Rabbi Kenneth Chasen became the third Senior Rabbi in the history of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles on July 1, 2003. Rabbi Chasen came to Leo Baeck after serving Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York for five years, where his tenure was marked by significant innovation in the areas of religious worship and lifelong Jewish education.
He was graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1987, after which he embarked on a career in television and film music composition in Los Angeles. Rabbi Chasen edited musical scores for production companies such as Lorimar Telepictures, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He also composed numerous songs for film and network television projects.
Upon commencing rabbinical study in 1993, Rabbi Chasen was awarded a highly selective fellowship from the Wexner Foundation, and before being ordained in 1998, he studied at the Jerusalem, Los Angeles and Cincinnati campuses of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, receiving numerous honors and awards for achievement in homiletics, Hebrew language, Jewish history and Jewish ethics. Rabbi Chasen's rabbinical training culminated with his receiving the Simon Lazarus Memorial Prize for attaining the highest overall academic standing in his ordination class.
Rabbi Chasen has devoted a great deal of attention in his career to matters of spiritual and physical wellness. While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Chasen was named the Honig Fellow in Jewish Chaplaincy at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and he has served since 2000 as a Partner in the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health. Rabbi Chasen also conducted healing services with Debbie Friedman for five years in New York.
Music remains a major part of Rabbi Chasen's life and career. He serves on the Reform Movement's Joint Commission on Worship, Music and Religious Living. He also continues to write and record original liturgical and educational works with his partners in the Jewish musical group, Mah Tovu, which has performed at synagogues, Jewish centers, and conferences across North America and in England. His compositions are heard in sanctuaries, religious schools, and summer camps throughout the country. Rabbi Chasen, along with his musical partners in Mah Tovu, has published two books--"Days of Wonder, Nights of Peace" and "Day of Days"--which guide Jewish families in the creation of meaningful Jewish rituals in the home.
Rabbi Chasen serves on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), the President�s Council of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), and the National Board of Directors of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), and the Executive Committee of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. He is also a member of the Synagogue 3000 Leadership Network, a select group of rabbis, cantors and spiritual visionaries from across the country whose congregations are especially noteworthy examples of what synagogues can be in the 21st century. His articles have appeared in numerous books and journals, including Sh�ma and the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
Rabbi Chasen is married to Allison Lee, the Associate Director of the Western Region for American Jewish World Service. Together, they share the joys and challenges of raising three children, Micah, Benjamin, and Eliana.