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Our Spiritual Leader

In July 2019, we welcomed Reb Lisa Rappaport as the Spiritual Leader of Congregation Beth Israel.  Reb Lisa is a rabbinical student in the Ordination Program of ALEPH, The Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Reb Lisa returns to CBI where she first started as a congregant back in 2003 when she, her husband, and six month old baby were searching for a Jewish community.


During her time at CBI, under the mentorship

of Rabbi Julie Danan, Reb Lisa followed a leadership trajectory ranging from Menchkins coordinator, religious school teacher, camp director, Shul School director, and board member. In 2012, Reb Lisa and her family (now with two daughters!) moved to the Bay Area where she worked as both a Jewish and secular educator and administrator. Additionally, she continued to take on leadership roles at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, CA. With Rabbi Menachem Creditor as her mentor, Reb Lisa served as the Rabbinic Intern for three years while at Netivot Shalom.


Reb Lisa has a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, and an MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from JFK University. She has nearly 30 years combined experience as an educator, counselor, administrator, and spiritual leader. Reb Lisa has a deep knowledge of the CBI community, across generations and groups. She possesses the ability to engage a diverse community (in terms of observance, knowledge, and ethnic/cultural background) in meaningful Jewish experiences.


Reb Lisa brings passion, innovation, and warmth to her roles of educator and spiritual leader. She has experience working in Jewish and secular educational settings with students aged toddler through teen and adults.


She is the author of Divei Nichum: Comforting Words During Times of Loss, an original collection of poems for mourners.


Reb Lisa, her husband Chaim, and their two daughters are thrilled to be back in Chico. Returning to her roots, Reb Lisa is motivated to grow CBI as a center for Jewish life in Northern California and is excited about the future of Congregation Beth Israel and the Jewish community of Chico.

Reb Lisa can be reached by phone at 530-342-6146, or by email at

Reb Lisa's office hours are by appointment.

Hazzan Steve Margolin and Reb Lisa Rappaport - March 2020

Our Cantor


In July 2019 we welcomed Hazzan Steve Margolin as cantor  of Congregation Beth Israel.  Hazzan Steve was ordained as a Hazzan (cantor) by the Rabbis and Cantors of the Ordination Program of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and his mentors Rabbi Julie Danan and Rabbi David Zaslow, in January, 2021.  Hazzan Steve received additional smicha (ordination) as Ba'al T'filah V'Torah (Master of Prayer and Torah) from Rabbi David Zaslow and Maggidah Devorah Zaslow in August, 2021. 


Hazzan Steve has been an active member of the CBI community for the past eighteen years; before his appointment as CBI's cantor, he served as Student Cantor and interim Spiritual Leader and as the chairman of the Ritual Committee.  He is involved in all aspects of CBI's liturgical calendar and lifecycle events, teaches students preparing for b'nei mitzvah, and teaches a variety of adult education classes.  Hazzan Steve also provides pastoral counseling to members of the CBI community.


Hazzan Steve is the clarinetist in the Hemlock Street Klezmer Band, has played saxophone in the Oroville Community Concert Band for over twenty years, and was a founding member of the Chico-based Skyliners Big Band.  Hazzan Steve serves as a non-denominational volunteer chaplain at Enloe Medical Center in Chico.  He was born and raised in New York, was graduated from Yale College with a bachelor’s degree in biology, and received a J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley.  He is in the process of winding down his law practice after practicing trusts and estates law for 41 years.


Hazzan Steve and his wife, Renee, live on eleven acres of blue oak savanna in Butte Valley.

Hazzan Steve can be reached by phone at 530-342-6146, or by email at

Hazzan Steve’s office hours are: by appointment only.

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