Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn is a spiritual leader at B'nai David-Judea Congregation in Los Angeles, California. Rabbanit Alissa was ordained by Yeshivat Maharat in 2016. In her final year of studies, she served as the Kehilla Intern at B’nai David-Judea and enjoyed building relationships within the broader Los Angeles community. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Classical Studies Archaeology and Ancient History.
Rabbanit Alissa believes in and is informed by the power of our textual tradition to transform our present and ultimately draw us closer to each other and God. She believes in the Divine instruction for us to walk in God’s ways, most especially the imperative to be close to the brokenhearted and all who cry out for support.
Rabbanit Alissa teaches a weekly parsha class as well as courses on a variety of special topics including Bikkur Cholim and Taharat HaMishpacha. In her teaching, she uncovers how our rich, timeless tradition resonates with and deeply enhances our modern daily lives.
Rabbanit Alissa is also a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) through Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains. She has specialities in Palliative Care, End of Life Care, and Psychiatric Care. She has worked as a chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center, and Bellevue Hospital. She was also a writer for the Center for Jewish End of Life Care at Metropolitan Jewish Health System. Rabbanit Alissa has integrated her pastoral passions and skills into much of her work at B’nai David-Judea, leading programs on topics spanning from End of Life Care to Mental Health Awareness to Post Partum Depression.
Rabbanit Alissa was a fellow both at Clal: The National Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership and at the UJA-Federation of New York Wiener Educational Center. She has been a Scholar-in-Residence at various universities and shuls around the country.
Her heart, soul, and body stand with Israel. A native Los Angelena, Rabbanit Alissa is married to Akiva Newborn.