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A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA
A Dynamic Jewish Early Childhood Center Serving Children Ages 6 Weeks to Entering Pre-K
A Jewish Day School serving students in Grades TK-6
A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA

Director of Youth Engagement

My name is Rabbi Emily JK Holtzman and I am thrilled to be coming aboard as your new Director of Youth Engagement! I grew up in Agoura Hills, attending the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps for 10 summers as a camper, CIT, and staff member. Camp was where I discovered my connection to Judaism, where it felt like I had found a home.

I received my Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Art History with a minor in Judaic Studies from the University of Oregon. After graduation, I worked at a number of Jewish institutions around Los Angeles. I started at IKAR as a religious school teacher, transitioning to a program coordinator, to the Assistant Director and eventually to the Interim Director of Education. IKAR was where my connection to Shabbat, the Jewish calendar, and serious text study was launched. 

During my time in rabbinical school, I have had the pleasure of working for IKAR, Temple Beth Am, the AJU Community Mikveh, Hillel 818, Taglit-Birthright, Congregation B'nai Chaim in Murrieta, and Beit Teshuvah. 

Over the years, I have also been involved with many organizations including, the AIPAC Leffell Fellowship, Pardes Kevah Teaching Fellowship, Limmud Bay Area, the Shalom Hartman Institute, the iCenter (where I received my master’s concentration in Israel Education), Hadar, MAZON, and the Builders of Jewish Education in Los Angeles. 

Days ago, I was ordained as a Rabbi, after studying for 6 years at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies here in Los Angeles. I come to you now not only as a Rabbi, but as a proud teacher and Jewish educator. I have spent my career making and seeking connections with children and their families, deepening my own Jewish learning, and striving to make our tradition relevant for those who I am blessed to teach. 

The mission of the Adat Ari El Youth Department is to “create a sense of community and encourage our learners to push themselves and their thinking”. I want to motivate learners to be their best selves, to be proud of their Judaism and traditions, and to go out into the world to make it a better place. My hope is to continue to grow and expand an already thriving program, through thoughtful experiential learning, community building, and engagement. 

As Rabbi Hanina tells us in the Talmud, “I have learned much from my teachers and even more from my friends, but from my students I have learned most of all.” I am looking forward to starting on this journey with all of you, learning, exploring, and growing through the guidance of our Torah.  

Click Here to connect with Rabbi Holtzman.



Tue, April 23 2024 15 Nisan 5784