David Lewis is the CEO of the Bureau of Jewish Education for Orange County. The BJEOC is the primary youth/teen educational provider in the region serving hundreds of participants from Long Beach, to Pomona, to San Clemente. Our mission it to provide Jewish youth, and all of the young at heart, meaningful and engaging Jewish experiences in the context of a vibrant and caring Jewish community.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York, David Lewis never thought he’d want a career in Jewish education. He found his direction by accident, during the summer of 1990, after his freshman year at Purdue University. It was at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Greene Family Camp in Texas that he experienced the power of transformative Jewish experiences in the context of a shared and valued community for the first time, laying the foundation for both his professional direction and educational philosophy.
In pursuit of deepening his understanding and expertise of experiential Jewish education, David Lewis has completed masters degrees from Hebrew Union College in Jewish Education (MAJE) and Communal Service (MAJCS), a masters in Social Work from University of Southern California, and completed course work in a joint Ph.D. program from Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia Teachers College focusing on experiential and moral education. In addition, David participated as a fellow in the Institute for Informal Jewish Education (IJE) through Brandeis University, where he still serves as an adjunct faculty member for the IJE/ Avi Chai Foundation Experiential Educators Program.
Professionally, David has been honored to serve the Jewish educational communities for almost two decades. Positions have included Assistant Director for the Greene Family Camp, New York City NFTY regional advisor and Dean at the Kutz Camp Summer Leadership Camp in Warwick, NY, Associate Director of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in Malibu CA., and Director of Student Life for Milken Community High School in Los Angeles. David started his tenure as CEO for the BJEOC in the summer of 2008, excited by the challenge of bringing his experience and understanding of impactful Jewish education to a community organization committed to youth and a reputation for high quality education.
David’s greatest inspiration comes from his relationship with his family. David’s beloved wife of 9 years serves as the Associate Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, where she has served since 2002; and his two sons, Gabriel Avi, 5, and Jonah Maxwell, 2, fill his life with joy, and just the right amount of chaos. In addition, David has a passion for music, cinema, and playing guitar.
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