CBI’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Elie Spitz, has served as the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel since 1988.  He is a caring mentor to his congregants, a scholar, and a member of the Rabbinical Assembly Committee of Law and Standards. A graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Boston University School of Law, Rabbi Spitz is the author of two books and many articles dealing with spirituality and Jewish law, and has taught the philosophy of Jewish law at the American Jewish University. He lives in Tustin, California with his wife, Linda; they are the parents of Joseph, Jonathan and Anna Rose.


Does the Soul Survive: A Jewish Journey to Belief in Afterlife, Past Lives & Living with Purpose. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000.

Near-death experiences? Past-life regression? Reincarnation? Are these sorts of things Jewish?

With a blend of candor, personal questioning, and sharp-eyed scholarship, Rabbi Elie Kaplan Spitz relates his own observations and the firsthand accounts shared with him by others, experiences that helped propel his journey from skeptic to believer that there is life after life.

From near-death experiences to reincarnation, past-life memory to the work of mediums, Rabbi Spitz explores what we are really able to know about the afterlife, and draws on Jewish texts to share that belief in these concepts–so often approached with reluctance–is in fact true to Jewish tradition.

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Healing from Despair: Choosing Wholeness in a Broken World. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008.

Are you: Feeling anxious? Feeling depressed because of the loss of health, a relationship or a job? Grieving the loss of a loved one? Grieving loss by a suicide? Feeling hopeless? Concerned about a friend who has suicidal thoughts?

This wise and helpful resource explores the nature of personal suffering and brokenness and the potential for personal crisis as a source of strength and renewal instead of despair and death. Examining the personal journeys of biblical and historical figures such as Moses, Maimonides, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Buber–as well as the author’s own personal experience with despair–it looks at brokenness as an inescapable element of the human condition. It traces the path of suffering from despair to depression to desperation to the turning point–healing–when firsthand knowledge of suffering can be transformed into blessing.

Whether you have encountered despair and depression personally–through illness, loss, trauma or betrayal–or you know someone who is struggling with brokenness, this book will provide an informative, safe and comforting look at the nature of despair and the ways you can overcome it.

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