Rabbi Alexis Berk arrived in San Diego summer of 2019 to join the team at Temple Solel. Having grown up in San Diego, and graduated from UCSD, this is a homecoming for her and her family.
Rabbi Berk graduated with honors in Sociology in 1995. From UCSD, she traveled directly to Jerusalem to begin her rabbinical studies. Having received several awards for oratory excellence in homiletics, Rabbi Berk was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2000. She became the first Rabbi/Educator of Congregation Micah in Brentwood, Tennessee. Finding deep love for creative Jewish education and full family participation, she deepened her connection to Jewish living at Micah. In 2008, Rabbi Berk became the first female Senior Rabbi of the historic, glorious Touro Synagogue in New Orleans. A complex city with resilient, profound spirituality, Rabbi Berk describes her time at Touro with loving superlatives - it is a place of transformative prayer, expansive thought, fearless engagement, and love.
It is with great joy and a full heart that Rabbi Berk serves Temple Solel as Senior Rabbi. Thrilled to be with clergy partner, Cantor Tiep, and the exemplary and extraordinary professional staff, this homecoming has felt very sweet. Her husband and two teenage sons - and their silly and sensitive dog, Russell (who did serve in a pastoral role at Touro Synagogue) - are so happy to be in North County where the eucalyptus perfumes the sea air and the lagoon birds wake them with their melodic call to start the day. Together.
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Cantor William Tiep was born in Encino, California and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. Billy found his talents drew him to work with young people, and so a major in both music and education was a natural choice. Billy received his degree in Music Education from the University of Arizona, Tucson.
While studying in Tucson, Billy directed the music programs for Congregation Anshei Israel, and Temple Emanuel. His educational experience includes working in the Clark County School District (Las Vegas) as a music educator for grades K-12, and holding the position of music director for the nursery school, religious school, and elementary school at Wilshire Blvd. Temple in Los Angeles, California.
Billy studied at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where he was ordained as cantor in 2007. Besides his work with secular and religious schools, Billy has also been the Head Songleader at the URJ Greene Family Camp (1997), and URJ Kutz Camp (1998, 1999, 2003, 2004).
He served as cantor from 2007 to 2010 at the historic Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, Louisiana where he took the annual Jazz Fest Shabbat service to a new level, working with the famous Kermit Ruffins, Allen Toussaint and Marcia Ball.
Billy comes to Temple Solel with his wife Michelle, their sons Zachary, Eli and Joshua and two dogs, Oliver and Kona.
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Rabbi Emeritus David M. Frank is a native of Los Angeles, California. He received his B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1976. He received his M.A. in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1980, rabbinical ordination in 1983, and Doctorate of Divinity in 2008. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.
He served as Assistant Rabbi of Temple Israel of New Rochelle in New York from 1983-1985, and as Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth Hillel in North Hollywood, California from 1985-1991. Since 1991, he has served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Solel in Cardiff by the Sea, California. He is a past president of the San Diego Rabbinical Association, and a former chair of both the Community Relations Committee and the Synagogue Committee of the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County, having also served as a member of the UJF Executive Board. He is a founder of Faith Leaders for Reproductive Justice, an interfaith clergy alliance.
He and his wife, Davida, have three children - Jacob, Micah, and Sara.
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