Rabbi Brian Walt was born in Cape Town and grew up in a traditional Jewish family and community in South Africa. He is profoundly connected to the prophetic tradition and ethical core of Judaism. Deeply committeed to progressive Zionism, Rabbi Walt made aliya to Israel when he graduated from high school and studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for two years. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Cape Town, where he was active in the struggle against Apartheid and was the founding editor of Strike , as Jewish student newspaper on Jewish values and Apartheid.
Inspired by reports of activist organizations such as Jews for Urban Justice and the Havurah movement, he immigrated to the United States in 1974. He completed a Master's Degree in Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and went to Philadelphia in 1976 to teach at Akiba Hebrew Academy. In 1984 Rabbi Walt was ordained as a rabbi by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
In 1988 Rabbi Walt founded Mishkan Shalom, an activist synagogue. The synagogue has been a leader in supporing peace groups in Israel and in opening discussion in the Jewish community on the issues of justice and human rights for the Palestinian people. Rabbi Walt in the Rabbi Emeritus of that congregation.
In 2003, Rabbi Walt moved to Martha's Vineyard and became the founding Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights - North America. He served as the director until July 2009. He lives on Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Rabbi Caryn Broitman, and their child, Galya. He has two older children, Benjamin, and Chana Joffe-Walt.
Rabbi Walt writes a blog as a voice for justice and peace in Israel and Palestine.
Chazzan Abbe Lyons Chazzan Abbe Lyons is Congregation Tikkun v'Or's cantor, focusing on b'nai mitzvah education and leading High Holiday, b'nai mitzvah, religious school and youth services. She also officiates at other life cycle events and tutors adults and children. In January 2010, Chazzan Lyons received ordination as a Cantor from the ALEPH Cantorial Program. In 2005, she was honored by the N'shei Hazon/Women of Vision as a Bat Kol, an emerging voice. As part of her studies, she graduated from the Davennen Leadership Training Institute and completed an internship as a hospital chaplain.
Chazzan Lyons grew up in a musical family on Long Island. She attended Hebrew school (Gan through confirmation) at the Garden City Jewish Center, a diverse Reform congregation, where her parents were active as board members. After studying at Oberlin College and working for several years in the Washington, DC area, she moved to Ithaca in 1984 to study music at Ithaca College and was granted a degree in Voice Performance in 1987. In 1990, she moved to California, working as a nonprofit Financial Manager and studying in the Marin County Feldenkrais (R) Professional Training Program, from which she graduated in 1994.
After years as a solo and duo performer, she performed and recorded, both solo and with Vocolot, a Jewish women's a capella ensemble. Current projects include an omer counter designed for parents, and a booklet on liturgy for the layperson, as well as adult education and spiritual direction for groups and individuals, including Contemplative Torah, a series of classes combining meditation, niggunim and experiential Torah study. Chazzan Lyons lives in Ithaca with her partner and son.
Religious School Director
Naomi Wilensky is Tikkun v'Or's Religious School Director and Administrative Coordinator.Naomi holds a Master's Degree in education from Syracuse University and a degree in Judaic Studies from Binghamton University. Naomi has travelled, studied, and led teen tours in Israel. She has taught pre-school through adult classes in Jewish studies, in Binghamton, Syracuse, Oswego, and Ithaca.
As Administrative Coordinator, Naomi manages the temple office. She can be reached at 607-256-1471 or email@example.com.
Naomi has experience with community education with the Advocacy Center and as Program Director of Hillel at Ithaca College. She has worked with Tikkun v’Or since 1997. She lives in Ithaca with her husband Joe and four daughters.
Sally Ezra is the bookkeeper for Congregation Tikkun v'Or. She can be reached at 607-256-1471.
Send mail to webmaster with questions or comments about this web site.