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Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn

B'nai David-Judea Congregation

Rabbanit Alissa is a member of the spiritual leadership at B'nai David-Judea Congregation, an Orthodox shul in Los Angeles. She received her semicha from Yeshivat Maharat and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Classical Studies Archaeology and Ancient History. Rabbanit Alissa is also a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) through Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC). She has specialties in Psychiatric Care, Palliative Care, and End of Life Care. She has worked as a chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center, and Bellevue Hospital. She was also a writer for the Center for Jewish End of Life Care at Metropolitan Jewish Health System. She is currently a per diem chaplain for Grateful Palliative Care and Hospice. Rabbanit Alissa is on the board of NAJC and on the board of the Rabbis and Cantors Retirement Plan. She is a member of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Clergy Roundtable and the Pico-Robertson Mental Health Neighborhood. In 2017, she was chosen as one of the Forward50, the Forward's annual list of the 50 most influential, accomplished, and interesting American Jews. A native Los Angelena, Rabbanit Alissa is married to Akiva Newborn.

Subject area:

Weekly Parsha shiurim, Gemara, Halacha, Chagim, etc. or requested topics

Sample lecture topics:

"Mental Health and Halacha" 

"End of Life Care and Halacha" 

"Women's Role in the Modern Orthodox World"

"Finding Meaning in Maggid: A Hospital Chaplain's Encounters with Healing and Holiness" 

"Jewish Free Loan, Jewish Hope"

"Ambiguous Loss through the Lens of Jewish Texts" 

"Love, Intimacy, and Commitment in Jewish Marriage" (series for teens)



Times of Israel Blog

A Jewish response to ‘13 Reasons Why’

A Mishkan for all: A communal approach to mental illness

Rosner’s Torah Talk: Parashat Lech Lecha with Rabbanit Alissa Thomas-Newborn

Inclusion is Not One Size Fits All

TABLE FOR FIVE: Five takes on the weekly parsha

Sample of teaching:


Source Sheet


Target audience:

The whole community, women, teens, children

Speaking fee:

$1000-$1500 for Shabbat, in the LA area $150-$300 for class or series, open to discussing cost

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