Other Spiritual Leaders and Teachers

Visit the pages for Maggid Jhos Singer and Shlichat Tzibbur Julie Batz and Reb Brian Yosef Schachter-Brooks.

babaPROFESSOR DR. IBRAHIM FARAJE (IBRAHIM BABA) is Provost and Acting President of the Starr King School of the Graduate Theological Union where he is also Senior Research Analyst in the Centre of Islamic Studies of which he was one of the founders. He has worked closely for years with the GTU Centre for Jewish Studies and serves as a consultant for students working on Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewish issues. He developed the Andalusia Project for the Starr King School, whereby Jewish, Christian, Unitarian Universalist, Muslim students and others study their interconnected histories and traditions together. He is also a spiritual teacher and guide (Pir/Shaykh) in the Ajmeri Chishti tradition and has spiritual students in the United States, Mexico, Europe, Israel/Palestine, Turkey, and India. He is a member of Chochmat HaLev and serves on the Chevra Kadisha.



estelleESTELLE FRANKEL is a practicing psychotherapist and spiritual advisor who blends depth psychology with the healing wisdom and spiritual practices of the Kabbalah. Ordained as a Mashpiah-Maggidah by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Estelle has taught Jewish mysticism in Israel and throughout the U.S. for over thirty years and is currently on the faculty of Chochmat HaLev and Lehrhaus Judaica in Berkeley, Ca. Estelle is a popular public speaker who has been hosted by many institutions including: the Cape Cod Institute, University of Judaism (L.A.), Academy of Jewish Religion, Naropa’s Wisdom University (Oakland, Ca.), Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, New York Open Center, and the 92nd St. Y in NYC. She offers continuing education for therapists on Kabbalah as Sacred Psychology and has published numerous essays that have been published by academic journals and popular magazines. She is the author of Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing and Inner Wholeness (Shambhala).


lauraLAURA GOLDMAN is a psychotherapist and spiritual director in private practice in Berkeley. She teaches meditation and Mussar throughout the Bay Area, as well as leading contemplative worship at Chochmat HaLev. She is influenced and inspired by multiple faith traditions, and is particularly interested in the areas where they overlap and intersect. Along with Jeffrey Kessler, Laura has been leading Contemplative Shabbat Services and meditation classes at Chochmat Ha Lev and teaching Mussar for several years.


tot shabbatJEN MIRIAM KANTOR has a rich and unique background as an early childhood educator, musician, teacher, performer, puppeteer and therapist. She has a passion for Judaism and especially loves to create experiences where people of all ages can celebrate together. She leads Tot Shabbat at Chochmat HaLev, is a member of Octopretzel and a ketubah artist. Visit Jen Miriam’s website.


jefferyJEFFREY KESSLER is alongtime practitioner and teacher of meditation, Tai-Chi, and Chi Gung, who also does individual Somatic Therapy and Body-Based Spiritual Direction. Along with Laura Goldman, Jeffrey has been leading Contemplative Shabbat Services and meditation classes at Chochmat HaLev and teaching Mussar for several years.


Rabbi SaraLeya, June 2013.

Rabbi SaraLeya, June 2013.

RABBI SARALEYA SCHLEY served as the congregational rabbi of Chochmat Halev from 2008-2014, when she stepped back from her Rabbinic role at Chochmat HaLev due to increased responsibilities as a physician. She will continue to guide the community as Rabbi Emerita.