Spiritual Leaders

Chochmat HaLev is blessed to be a dynamic spiritual community, rich in diverse approaches to Jewish learning and practice. In addition to our Congregational Leaders, Maggid Jhos Singer and Shlichat Tzibbur Julie Batz, we have many gifted service leaders and teachers who offer their skills and experience to the community.

Congregational Leaders

Our Congregational Leaders, Maggid Jhos Singer and Shlichat Tzibbur Julie Batz, design and lead Shabbat and Holy Day services together. They bring a diverse and deep set of skills to our bima, classroom, boardroom, and onegs.  Through writing and teaching, counseling and organizing, davenning and singing, they support and guide our congregation, inspiring strong and engaged participation.

Julie Batz, Shlichat Tzibur

Julie creates engaging and inspiring Jewish spiritual practice and ritual. She studied with Hazzanim Marc Dinkin and Pamela Sawyer and brings 16 years of congregational leadership experience to her work at Chochmat HaLev. With practical wisdom and heartfelt ritual facilitation, she supports our community as we welcome children, mark rites of passage, celebrate partnership, and move with grace through illness and death. Julie’s love of ritual, history, liturgy, and those she serves is palpable.

In addition to her congregational work, Julie’s independent bnei mitzvah training and facilitation practice primarily serves families who have not been members of synagogues, offering them the opportunity to (re)connect Jewishly in their families and the larger Jewish community.

Maggid Jhos Singer

Jhos a dynamic preacher, storyteller, pastoral counselor, and musician. He has a unique ability to translate Torah and Jewish tradition in ways that are accessible, relevant, and compelling. He is a rogue scholar: on the one hand, he holds a BA in Music from UCLA and an MA in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union—and on the other, he also finds as much wisdom in pop culture, mixology, home gardening, or taking in a fine afternoon with friends and family. His love for all things Torah, his congregants, and their trust in him fuel his desire to serve.

In addition to his congregational leadership, Maggid Jhos also serves part time as the Maggid of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco; he writes and teaches in the Bay Area and nationally; and as an out transman, he advocates for deepening understanding of the role of gender in spirituality.

ESTELLE 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 forty years.

Jeffrey Kessler 3

JEFFREY KESSLER is President of the Chochmat Board of Directors, has been a spiritual seeker all his life. Coming from an interfaith background, his exploration of various spiritual traditions and psycho-physical systems has always been with an eye to ‘what is the common’ to all. As a life-long seeker of truth, he understands that the process of teaching effectively requires intentional exploration of what is still unknown in the landscape of the self. Jeffrey is a longtime practitioner and teacher of meditation, Tai-Chi, Chi Gung, and Mussar. His gentle presence is a foundational bedrock at Chochmat.

Jen Miriam & Raizel (cropped)

JEN 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.

Jueli Garfinkle

JUELI GARFINKLE ’s classes are based on the Jewish mystical tradition and calendar, and always include meaningful everyday practices to cultivate presence, joy, and connection.  Jueli was certified in and has been teaching Jewish meditation and mysticism since 2004. She was the founding publisher and editor of Jewish Spirituality: The Magazine, and the coauthor of Everyday Adventures for the Soul: 52 Simple and Surprising Ways to Wow Your Spirit.  jueligarfinkle@gmail.com