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Beth El Staff

Craig ParksCraig Parks
Assistant Director of Experiential Learning & Music
Ext. 248

With 30 years of experience in Jewish experiential education, I'm thrilled to join Congregation Beth El in San Diego. My goal is to foster meaningful connections and strengthen relationships through music, education, and community engagement for all ages. Collaborating with Rabbi Avi, I'll inspire teachers and students at Viterbi Torah School and Thursday Night Teens. Expect congregational bands, meditation sessions, drum circles, concerts, Shabbat events, Havdallah gatherings, and more. I'm also adept at leading groups for parents of kids with special needs and teens. Feel free to reach out anytime and join our vibrant community for music, learning, and togetherness.

David Lipsitz
Ba'al Tefilah & CHAI Coordinator
Ext. 231

Hi, I'm David Lipsitz, the new Ba'al Tefillah and Chai Coordinator at Beth El. Though I studied Government and Politics at University of Maryland, it was through my many singing groups that I found my ultimate calling in music. I have been privileged to sing and lead services in over 100 synagogues worldwide. My goal this year is to infuse as much music as possible into the everyday experience of our synagogue community. When I'm not singing around San Diego, you can find me scaling summits in remote ranges around the globe. 

Dvora Vinick
Director of Community Engagement
Ext. 237

As Program Director at Congregation Beth El, I have the privilege of helping to build community for our synagogue family through programming, social action efforts, and Hesed support. I enjoy collaborating with committees to bring their creative visions to life at Beth El.  

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Social Work from Rutgers University. Prior to moving to San Diego, I worked as a therapist with survivors of child sexual abuse in individual, family and group settings.  

I am grateful to the warm and welcoming community I have found for myself and my family at Beth El. I hope to be able to help others make lasting and meaningful relationships. 

Joy ContrerasJason Lobenstein
Director of Administration
Ext. 229

Shalom! I am proud and humbled to be returning to Congregation Beth El as the Director of Administration. Many of you may remember me from when I served our community as the Community Engagement Director and Youth Director.

I am excited to be rejoining Congregation Beth El where I will work closely with our rabbis, Board of Directors, volunteers, and professional staff to continue providing meaningful Jewish experiences for our community. In my role as the Director of Administration, I will oversee our congregation's day-to-day operations, membership recruitment, and renewals, and provide logistical support for major synagogue events and holiday celebrations, as well as manage our facilities, finances, and technology.

My office is open to all congregants, and I am excited to create new relationships and memories with our community moving forward. Next time you are on campus, I hope you stop by to say hello, catch up or share your concerns

Joy ContrerasJoy Contreras
Membership Relations and Administrative Manager
Ext. 221

Hello! I'm Joy Contreras, the new Membership Relations and Administrative Manager at Congregation Beth El. I have 12 years of experience in Jewish Communities in Los Angeles and Columbus. Growing up in Akron, Ohio, I'm thrilled to call San Diego and Beth El my new home. Our synagogue values inclusion and participation, welcoming diverse backgrounds. Being a member of Congregation Beth El emphasizes the importance of giving to others, enriching our lives with purpose and perspective.

Michele Alexandria
Rabbinic Office and Lifecycle Event Coordinator
Ext. 225

I joined Congregation Beth El as the Rabbinic Assistant, in July 2019.  I work directly with Rabbi Shulman and Rabbi Avi to facilitate and coordinate all of the religious and lifecycle events events throughout the year.  Prior to joining the Beth El staff, I was self-employed as a Professional Organizer, as well as, hired by small businesses to help them manage their operations more efficiently and assist them with their bookkeeping needs. 

My greatest joy in life, for the past 24 years, is the spiritual coaching work I do with others, as a trained Professional Spiritual Life Coach, and Emotional Healing Facilitator.  There is nothing more beautiful, and powerful, then guiding others to heal, and live joyously from their Soul. 

Michelle Gurr-BarbourMichelle Gurr-Barbour
Program Manager
Ext. 226

I am absolutely thrilled to embark on this new journey as the Program Manager at Congregation Beth El. In my role, I'll have the privilege of working closely with our vibrant youth department, the dedicated madrichim program, nurturing the Chai program, and providing invaluable programming support as required. With two decades of experience working with children and teenagers, my academic foundation includes a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Teaching. What truly excites me is the chance to engage with the adults in our community this year, fostering a deeper sense of connection and community within Congregation Beth El.


Antonio CarmonaAntonio Carmona
Facilities Manager

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Daniel Garcia



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Sat, March 2 2024 22 Adar I 5784