Rabbi Lisa Rappaport

My rabbinic journey begins by being born into a non Jewish family. While I was not Jewish at birth, I know I stood at Sinai. I have been a seeker and G-d wrestler my whole life.

I was raised in an environment where becoming who I was meant to be was foundational. My parents were not religious, but were political and spiritual. Products of the countercultural movement of the 1960s, they were drawn to the values of freedom, righteousness, justice, love. They were deeply connected to nature and the welfare of the planet.

I spent my college and young adult years seeking and dabbling in a variety of spiritual traditions. At the same time, I was deeply drawn to people, how we behave and relate to each other. I pursued a degree in psychology. My continued passion for people and spirituality led me to receive a Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. I knew connecting with people on matters of the heart and soul was part of my life’s work.

Through a variety of twists and turns I became an educator. Working with larger groups and collectives as a leader and teacher was also rewarding.

Through teaching, I met my soulmate, a Jewish man. We fell in love, got married, started a family. I pushed him into Jewish communal life when I was pregnant. I wanted my children to know who they were.

When we walked through the doors of Congregation Beth Israel in Chico, CA (the community I now serve as Spiritual Leader), I felt something tangibly familiar and elusively mysterious. I soon realized I was meant to return to the truth of who I was–a Jew. Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan led and welcomed me home through conversion.

We moved to the San Francisco Bay Area so our children could attend Tehiyah Jewish Day School. I walked through the doors of a new Jewish community, Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley. A vibrational truth shook me. Rabbi Menachem Creditor led me to another personal revelation. I am meant to be a Rabbi.

I knew Aleph was the program for me. Reb Zalman’s vision of paradigm shift, and his important teachings are in deep alignment with my upbringing, my seeking and dabbling, and my own journey home. I am committed to serving as a Renewal Rabbi and to teach a Torah that brings profound transformation and healing to our people, humanity, the planet.

The last seven years have been a journey of intense learning, rapid growth, and continued self discovery. In addition to becoming a Rabbi I am also a Mashpiah, Jewish Spiritual Director (also through Aleph). During my studies, I have been fortunate to serve in the role of Spiritual Leader at my home synagogue in Chico. What a blessing to know who we are meant to be and how to serve; to have the resources and stamina to pursue the path; to be supported by friends, family, and community who stand witness; to receive this sacred transmission, smicha from my teachers, mentors, rebbes.