Rabbi David Katz has served at Temple Beth El since October 2010.
In our congregation, Rabbi David’s duties include leading services on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, including our monthly family-oriented service, Shabbat Kulanu – Shabbat For All Of Us. Rabbi David leads our Meditation and Mindfulness Group, which meets on Tuesdays at 4pm, and our very popular Torah Study group, which meets on Thursday mornings at 10:30 am. Rabbi David can always be found at TBE School on Sunday mornings, meeting with students, leading Tefilah, and helping out in a variety of ways. He works with our members on life cycle events, pastoral sessions, educational projects, and a variety of other needs.
Rabbi David is also involved in several different projects in the greater Williamsburg community. He is one of the founders and leaders of Historic Area Religions Together (HART), the Historic Triangle’s multifaith organization of different religious communities and leaders. He is a member of the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Communities of the Virginia Peninsula. He has also been a part of different working groups and committees for the Williamsburg/James City County School Division. In November 2020, the Greater Williamsburg Business Council named him one of the 15 Under 50 up-and-coming business and civic leaders in Greater Williamsburg, in recognition of his impact on the community at large.
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 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.