Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels is the heart of Beth Shir Shalom. He brings his passionate expression of Judaism and his strong sense of social justice to the pulpit. He helps us create our Jewish community, facilitates our discovery of our spiritual selves and works with us towards Tikkun Olam – healing the world. Rabbi Neil’s accessibility makes him responsive to our congregants. He uses his singing and musical talents to communicate the riches of our Jewish tradition. Through his contemporary interpretation of ancient and modern texts he enables us to personalize and apply them to our daily lives.
Beth Shir Shalom supports the Rabbi’s personal commitment to organizations that deal with interracial and interfaith relations and homelessness issues. He has chaired the Martin Luther King, Jr. Westside Coalition and the Interfaith Holocaust Service. He is a founding member of CLUE (Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice). A graduate of UCLA, Rabbi Comess-Daniels was ordained in 1979 at the Hebrew Union College and is often asked to mentor young rabbinic students. He was the founding rabbi of Temple Shir Shalom, one of the two temples that have come together to become Beth Shir Shalom. He recently published “I Miss You” a book of poems, prayers, songs and gentle guidance for adults helping the grieving child. He is married and has two children. Rabbi Neil expresses his spirituality in many ways, especially through music. Besides the liturgical settings he creates for Jewish prayer, he also composes for all peoples and spiritualities. His recent releases include an album for children titled “On This Day and All the Time” (available at http://www.neilsongs.com), and two pieces appear on the album “We’ll Paint You a Rainbow” benefitting Save the Children and HEARTbeats Foundation (available at http://www.HEARTbeatsforchildren.com)