Rabbi Naomi Steinberg has been associated with Temple Beth El for nearly thirty years, as a community participant since 1981, as a student rabbi from 1995 to 2004, and as resident rabbi since 2004. Rabbi Steinberg studied for the rabbinate independently, under the guidance of a cross-denominational panel of teachers. She received semicha, private rabbinic ordination, in 2002. Since 1995, Rabbi Steinberg has also served B’nai Ha-Aretz (Children of the Earth), the Jewish community of Southern Humboldt County.
Rabbi Steinberg is a lecturer in the Religious Studies Department at Humboldt State University where she has taught Introduction to Judaism, Jewish Mystical Tradition, and Women in Religion. A folksinger and storyteller, Rabbi Steinberg recorded with The Jewish Wedding Band, including ‘A Child’s Chanukah’ (1998) on the Music For Little People label. A translator and composer, Rabbi Steinberg is working on a recording of original liturgical songs and choral works. She is working on a collection of her original mystical stories, and plans to establish a website titled Chanukah Rededicated.
Rabbi Steinberg is employed by Temple Beth El on an 80-hour per month basis. She leads Shabbat and other Holiday services, officiates at life cycle events, works closely with bar and bat mitzvah students and their families, teaches classes for Adult Education and Religious School, represents Temple Beth El in interfaith work, and consults with Temple Beth El Committees.
Since 1981 Rabbi Steinberg has resided in Carlotta with her husband Saul. They have two children: Miriam Dena, a family practice physician in Eureka, and Berel Alexander, a musician who serves as one of our liturgical soloists at Temple Beth El. Rabbi Steinberg is a founding member of Friends of the Van Duzen River and has worked extensively on sustainable forestry issues. She is also active in projects sponsored by Rabbis For Human Rights, both in the United States and the Middle East.
Rabbi Steinberg comments: “I derive much satisfaction from my duties at Temple Beth El and the continuity of relationship I enjoy with members. It is a great delight to officiate at a bar or bat mitzvah for a student whom I held in my arms at his or her baby naming, or to make blessings under a wedding canopy for a student whom I called to the Torah as bar or bat mitzvah. I also find it most gratifying that in my years as resident rabbi I have been successful in encouraging qualified Temple members to teach classes and take strong roles in religious leadership. I am honored to represent Temple Beth El on issues of social and environmental justice. I look forward to many more years of association with Temple Beth El.”
To reach Rabbi Steinberg, please call her home office, 707-768-3189, or the Temple Beth El office, 707-444-2846.