Faith Leaders of the Trip
Rabbi Steve Einstein
Stephen J. Einstein was born and reared in Southern California, and is a cum laude-Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UCLA. Rabbi Einstein served congregations in Parsippany, New Jersey and Westminster, California, prior to founding Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Fountain Valley, California in 1976. He remained the synagogue’s rabbi until his retirement in 2012. Rabbi Einstein was Vice President of Member Services of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, having previously served as Chair of the Conference’s Ethics Committee. He is Past President of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, the Orange County Board of Rabbis, and the Orange County Bureau of Jewish Education. He is currently on the Board of Community Scholar Program. He is co-editor of Introduction to Judaism: A Sourcebook, used in basic Judaism courses throughout North America for over three decades.
Essraa Nawar has a Bachelor’s degree in commerce, an MBA, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). She has been the Head of Library Development and Marketing and the Chair of the Arts, Exhibits and Events Committee at the Leathery Libraries at Chapman University, California, since 2009. Essraa has worked for The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Essraa is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, the Orange County Register and several other magazines and blogs. Nawar has been the recipient of several awards and grants from the American Library Association, the International Federation of libraries, Chapman University and San Jose State University over the last few years. The Ministry of State for Emigration & Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs and the National Council for Women have honored Essraa due to her strong academic and professional achievements.
Pastor Anthony Boger
Since becoming a minister in 1981, Anthony Boger has served numerous churches throughout Southern California as a multicultural professional. Pastor Anthony was ordained into Christian ministry in 1986 as a Seventh-day Adventist and has served the Christian church by teaching in various denominations and ultimately landing in service in the rich tradition of the United Methodist Church. Pastor Anthony is a graduate of Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL with Bachelor degrees in Theology and Business Administration; he later earned a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in non-profit organizational management. He presently serves as the Lead Pastor of the Surf City United Methodist Church in Huntington Beach, CA. Pastor Anthony also serves as an online Adjunct Professor for several Historically Black Colleges and Universities, teaching Survey to Christianity, Christian Ethics, Introduction to Philosophy, and World Religions.
Keynote Speakers of the Trip
Rev Mark Whitlock
Rev. Whitlock has served as pastor of Christ Our Redeemer A.M.E. Church in Irvine, CA since August 1998. Under his leadership, COR Church purchased its first building in 2006. Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion from the University of Laverne. He has a Masters in Science in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. He attended Fuller Theological Seminary. He received an honorary doctorate degree from American International University in Humanities. He begins doctoral studies in January 2018. Rev. Whitlock is the founder and president of the Board for COR CDC, the non-profit arm of Christ Our Redeemer. It has multiple community development, youth program, entrepreneurial investment fund, and civic engagement programs. Rev. Mark is also the Executive Director of the Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement at the University of Southern California. He raises funds, administers staff and projects. In 1990, Rev. Whitlock co-founded the Richard Allen Men's Society (RAMS) of First AME Church in Los Angeles, an organization of over 3,500 men who exemplify positive African American images. Mark served as president of the RAMS for eight years. Rev. Mark is the executive director of the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies at the University of LaVerne. He is Trustee of Paul Quinn College, board member at Concordia University, East West Bank Community Advisory Board,Orange County Human Relations Committee, PBS SoCal Television, OCIA, SCLC and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He continues to lecture at the Harvard University School of Divinity and University of Southern California School of Religion, and has spoken at the White House's Faith-Based Conferences.
Rev Richard Rose
Rev. Dr. Richard Rose is the Assistant Pastor to Mark Whitlock. Dr. Rose serves as the Director of COR’s Christian Education Department and Chair of the Religious Neighbors Ministry. He is the Program Director of the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies Program at COR. Through the University of La Verne, students take classes at COR toward academic degrees in religion.
House of Worship Tour
The purpose of the House of Worship Tour is to celebrate and promote the rich tapestry of faiths in Southern California.
It is our hope that by participating in these monthly excursions, people from all backgrounds, faith traditions, and communities will be better able to understand their neighbors and achieve a greater understanding and appreciation for the diversity and richness of our community.
"...Ignorance tends to breed hate and violence...Knowing how other people behave, what they believe and why they live the way they do can enrich your own sense of identity. It forces you to substantiate your thinking. This tour does more than introduce people to religious diversity. Because spirituality influences nearly all aspects of life, it becomes a springboard for cultural and social bonding."
-Stanley L. Knee
Sponsors and Partners
The House of Worship tour receives a lot of support from other interfaith and religious organizations in Orange County. We believe in collaborating with diverse faith communities will help us build stronger bonds and greater appreciation for one another.
Check out our sponsors and partners who make tour experiences possible for all people. If you are interested in working with us, please do not hesitate to reach out via email or our contact form.