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Our Staff & Clergy

Clergy
Senior Staff
Administrative Staff
Music Staff

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Main Phone: (925) 283-8575
Fax: (925) 283-8355


Photos by Michael Fox Photography

Our Clergy

At Temple Isaiah, an exceptional clergy team and professional staff help all of us - from babies to elders –  discover and deepen our Jewish lives. Our leaders counsel and inspire, inform and challenge us to live up to the high ideals of our tradition. They are caring, accessible mentors who guide us through our own personal Jewish journeys, through life’s joys, trials and celebrations. To contact a member of our clergy team please call Nina Jones, Clergy Assistant at (925) 283-8575 ext. 308, or use their email addresses, posted below.


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Rabbi Judy Shanks is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, where she grew up in a Reform synagogue and participated actively in her local and regional Youth Groups. She earned her B.A. degree with honors in Religion from Pomona College in Claremont, California in 1977. After college she served as the Director of the summer Day Camp at the Jewish Community Center in Walnut Creek, CA. In 1979 she entered Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, first in Jerusalem and then in New York City. She earned her Masters Degree and was ordained as Rabbi in 1984. From 1984 - 1991 Rabbi Shanks served Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond, California. The following year she taught Jewish Studies at the University of San Francisco and then joined the clergy team at Temple Isaiah in the Fall of 1992. Rabbi Shanks has a special interest in Jewish feminist studies, the development of new rituals for life cycle events, liturgical poetry and modern Hebrew literature. She is the wife of Dr. James Gracer and the mother of Talia and Mira, and the grandmother of Joshua Bernard (JB) and Lev Charlie.

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Cantor Leigh Korn joined the clergy team at Temple Isaiah in 2005.  He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in bassoon performance and a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.  While studying in Israel, he worked with Tzi’im, a choir of mentally challenged adults, which included preparing them for a performance at the K’nesset.  Cantor Korn has served pulpits in Washington Township, NJ and Falls Church, VA.  In 2004, he earned a Masters of Sacred Music degree from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Insititute of Religion School of Sacred Music, and in 2005, became ordained as cantor.  Cantor Korn serves on the board of the American Conference of Cantors.  In the fall of 2009, he conducted the Delegates’ Choir at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial Convention in Toronto.  In 2010, Cantor Korn was one of 20 cantors invited to sing at the Vatican for an historic concert as a part of a conference on Jewish-Catholic Dialogue.

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Rabbi Alissa Miller joined the clergy of Temple Isaiah after being ordained from the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2007. She oversees our vibrant programs for youth, teens and young families, directing Camp Kefli, Noar Night, our teen school, and coordinating Kulanu our family “youth” group. Growing up in Denver, Colorado, Rabbi Miller was active in her local and regional NFTY youth group and spent many summers at Shwayder Camp, a Jewish overnight camp in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. She attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning a BA in Sociology and minor in Jewish studies and spent her junior year of college at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Upon graduating, she came to Temple Isaiah where she served as the Assistant Youth Director and Administrative Assistant for the Education Department (1999-2001). During rabbinical school, Rabbi Miller served as a student rabbi in Aiken, SC and Worcester, MA and was the rabbinic intern at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA. Rabbi Miller also earned her Master of Arts in Jewish Education at HUC-JIR in May 2005.

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Rabbi Nicki Greninger was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Teaching.  She was ordained as a Rabbi in 2008 from the New York campus of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), where she also earned a Masters of Arts in Religious Education.  Rabbi Greninger won numerous awards at HUC-JIR, including those for Bible, Midrash, Hebrew, Talmud, liturgy, homiletics, Jewish education, and social action.  Rabbi Greninger is especially passionate about liturgy, prayer, worship, and ritual, and her article “Believing, Behaving, Belonging: Tefillah Education in the 21st Century” in the Journal of Jewish Education is currently used in Jewish education classes throughout the country.  In November 2012, Rabbi Greninger was a recipient of the prestigious Pomegranate Prize by the Covenant Foundation, giving her national recognition as a ‘passionate emerging leader’ in the field of Jewish education.  Rabbi Greninger is on the Leadership Team of the Presidents Rabbinic Council of HUC-JIR, and is a Co-Team Leader of Professional Learning for the Association of Reform Jewish Educators (ARJE).  Rabbi Greninger is married to Dr. Daniel Greninger, and they have three children - Oren, Lila, and Gavi.

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Rabbi Jay LeVine grew up in Southern Arizona and attended the University of Arizona.  He graduated with honors and summa cum laude with a BA in Judaic Studies and BS in Business Administration, Finance.  In addition to Rabbinic Ordination from HUC-JIR, he received an MA in Jewish Education and an MA in Hebrew Letters from HUC-JIR. Rabbi LeVine served student pulpits and rabbinic intern positions at Congregation Beth Israel, Scottsdale, AZ, Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’a lot, Irvine, CA, and Congregation Ohr Shalom in Grand Junction, CO.  He has also been a Community Organizing Rabbinic Intern since 2014 at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles.

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Rabbi Roberto D. Graetz has a long history of service in the Jewish community.  After 20 years of service to the Jewish community of South America, he returned to the United States in 1991 to assume his current position as Senior Rabbi at Temple Isaiah, Lafayette, CA. He is a past President of Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, a coalition of faith communities working in the area of Affordable Housing with Supportive Services, past President of the Pacific Central West Region of the World Union for Progressive Judaism [WUPJ] and past President of The Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis.  He continues to serve in the Advisory Boards of Rabbis for Human Rights and T’ruah, a Jewish voice for Justice and on CCIH’s Board of Directors. He chairs Yad B’Yad, the organization that galvanizes friends of Latin American Progressive Jews in the United States. A native of Argentina, Rabbi Graetz studied at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio where he was ordained in 1972. Prior to being appointed the Senior Rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Lafayette, CA in 1991, he served as the Senior Rabbi of the Associacao Religiosa Israelita (ARI), Rio de Janeiro’s largest Reform congregation, from 1980 to 1991, and Congregation Emanu-El in Buenos Aires. He received his Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR in 1997. In Argentina during the Dirty War Graetz was one of the founders of the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights; in Rio de Janeiro he was active in the Street Children Movement and inter-faith dialogue. In his present posting he has become one of the leaders of the emerging multi-faith coalition to fight homelessness and hunger in Contra Costa County. Rabbi Graetz and his wife, Evelyn, have three daughters, Deborah, Ilana, and Sharon and four grandchildren.

Senior Staff



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(925) 283-8575, ext. 301
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(925) 283-8575, ext. 310
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(925) 284-8453
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(925) 283-8575, ext. 311
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Administrative & Facilities Staff



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(925) 283-8575 ext. 306
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(925) 283-8575 ext. 401
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(925) 283-8575
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(925) 284-9191
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(925) 283-8575 ext. 316
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(925) 283-8575 ext. 308
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(925) 283-8575 ext. 302
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(925) 284-8453 or (925) 283-8575 ext. 304
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(925) 283-8575
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Music Staff



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(925) 283-8575
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