Staff2016 2

Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills has an outstanding team of staff members who are here to provide exceptional service to our members and guests. They come from many walks of life, and are a close-knit family committed to furthering our congregation's goals. They demonstrate their dedication, work ethic, and creativity each and every day, and are proud to call Temple Emanuel their second home.


Ellis Kirschenbaum 01 Ellis Kirschenbaum, Interim Executive Director

Ellis Kirschenbaum






StacyK 2Stacy Kesner, M.A., Director of Early Childhood Center

Stacy Kesner, M.A. has been with Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills since 1988 and has devoted her life to the service of the Jewish community, especially with the younger members of the community. Stacy earned a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development with a Child Mental Health Specialist option, and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She holds two credentials from the Builders of Jewish Education in Early Childhood Education, in both teaching and administration. Stacy has been an active participant in her Jewish community for decades. It is her passion for Judaism that inspires her career in Jewish Early Childhood Education. In addition to her work as Temple Emanuel's Early Childhood Center Director, she participates in community research and gives presentations related to Early Childhood Development. Stacy is also a published author in the field, a member of multiple Early Childhood professional organizations, and sits on the boards of the Parent Education League and the Builders of Jewish Education's Early Childhood Director's Network. She believes "play is the primary source for understanding oneself, others, and the environment...play is the real work of childhood."


lia bioLia Fischer, Special Events Manager

Lia Fischer brings a wealth of experience to Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. Her active service to the Los Angeles Jewish community includes working for Birthright Israel NEXT in Membership and Special Event Planning, and The Jewish Federation as the Young Adults of Los Angeles (YALA) Entertainment Cluster Head. Lia also taught two theater classes at Sinai Temple, including, “The History of Judaism, The Original Play!” and “Intergenerational Improv.” Lia attended The University of Colorado at Boulder for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, and then studied and performed Improvisation at the prestigious The Second City Theater in Chicago. Lia is also a professional actor, and loves to laugh.



 DSC2708Amanda Collin, Executive Assistant to Executive Director 

Amanda Collin was born and raised in London, U.K. She lived in Israel as a young adult and speaks fluent Hebrew. Amanda has worked administratively in the advertising and forensic psychology fields for an extended period of time, and is happy to bring her administrative expertise to Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.

She has raised two daughters, and throughout their childhood was involved with Valley Cities JCC in Sherman Oaks. Amanda continues to be passionate about the Jewish community and is currently serving as Executive Assistant to Interim Executive Director Ellis Kirschenbaum, Human Resources Administrator, and one of our Administrative Team Liaisons. She is very proud of her newfound position among such an inspiring and dedicated group of professionals.



Karen Porper Karen Porper, Religious School & Communications Administrative Assistant

Karen Porper has spent the last 21 years as an Early Childhood Educator and part time administrator for the Nursery School, Day Camp and Senior Departments at her neighborhood Jewish Community Center (JCC). She and her husband are recent transplants to Southern California, hailing from New York and New Jersey where they raised their daughter and son. The entire family was very active in their local synagogue.

Karen is thrilled to have found her new home at Temple Emanuel and is honored to be part of the caring and dedicated TEBH staff. 


Lynn 1Lynn Franklin, Clergy Assistant & Archivist

Lynn Franklin has been with Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills for almost 24 years. She is a native Californian and a graduate of both, The University of California, Los Angeles and Yale. A former History and English teacher, Lynn's responsibilities include assisting the clergy and serving as Temple Emanuel's archivist. Lynn and her husband Lou enjoy spending time with their family and friends, reading, and traveling.




Cynthia Gearhart, Accounts PayableCynthiaM 2

Cynthia Gearhart was born and raised in Arizona. She graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, and thanks to a couple of years performing with the Montana Repertory Theatre, she was fortunate enough to travel by van through nearly all of the continental United States. Prior to finding her home here in California, she lived in Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Washington state, and South Carolina. In her time away from work, she enjoys spending time with her son, reading, cooking, listening to music, and being outdoors.



Tannaz Lavian, Executive Assistant to Clergytannazheadshot

Tannaz Lavian grew up in sunny Southern California and liked it so much she decided to stay. She graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and an Academic Minor in Art History. She is glad to be a part of a dedicated and inspiring group of individuals at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, serving as the Executive Assistant to Clergy and one of our Administrative Team Liaisons.



kevin bioKevin McCarthy, Concierge

Kevin McCarthy is a born-and-bred Angelino, and graduate of California State University, Monterey Bay, where he majored in Film and TV Storytelling. Kevin loves to play golf, make short films, and is a loyal (a.k.a. obsessive) fan of the Los Angeles Kings. When not assisting Temple Emanuel staff members with their administrative requests, Kevin, a comedian, entertains crowds at prominent clubs throughout the state of California.