Rabbi Leff on the water

Rav Barry (as he likes to be called in the “Israeli fashion”) is serving as Temple Beth-El’s interim spiritual leader. After a 20-year career in high-tech in Silicon Valley, he felt a calling to the rabbinate and he quit his job as VP-Marketing for a semiconductor company and went back to school to become a rabbi. He served as a congregational rabbi for five years in Vancouver, Canada, and Toledo, Ohio. In 2007 he and his family decided to make aliyah, and he went back to work in the business world in Israel.

Rav Barry’s rabbinic work in Israel was mostly volunteer. He has served as Chairman of Rabbis for Human Rights, one of the leading human rights organizations in Israel, and as Chair of the Executive Committee for the Schechter Rabbinical School, the Conservative Movement’s seminary in Israel. He also has a special interest in business ethics, and has written extensively on business ethics, and has taught a seminar on business ethics from a Jewish perspective at a university in Worms, Germany, where the famous 11th century rabbi Rashi once lived.

Rav Barry’s rabbinic training was at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) in Los Angeles. He also holds an MBA and PhD in business administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

His rabbinic interests include halacha (Jewish Law), kabbalah (mysticism), and mussar (ethics). He’s the other of four teshuvot (opinions on matters of Jewish law) that have been approved by the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. He’s especially passionate about adult education and working with prospective converts.

He has five daughters, three in Israel and two in California. Among his many hobbies are skiing, SCUBA Diving, playing the piano (jazz), running marathons, and flying small planes. He likes to joke he’ll get people closer to God one way or the other.

Click here to visit Rav Barry’s website.

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