Naomi Levy

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Naomi Levy is an American rabbi, author and speaker.

Levy was born and raised in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, New York. She attended Bialik School and Yeshiva of Flatbush.

She attended Cornell University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude. In 1984, she was in the first class of women to enter The Jewish Theological Seminary's rabbinical school. At the seminary, Rabbi Levy received honors as outstanding underclass student of Talmud and outstanding underclass rabbinical student. In 1989, Rabbi Levy became the first female Conservative rabbi to head a pulpit on the West Coast.[1] She led Congregation Mishkon Tephilo in Venice, CA for seven years.

Levy's first book, To Begin Again (1998), discusses recovery from suffering and tragedy, and relates her own loss when her father was murdered in an armed robbery when she was 15.[2][3] Her 2002 book, Talking to God, discusses the transformative effect of prayer.

In 2004 Rabbi Levy founded Nashuva, a spiritual outreach service for Jews turned off to traditional Jewish service.[4] Nashuva holds Shabbat services the first Friday of each month at a church in Brentwood, drawing capacity crowds[5] of 300 people. Nashuva, which means "we will return" in Hebrew, also leads monthly social service and social action projects in the L.A. area. "The goal of prayer isn’t only personal peace," says the group's web site. "At Nashuva we believe that prayer leads us to action. It reminds us that we are here to heal this broken world. Nashuva is a service that leads to service."

Levy has appeared on NBC's Today Show and on Oprah, and has been featured in Parade (magazine), Redbook, SELF (magazine), and Los Angeles magazines. She serves on the faculties of the Wexner Heritage Foundation and the Academy of Jewish Religion. She lectures widely on topics of faith, strength, renewal, spirituality, healing and prayer.

Levy has made multiple appearances on Newsweek magazine's list of the 50 most influential rabbis in the nation[6] and on the Forward 50 list of influential Jewish Americans.[7]

In 2010 she published her third book, Hope Will Find You: My Search for the Wisdom to Stop Waiting and Start Living, which deals with what happened after her then 6-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a serious disease.[8][9]

Rabbi Levy lives in Venice, California with her husband, Robert Eshman, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, and their two children.


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