Meet Our Rabbi!
Rabbi Allison Lawton, a graduate of the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Pepperdine University. A rabbinical intern at Wilshire Blvd. Temple in Los Angeles, and a rabbinic fellow at Truah (The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (http://www.truah.org)), she is the founder and rabbi for Mobile Mishkan (http://www.mobilemishkan.com), a visionary mobile congregation serving the spiritual needs of unaffiliated and disenfranchised Jews in the Los Angeles area.
For 23 years prior to entering rabbinical school, Rabbi Lawton taught both special education and elementary education.
Rabbi Lawton swam all the way through college. She was the commencement speaker during graduation from college, and was awarded numerous community service awards. She used to play tennis four times a week, then life got in the way. She’s eager to get back into the habit again.
Social justice is part of all her roles – rabbi, educator, and mother. Currently living in Southern California, Rabbi Lawton is working on the creation of the Milken School Israel Center to arm high school students with informed information about Israel so they may be able to discuss Israel in meaningful ways with those whose opinions may vary from their own.
Rabbi Lawton believes Judaism is about potential. There is more potential within our tradition than any one person can ever fully comprehend. The genius of our tradition is the potential it provides to people. No matter what type of Jew, there is the potential for connection within our faith. Because of this potential, there is room within each of our lives for our faith to find a stronghold in our tradition.
She believes each congregant should decide what he/she is seeking, and she will provide the direction necessary to explore that. She sees herself as the fuel for the fire of the congregation.
Rabbi Lawton, in addition to having a passion for innovation, has a desire to foster a feeling of connection between members of our congregation, between the congregants and herself, and most importantly between themselves and our tradition. Clearly Beth Ami is comprised of Jews involved in community, social socialization – yet seeking tradition. She sees herself as the one who can spark interest, introduce new and exciting experiences, and serve to bring the community even closer together with Judaism as the foundation.