the Judaic Studies Principal at Shalhevet High School, as well as the Co-Founder and Director of LaHaV, a curriculum project that provides content and training to Jewish schools in the US, Israel and Australia. Originally from Chicago, Rabbi Stein studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion ("The Gush") for two years under Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein z"tzl before attending Yeshiva College and RIETS for his undergraduate and semikha studies. 

David also received his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, and after a stint working as an engineer, his passion for Jewish education led him to Los Angeles, where he also completed a Master's degree at American Jewish University’s Graduate Center for Jewish Education. David is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Jewish Education and Leadership from YU’s Azrieli School of Jewish Education and Administration, and was previously a Wexner Graduate Fellow/Davidson Scholar. David served as a member of the Legacy Heritage Instructional Leadership Institute's Writer's Group, where he helped develop the first ever standards and benchmarks for Gemara education, and is currently the Assistant Director of the Rabbi Sacks Legacy Foundation's Torah v'Chochmah project, which provides training for educators from around the country to bring the Torah and values of Rabbi Sacks z"l to life in the classroom. Rav David is married to Dr. Talya Stein, with whom he is blessed to be raising Ilan, Ma'ayan, and Lior.

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Note: Rechov Yeladim includes children 6 months old to 6th grade, and Teens includes 7th to 12th grade.

Jenna Rubin, Youth Director

Jenna oversees our littles ones ages 6 months to 6th grade and the counselors who watch over them.

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Teen Minyan

Rami Melmed, Aliza Katz, Rose Ash, Ari Elad, Sophie Katz, and Yonah Terech

Our teen leaders organize and plan every aspect of teen minyan for grades 7th to 12th  from A to Z. Click here for more about teen minyan. 

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Administrative Staff

Adynna Swarz, Executive Director

Adynna supervises all administrative staff and works closely with our volunteer leadership to ensure the health and success of BDJ’s financials, operations, and programs.

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Jose Cruz, Facilities Manager

Jose oversees all of our facilities operations and logistics and supervises our custodial staff. 

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Talia Elefant, Program Director

Our program director is our primary liaison for all programming logistics.  If you are interested in organizing a program for BDJ, she is the one to be in touch with!

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Administrative Assistant

Our administrative assitant can assist with registering for programs, updating your account (including address changes and paying bills), and answering most questions about any upcoming programs. 

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Bookkeeping Firm

Our bookkeeping firm makes sure our bills and people get paid on time and the shul engine keeps humming.  Most questions about your account can be answered by our administrative assistant but our bookkeepers are available in case she is unable to assist. 

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If you are not sure who to contact, please email us at or call (310) 276-9269.  We look forward to connecting!

Mon, June 17 2024 11 Sivan 5784