Our Rabbi

Rabbi David Katz poses with a llamaRabbi David Katz has served at Temple Beth El since October, 2010. He also does some work with Balfour Hillel, the Jewish student organization at the College of William & Mary.

In our congregation, Rabbi David’s duties include leading services every Friday night and Saturday morning, including our monthly family-oriented service, Shabbat Kulanu – Shabbat For All Of Us. Rabbi David leads our very popular Torah Study group, which meets on Thursday mornings from 10:30am-12:30pm. Rabbi David can always be found at TBE School on Sunday mornings, meeting with students, leading Tefilah, and teaching our 8-10 grade students.

Rabbi David was ordained as rabbi in June, 2009, at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in the Philadelphia suburbs, where he also earned a Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters. He grew up in New York City, and holds a B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a minor in Media Studies.

Before attending rabbinical school, Rabbi David worked as the Youth and Program Director at a synagogue in Texas, as the Director of Cultural Programming at a Jewish Community Center in Florida, with troubled teenagers at a program for youth in crisis in Texas, and as a teacher in public schools in New York City and Florida.

An avid sports fan, who is particularly devoted to the New York Mets and New York Knicks, he also enjoys – and frequently refers to – rock and jazz music, and science fiction, spy, and superhero movies and television shows. He is married to Dr. Amy Lazev, a clinical psychologist, who directs the School Health Initiative Program for the Williamsburg-James City County School Division. They have two sons, Noah and Elijah, and a beloved labradoodle puppy named Cocoa.

Rabbi Emerita Sylvia Scholnick retired in 2007 after serving the congregation for over ten years.
She continues to live in the community and participate in TBE endeavors.