Rabbi Alex Kress
Rabbi Alex Kress (he/his) began serving Beth Shir Shalom in 2021. His vision for Jewish community centers on the pursuit of justice, inclusion, and good synagogue coffee. He works to incorporate avant-garde ideas that revitalize spirituality and community. With projects like Hip Hop High Holidays & Rav’s Turntables, he attempts to bridge ancient wisdom with contemporary culture to make our tradition relevant and accessible.
Rabbi Alex grew up in an interfaith family in Philadelphia, a product of URJ Camp Harlam and NFTY PAR. After graduating from Temple University with a degree in Jewish Studies, he was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. He sits on the Clergy Council of the Jewish Center for Justice and was honored to be a contributor to the URJ’s Ten Minutes of Torah. He was an Charles Bronfman Convener with the Israel Policy Forum, a NewGround Change-Maker Fellow, and a Resetting the Table Convener.
He loves good coffee, shabbos ball, and reading an actual, physical newspaper. On his way to Beth Shir Shalom, Rabbi Alex served Temple Sinai of Roslyn and Hillel at UCLA.
Rabbi Emeritus Neil Comess-Daniels
Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels brings his passionate expression of Judaism and his strong sense of social justice to the pulpit. He helps us create our Jewish community, facilitates our discovery of our spiritual selves and works with us towards Tikkun Olam – healing the world.
Rabbi Neil’s accessibility makes him responsive to our congregants. He uses his singing and musical talents to communicate the riches of our Jewish tradition. Through his contemporary interpretation of ancient and modern texts he enables us to personalize and apply them to our daily lives.Beth Shir Shalom supports the Rabbi’s personal commitment to organizations that deal with interracial and interfaith relations and homelessness issues. He has chaired the Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition and the Interfaith Holocaust Service and also serves on the boards of the Western Region of the Jewish Federation Council and the Westside Interfaith Council.A graduate of UCLA, Rabbi Comess-Daniels was ordained in 1979 at the Hebrew Union College and is often asked to mentor young rabbinic students. He was the founding rabbi of Temple Shir Shalom, one of the two temples that have come together to become Beth Shir Shalom. He is married and has two children.