2009-06-11 / Faith

Beth Haverim has new school director

By Sophia Fischer sfischer@theacorn.com

Lev Metz Lev Metz A new religious school director has been hired by Temple Beth Haverim in Agoura Hills.

Lev Metz will oversee the synagogue's kindergarten through 10th-grade Hebrew school program.

The community will have an opportunity to meet him at the temple's open house at 7 p.m. on Wed., June 17.

Metz replaces longtime director Nili Ziv, whose contract was not renewed when it ended this year.

"Because of the challenges facing the Hebrew school and the synagogue, TBH decided to change directions at the conclusion of Nili's contract and proceed in a new direction," Rabbi Gershon Weissman said. "Lev Metz presented exciting new possibilities for the temple community."

Beth Haverim has struggled financially, declaring bankruptcy last July. After cutbacks and changes, leaders say the congregation is financially stable. The temple's next Chapter 11 reorganization court hearing takes place on July 17, at which time a plan for continuing to move forward will be presented.

A native of Los Angeles, Metz earned an American studies undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. In 2008 he graduated from Hebrew Union College with degrees in Jewish education and Jewish communal service.

Metz spent several years working in the Bay Area's Jewish community, leading youth groups and teaching Jewish spirituality, life cycle and culture to elementary through high school students.

He served as director of Jewish student life for Hillel of Sonoma County and developed sixth through 12thgrade curricula for after-school and day school programs throughout California.

Metz has lived in Israel and explored his family's roots in Belarus.

"Lev Metz is totally involved with Judaism, in his professional and personal life. He is a natural teacher with an enthusiasm which is contagious," Weissman said. "We are excited about the student and family programs and inspiration that Lev will bring to our school and shul (synagogue)."

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