Meet Rabbi Debi Lewis
Rabbi Deborah Lewis (Rabbi Debi) is a Rabbi as well as an Information Technology professional. After working in the financial industry for most of her career, she decided to exchange her suit for a kippah and a squint (the Talmud is not written in large letters).
She has been the Rabbinic Chaplain for the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara for the past three years, where she teaches and has also focused on reaching out and providing volunteer visitors to those who can benefit from community and connection. She teaches an annual Practical Judaism Class for all who are interested in learning more about Judaism as well as serving as an instructor for the Florence Melton School of Adult Education in past years.
Rabbi Debi says, “I feel very honored to be selected to serve as the spiritual leader of the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community. I am excited to help our members find their own paths to live modern and meaningful Jewish lives. I want to help ensure that this community is a place for all to assemble; a place where all are included, and everyone feels valued. The Torah tells us that everyone in the assembly is considered of equal importance in G-d’s eyes.”
Rabbi Debi wishes our community to embrace all: those coming to the tradition for the first time, educated Jews, and those once estranged, blended families of every flavor, as well as individuals of all capacities, ethnic, racial and gender pluralities.
A native of the Greater Los Angeles area, she moved to Santa Barbara over 20 years ago.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies from Gratz College in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania and completed her ordination with a master’s in arts from the Academy of Jewish Religion in Los Angeles.
In her free time, Rabbi Debi enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her wife Traci and their pups: Lucy and Mia.
She believes that what enlivens religious community is the sense of its relevance to the questions our lives are asking. She looks forward to her relationships with the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, each of us seen, given voice, offered enrichment, and pastorally served.
Should anything arise in your life where you need clergy, please contact Rabbi Debi. You will find her to be comforting, non-judgmental, warm, knowledgeable and above all, a truly caring rabbi. We are indeed fortunate.
Susie Margolis Pierson
Rabbi Debi Lewis