Avi Rose, Spiritual Leader, first joined Kehilla in 1993 when he gave a Yom Kippur sermon about full inclusion and welcoming of lesbians and gay men. He has offered spiritual leadership in the congregation since the mid 1990’s.
Avi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who currently serves as Executive Director of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the East Bay. He received his B.A. degree from Brandeis University in 1976 and later earned his MSW from the University of Southern California and an M.A. in Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College. Much of Avi’s career has been devoted to HIV/AIDS work as well as community-based health care for low-income people.
Avi is also known for having co-edited a groundbreaking anthology, Twice Blessed: On Being Lesbian or Gay and Jewish, published in 1989. He has been highly involved as a writer, speaker and organizer with efforts to address LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues in religious communities and was a founding board member of the AIDS National Interfaith Network.
Avi is also a longtime board member of Jewish Funds for Justice and has served on several other boards of directors and planning and advisory bodies for agencies, foundations and communities. In 1995 he was honored with KQED’s “Community Hero” Award.
Avi lives in Oakland with his partner, Ron Strochlic, and their children, Oren and Aviva.