SANTA YNEZ — The Santa Ynez Valley Jewish community has announced the appointment of Rabbi Rav Deborah Lewis, who will preside over the parish starting next month.
Ms. Lewis, of Santa Barbara, will lead the local Jewish community on a part-time basis through virtual platforms due to the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to ensure the safety of parish members, according to officials.
In her new role, Ms. Lewis will provide chaplaincy support, conduct Shabbat services one Friday evening each month and lead an Adult Education secession on Saturday mornings. She will also preside over several notable upcoming events, including the Jewish High Holy Days in September, and hold in-person services for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Passover.
Ms. Lewis has a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies from Gratz College in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania and will complete ordination in May 2021 with a master’s in arts from the Academy of Jewish Religion in Los Angeles.
She previously served as the Clinical Chaplaincy intern for the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara for the past two years, while also serving as the conversation coordinator at Congregation B’nai Brith. Ms. Lewis has been an instructor at the Florence Melton School of Adult Education for the past two years.