Our synagogue is led by a dynamic leadership team made up of our lay leaders and Board of Directors, and guided by our clergy, who all work together in the spiritual direction of our community.
Rabbi Joshua’s passion is often described as “infectious,” “contagious,” and “deeply inspiring.” He speaks in congregations and conferences around the country, blogs regularly at Yinon Blog, and is a frequent contributor to several publications. Before coming to AZS he served congregations in Maryland and California and has worked for the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC) and the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (MJTI).
He is an accredited Jewish educator and has studied in various Jewish institutions including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. He is ordained by the UMJC and the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council (MJRC). He holds a MJS in Rabbinic Writings from MJTI, a BA in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations and Biblical Studies from UCLA, and an AA in Anthropology from Mt. Hood Community College. His new book, Jude: On Faith and the Destructive Influence of Heresy (April 2014), is available through Lederer/Messianic Jewish Publishers.
Rabbi Joshua additionally serves as Vice-President of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council (MJRC), President of the Union of Messianic Believers (UMB), serves on several committees, including the Theology Committee, of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC), and on the Administration Committee for the International Messianic Jewish Alliance (IMJA).
He is married to Monique, a human rights attorney, and they have an toddler son.
Rabbi Michael A. Kashdan
Rabbi Michael Kashdan has served in various roles within our community since 1999. Before coming to Ahavat Zion, Rabbi Kashdan served as the spiritual leader of a congregation in Orange County. He holds a BA in History from Ohio State University; a M.Div. in Pastoral Counseling from Trinity International University; a M.Ed. in Cross-Cultural Teaching from National University; and holds smikha through the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations (UMJC). He additionally holds a secondary credential in Social Science from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and is a public school teacher in Orange County. He is married to Beth and has a son attending the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Cantor N. Vetter
Cantor Vetter has served our congregation for over 30 years, and began attending when Ahavat Zion was still located in the San Fernando Valley in a storefront by the railroad tracks on Reseda Blvd. He is a former Theater Arts Major and has worked in Theater, film, radio and commercials. He previously trained and sang in opera throughout the United States.
It is his hope that the next generation of cantors will continue to grow in commitment to our rich tradition of worship even as we make room for alternative enrichment, participation and expression in this aspect of our community life. He invites you to join with us each week as we retell the story of our people from creation, to the giving of the Torah, the coming of Mashiach and G-d’s promises to His People to restore Israel for a glorious future.
Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD – Rabbi Emeritus
Rabbi Stuart Dauermann is a teacher, mentor, denizen of Los Angeles, and a visionary with a long career in Messianic Jewish activism. He has plenty to say about Jewish-Christian relations, the need for shalom in the world, and the agenda of Messiah, the Son of David.
Born into a Conservative Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Dauermann became convinced that Yeshua of Nazareth is Israel’s Messiah in 1962 while a student at Manhattan School of Music. He’s still convinced and enjoys convincing others.
As “the Father of Messianic Jewish music,” beginning in the late 1960’s he wrote, and later performed and recorded Jewish music expressing faith in Yeshua as Messiah, and many of those songs are now sung around the world. He is the founder of Hashivenu, a Messianic Jewish think tank, with an annual leadership forum. Out of this matrix, Rabbi Dauermann assisted in the founding and funding of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (MJTI).
Dr. Dauermann served as the spiritual leader of Ahavat Zion Synagogue for over twenty years, beginning in 1991. With Rabbi Dauermann’s ever increasing involvement within the Messianic Jewish movement around the world, in July of 2011 he stepped aside as the congregation’s spiritual leader to teach, write, and travel full-time. In September of 2013 he launched Interfaithfulness, which explores the synergy between Judaism and Christianity, Christians and Jews, and God’s tomorrow and our today.
He is the author of numerous articles and several books, is a member of the Messianic Jewish Rabbinical Council, holds a MA and PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a MMusEd from Manhattan School of Music.
Rabbi Dauermann has been married to Naomi since 1975. They have three grown children, and live in Southern California.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. Ellen Goldsmith – President
Harland Green, Esq.