Kehillat Ma'arav

1715 21st Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 / (310) 829-0566

Meet Our Clergy

Rabbi Michael Gotlieb

Our spiritual leader is Rabbi Michael Gotlieb. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1990 where he also earned his Masters Degree in Jewish Studies. He completed his rabbinic internship at Columbia University. Before coming to KM, he served a congregation in North County San Diego for 5 years.

In addition to his congregational activities, Rabbi Gotlieb has served as president of the Rabbinical Assembly Southwest Region and is a member of the Southern California Board of Rabbis. He also volunteers at Santa Monica College Hillel and St. John’s Hospital.

Rabbi Gotlieb teaches courses at the American Jewish University and his editorials and commentaries have been published nationally.

The Rabbi’s wife, Jill, is a registered nurse and they make their home in Santa Monica. They have three children, Alissa (married to Zach Fierstadt), Jason, and Aaron, and a grandson Leo.

Rabbi Gotlieb has been the rabbi of Kehillat Ma’arav since arriving in Los Angeles in 1995.

You may reach Rabbi Gotlieb by calling the synagogue office or by e-mailing him.

Interim Cantor Melanie Fine

Cantor Melanie Fine has served as Kehillat Ma’arav’s Torah reader for more than six years. Prior to joining KM she served as cantor and education director at Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, California and at Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove, NY. She also served as cantor at Har-El Institute of Study and Worship in Palm Desert, CA.

She has served as High Holiday cantor at various conservative congregations such as Temple Emanuel in Providence, Rhode Island, Congregation Beth Shalom in Wilmington, Delaware, and Congregation B’nai Zion in El Paso, Texas.

She was ordained from the Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 1997, where she received a Masters in Sacred Music and Diploma of Hazzan.  

She also holds a B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University and a secondary teaching credential from Chapman University.  She teaches chemistry at Culver City High School. 

Cantor Fine is passionate about Judaism, science, and music and revels in sharing stories at the nexus of all three.

She has written for Forbes, HuffPost, Business Insider, and the Jewish Journal, and has released her first book of the Rocket Girls series, Sam Gold and the Case of the Missing Uranium, this past August.

Her son Max Elijah Fine has grown up within the KM family and was proud to celebrate becoming a bar mitzvah on its bimah.

Cantor Melanie Fine is grateful and excited to serve as Kehillat Ma’arav’s interim cantor.  

You may reach Cantor Fine by calling the synagogue office or by e-mailing her.