January 28, 2010
Sue Neuman Hochberg, Chair of the Los Angeles Board of Overseers of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, has nominated Rabbi Zachary R. Shapiro to the Board of Overseers for the Los Angeles Campus.
Rabbi Shapiro has been at Temple Akiba in Culver City, California, since 2006. Ordained from HUC-JIR in Cincinnati in 1997, Shapiro has spent his entire rabbinic career in Southern California, first as the Associate Rabbi of University Synagogue in Los Angeles (1997-2005), and then as the Regional Director for the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) “Introduction to Judaism Program” (2005-2006). During his year with the URJ, Shapiro also served the World Union for Progressive Judaism as High Holy Day Rabbi in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“I am so honored to be a part of this incredible Board. I believe in how progressive Judaism has shaped modern thinking, and I take pride in HUC-JIR's mission to train our future leaders,” said Shapiro.
Shapiro also said, “My mission in life is to bring goodness into the world. I do not believe in random acts of kindness, but rather in purposeful acts.” This mission guides every aspect of his rabbinate. Since his arrival at Temple Akiba, the congregation has experienced growth in numbers and in spirit. A musician and composer, Shapiro has re-energized the music program at Akiba. The monthly Kabbalat Shabbat service (the last Friday of the month) often finds two hundred worshippers making connections with their souls, their community, and the Divine Spark.
In partnership with an incredible staff, Shapiro has helped the enrollment of Temple Akiba’s Nursery School to grow to more than 100 children. The Religious School, Camp programs, and youth groups have grown as well. Temple Akiba enjoys almost seamless retention post Bar/ Bat Mitzvah, with large Confirmation and Post-Confirmation classes.
Shapiro recently published his first children’s book, “We’re All in the Same Boat,” (Putnam, 2009) and he is working on his second.
A member of the board of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, both regionally and nationally, Shapiro cares about the Reform Movement’s voice in Israel. He has also been the Advisory Board Chair of HUC-JIR’s Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation.
A native of Boston, Shapiro received his B.A. in Spanish from Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. He is married to Ron Galperin, an attorney, Cantor, and community leader.
HUC-JIR’s Board of Overseers, to which Rabbi Zachary R. Shapiro was appointed, is comprised of distinguished communal leaders of the Reform Movement, for each of its campuses in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles and New York. The Board of Overseers provides support and guidance for the academic and cultural programs of the Los Angeles School.