Rabbi Rick Schechter
A passionate teacher, speaker, writer, and storyteller, Rabbi Schechter brings a wonderful blend of wisdom, warmth, and sense of humor to the congregation and the community. His vision is to inspire and engage us in deep and meaningful connections to Judaism, God, each other, and the world. He became the rabbi of Temple Sinai in 2005, having served for five years as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Knesset Bamidbar in Lancaster, and for three years as a rabbi of Temple Shalom in Dallas. He was ordained from the Reform Jewish seminary, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in 1997, where he received the award for best oratory. Rabbi Schechter is active in spiritual development, interreligious dialogue, and creating vibrant and joyful Jewish living. His articles and award-winning sermons have appeared in national publications. In 2017, after 14 years of extensive study, he completed 240 hours of training and received certification in Applied Positive Psychology, a field devoted to the scientific study of well-being and what contributes to human flourishing and optimal functioning. He and his wife April have two children, Evan and Nina.
Cantor Steve Hummel
Steve has been our cantor since 2011. Using a warm blend of both traditional and modern melodies, Steve engages our community in worship that is uplifting and beautiful. “I like to use voice and guitar in a way that conveys the majesty of our tradition, while still encouraging participation.” Cantor Steve also directs our b’nai mitzvah program, teaches prayer and song in our religious school, and leads our junior youth group, among his various functions at TSG. Each 3rd Shabbat of the month, Cantor is joined on the bimah by his band, consisting mostly of congregants, for a joyful, musical Shabbat celebration called Shabbat 150. Shabbat 150 draws its name and inspiration from the 150th Psalm, which reminds us of God’s instruction that we should fill the sanctuary with the sounds of every variety of instrument. Steve lives in Sherman Oaks, with his wife, Lori, and their children, Sophie and Evan.