Vorspan is the Founding Rabbi of Congregation Shir Ami as
well as Rabbi-in-Residence and Jewish Studies Director of
the New Community Jewish High School in West Hills.
Prior to founding Congregation Shir Ami,
Rabbi Vorspan served for 18 years at Temple Beth Ami, a Conservative
synagogue in Reseda, California. During that time, he created
many varied programs, including two that received the coveted
United Synagogue Solomon Schechter Awards: "The Hevrat
Mitzvah Program"--a peer-support program for the enhancement
of kashrut, Shabbat observance and prayer; and "The Pledge
Program" which encouraged synagogue attendance at services.
In addition, Rabbi Vorspan received an award for creating
the Contemporary Service, a unique Saturday morning guitar-accompanied,
full-participatory service. With the merger of Temple Beth
Ami and Congregation Beth Kodesh forming Shomrei Torah Synagogue,
Rabbi Vorspan served as the Associate Rabbi and Executive
Director. In addition, he founded the Shomrei Torah Institute
of Jewish Culture, created a Youth and Adult Theatre and an
annual literary journal.
Vorspan’s early religious training included the L.A.
Hebrew High School, Camp Ramah, the United Synagogue’s
Leadership Training Fellowship, and the University of Judaism’s
Hebrew Teacher’s College. Rabbi Vorspan was ordained
by the Hebrew Union College, where he served as president
of the student body and founder and editor of the student
newspaper, “Kolbo.” After ordination, he joined
the staff of Temple Beth Emet in Anaheim, California, another
During his two years at Temple Beth Emet,
in addition to his pastoral and educational responsibilities,
Rabbi Vorspan directed the youth program, which received the
Solomon Schechter Award designating it as being one of the
finest youth programs in America, organized and conducted
the largest temple-affiliated symphonic band, and instituted
"The K'vutzah Plan," a unique youth grouping program
in the senior youth department.
Rabbi Vorspan is a graduate of UCLA,
where he received his BA in Political Science. He attended
the Chaim Greenberg Institute in Jerusalem, and did post-graduate
work in education at UCLA. In addition, he earned his Bachelor
and Master of Hebrew Literature degrees from the Hebrew Union
College, which also awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity.
Rabbi Vorspan also received an honorary Doctorate from the
Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Vorspan is a past president of the Pacific Southwest Region
of the Rabbinical Assembly, and has served as the coordinator
and instructor of the Conversion Program for the Conservative
Movement in Los Angeles. Rabbi Vorspan is currently on Jewish
Home for the Aging’s Quality & Ethics Committee.
Rabbi Vorspan is an accomplished photographer,
composer and instrumentalist, and was a dance soloist, with
his wife, Bonnie, with the professional Israeli Dance Troupe,
The Sabra Dancers.
Rabbi Vorspan is married, has three children,
Alisha (married to Ahud Sela), Benjamin and Shaina, and is
listed in "Who's Who in American Jewry."