Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas is a clergy member at Valley Beth Shalom, the largest Jewish congregation in the San Fernando Valley. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2008, where he won numerous academic prizes in the areas of Jewish Philosophy and Talmud. He is also a Lecturer at the American Jewish University in topics of Philosophy and Theology.
Noah is an appointed commissioner and former chairperson of the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority which oversees the regional strategy between public and private partnerships to end homelessness. He has been featured on NPR as a changemaker and is a rising voice of faith leadership in Los Angeles.
Before coming to VBS, Noah served as the Rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Biloxi, Mississippi where he helped rebuild the Gulf Coast Jewish community after Hurricane Katrina. Under his leadership the congregation reformed its board structure, built a new building, and worked with civic officials to ensure the Jewish community’s future in Southern Mississippi.
While in Rabbinical School, Rabbi Farkas served as a Chaplain for the United States Navy Reserve during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rabbi Farkas worked with military families of all faiths to prep them for deployment and to help them spiritually and emotionally when they returned home.
Noah is a social entrepreneur, launching Seminary Leadership Project which has trained hundreds of Jewish clergy nationwide to create social change through JOIN for Justice where he also serves as a board member. Rabbi Farkas is also the founder of Netiya.org, an interfaith organization that works on food issues in Los Angeles, and boasts a membership of over forty congregations. He is also the founder of the VBS Emerging Leadership Cohort, which creates a home for the next generation of leaders at Valley Beth Shalom.
Rabbi Farkas publishes widely on topics of spirituality, social justice and millennial engagement. He is a regular contributor to the Jewish Journal and speaks nationally at conferences. His writings can be found at noahfarkas.com
He can followed on Twitter at @RabbiNoah.