Rabbi Sharon Brous
Founder/Senior Rabbi
Sharon Brous is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, a leading edge Jewish community based in Los Angeles, and author of The Amen Effect: Ancient Wisdom to Heal Our Hearts and Mend Our Broken World, a national bestseller. In 2013, Brous blessed President Obama and Vice President Biden at the Inaugural National Prayer Service, and in 2021 returned to bless President Biden and Vice President Harris, and then led the  White House Passover Seder in 2021 and the Hanukkah candle lighting with the Vice President and Second Gentleman in 2023. She was named #1 on the Newsweek/The Daily Beast list of most influential Rabbis in America, and has been recognized by The Forward and Jerusalem Post as among the most influential Jews alive today. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, and her 2016 TED talk, “Reclaiming Religion,” has been viewed by more than 1.5 million people. Brous is in the inaugural cohort of Auburn Seminary‘s Senior Fellows program, which unites top faith leaders working on the frontlines for justice, she sits on the faculty of REBOOT, and serves on the International Council of the New Israel Fund and national steering committee for the Poor People’s Campaign. A graduate of Columbia University (both undergraduate and M.A. in Human Rights), she was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children. Learn more about Rabbi Sharon Brous
Learn More
Rabbi Hannah Jensen
Assistant Rabbi
Hannah Jensen became ordained by Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2023. She has lived in many states and traveled lots of places and had many jobs, and eventually found herself in Los Angeles where she started to find that the ‘Jewish’ piece of the professional puzzle had been missing. She has worked for years with many b’nai mitzvah students, tutoring young kids, working with adults learning Hebrew, and always trying to meet new people. Rabbi Jensen spent two and a half years working as a spiritual counselor at Beit T’shuvah (a residential addiction treatment center), did a summer fellowship with T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, and is doing a fellowship this year with the New Israel Fund. When not engaging in a variety of Jewish and justice work, she loves walking, crafting the perfect piece of toast, writing, and the moon. Email her at [email protected].
Learn More
Rabbi Morris Panitz
Associate Rabbi
Rabbi Morris Panitz is thrilled to be an Associate Rabbi at IKAR, a community he’s cherished for the past 7 years. Previously, he served as the Director of the Ziering BCI Program and Director of Immersive Experiences at American Jewish University.  He cherishes the opportunity to partner with people who are seeking meaningful connection to Jewish wisdom and community. Morris received rabbinical ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and was a recipient of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship. Prior to rabbinical school, he combined his love for Jewish, experiential education and environmental sustainability as the Program Director of the Pearlstone Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Morris completed a Certificate in Jewish, Experiential Education from Yeshiva University and received his B.A. from the University of Maryland in philosophy and Jewish Studies. Morris loves hiking and gardening with his wife, Elana, and three children, Ziva, Matan, and Luna. Week after week, he has shared with us his stirring and heartfelt Torah. He has held us during moments of loss, and graced us with his presence in times of challenge and celebration. In a very short time, he has become an indispensable part of our clergy team. And Rabbi Panitz and Elana, along with Ziva and Matan, have become deeply embedded in the life of our community. We are thrilled that Rabbi Panitz was promoted in December 2022 from Assistant Rabbi to the role of Associate Rabbi, where he will continue to serve, teach and care for our community with his big heart and deep wisdom. Email [email protected].
Learn More
Rabbi Deborah Silver
Associate Rabbi
Rabbi Deborah Silver is delighted and honored to be joining IKAR as an Associate Rabbi.  Most recently she served as the Rabbi of Shir Chadash, New Orleans, having followed her ordination from the Ziegler School with six years as Assistant Rabbi at Adat Ari El, Valley Village. Since her return to LA, she worked as an adjunct professor at the Ziegler School, and co-authored two teshuvot for the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee of Jewish Law and Standards. Rabbi Silver was born and brought up in London, England. She holds a Master’s degree in Hebrew Studies from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and a further MA in Theory and Practice of Literary Translation from the University of Essex, England. After completing her studies she worked as an attorney at Mishcon de Reya, and at BPP Law School as an assistant professor, before setting herself on a new path midlife to make manifest her growing wish to serve the Jewish people and our tradition, using music, prayer, poetry and yoga alongside traditional text and rituals to explore its riches.Rabbi Silver lives in Studio City with her friend (and IKAR member) Jo Pitesky. They and some other friends plan to age together in community – assuming they can find space for everyone’s books.Rabbi Silver looks forward to meeting you, learning your stories and your values and finding out what brings you meaning. Together we will create more entrances to Jewish wisdom, uncover its treasures and claim it even more joyously as our own. Email her at [email protected].
Learn More
Hazan Hillel Tigay
Hazan/Music Director
Hillel majored in musicology, and specialized in composition, classical guitar, the renaissance lute and pop music. He went on to co-found the Jewish rap band MOT. He has released two albums Judeo and Judeo Volume II, and under Palms Station, has released Stand Together. Fall Apart. Listen and follow on Spotify, Apple, YouTube, and Soundcloud. And we can’t forget the spectacular live renditions of “Mad World” and with “Alive” Hillel and Curt Smith (Tears for Fears). The son of a rabbinical scholar, Hillel has spent his life expressing his love of yiddishkeit. He spent several years living in Israel, has cantored during High Holy Days since his high school years, and has been the bar mitzvah tutor at Beth Am in Los Angeles since 1991. In addition to leading IKAR services, he spends his time writing his own Jewish music and posing as an international male tweed model. Email him at [email protected].
Learn More