Rabbi Niles Elliot Goldstein
Rabbi Niles Goldstein is excited to be the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom of Napa Valley. Rabbi Goldstein, an experienced and dynamic Reform rabbi and educator, is also the award-winning author or editor of ten books, including Gonzo Judaism and God at the Edge. He was the founding rabbi of The New Shul, an innovative and independent synagogue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, which he served for over a decade. Prior to his arrival at CBS Napa, Rabbi Goldstein worked in a variety of congregational, interfaith and academic settings while based in his native Chicago.
Rabbi Goldstein has been a thought leader and sought-after speaker in the American Jewish community for many years, and he teaches widely on spirituality, personal growth, the environment, leadership, and congregational innovation. He has written for Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, the Forward and many other publications, and he has been featured in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and other venues, as well as on radio and television.
Rabbi Goldstein is the National Jewish Chaplain for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a position he has held since his ordination. He is also a member of PEN, the Renaissance Institute and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Goldstein has served on the faculty of New York University, Loyola University, Eastern Mennonite University, and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Goldstein is an avid traveler and outdoor adventurer. He has mushed dogs in Alaska and ridden horses in Mongolia, and he has done humanitarian work with communities in Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is also a longtime practitioner of the martial arts, and he holds black belts in both karate and tae kwon do. Rabbi Goldstein enjoys the arts, particularly theatre and film, and he is always up for trying out a new or interesting restaurant. He is delighted to be living in Napa Valley and welcomes the opportunity to explore northern California as well as the rest of its beautiful environs.
Rabbi Emeritus Lee Bycel
Rabbi Bycel began his tenure at Congregation Beth Shalom in 2012. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Jewish Studies and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco. In 2014 he was appointed by President Obama to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.
He has brought to CBS many years of experience including fifteen years as the Dean of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, where he was the Senior Academic and Administrative Officer of the campus and director of the rabbinic school. He was Assistant Professor of Leadership and Applied Theology. He has also served as the Smither Visiting Professor of World Religions at the Claremont School of Theology. Throughout his rabbinic career, he has also served as a congregational rabbi, director of the Redford Center and President of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute.
Rabbi Bycel has been a leader in humanitarian and social justice issues as well as in educational, cultural, and interfaith and leadership programs. He has made several trips to Eastern Chad and Darfur in his work on behalf of the Darfuri refugees. He has been a senior moderator of leadership seminars at the Aspen Institute for over 15 years. Since his first trip to Israel in 1968, he has visited many times. He served as President of the County of Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations. He has a number of publications to his credit as well as being the recipient of many awards including the National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ) Humanitarian Award.