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. She has been honored by the Ministry of State for Emigration & Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs and the National Council for Women.
Rev. Dr. Gail Stearns
Gail J. Stearns is The Irvin C. and Edy Chapman Dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Chapman University. With Professor Julye Bidmeand, she is also editor of Invest Your Humanity: Celebrating Marvin Meyer (Wipf & Stock 2015) in honor of Meyer, the renowned Gnostic Gospel Scholar. She is also the author of Writing Pauline: Wisdom From a Long Life (Hamilton Books, 2005) and Open Your Eyes: Toward Living More Deeply in the Present (Wipf & Stock, 2011). An ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Gail also holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Washington State University, with emphasis in gender theory. She is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and has previously taught university courses on world religions, ethics, spirituality and gender.
Upcoming Tour: Jain Center of Southern California
More Information to Come
Upcoming Tour: Congregation Shir-Ha-Ma'alot
More Information to Come
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