Temple Beth El

Rabbi Charles K. Briskin

Rabbi Charles K. Briskin

Rabbi Briskin began his tenure at Temple Beth El in July 2005, after having served four years as the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California. He was ordained in 2001 by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, and studied in Jerusalem and Los Angeles as well. Rabbi Briskin earned a B.A. with Distinction in Political Science and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991. He served for three years as the administrator of the Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel Foundation in Cambridge, MA and completed rabbinic internships at congregations in Long Island, NY, Fountain Valley, CA, and Juneau, AK and at the USC Hillel Foundation as well.

Rabbi Briskin is a strong advocate for social justice. He is also devoted to working with families with young children, with young adults, and with teens. Most important to him as a rabbi is his commitment to reach out to all members of Temple Beth El and helping to sustain the congregation's warm and welcoming environment. He looks forward to the opportunity to spend quality time with our members throughout the year in formal and informal settings.

Rabbi Briskin is active within the larger San Pedro and Peninsula communities.  He facilitates the Peninsula Interfaith Fellowship, a monthly gathering of clergy and faith professionals; serves on the Board of Directors for Harbor Interfaith Services; and is a periodic contributor to the Palos Verdes Peninsula News Clergy Viewpoints column.  Rabbi Briskin is also a board member of the Rotary Club of San Pedro.


In addition to temple-based programs, Rabbi Briskin hosts a monthly "Coffee Talk" where people gather at an area coffee shop to discuss issues of the day. 

In his limited spare time Rabbi Briskin golfs (poorly now, but getting better), collects wine (mostly California reds), and does a bit of hiking and cycling, but not nearly enough.  He enjoys attending live sporting events, although his greatest enthusiasm is reserved for the sports teams from his home town of Boston. Having lived in Los Angeles now for six years, he roots for the Dodgers and the Clippers (yes, the Clippers because as a Bostonian he cannot bring himself to cheer on the Lakers).  
Most important to him is the quality time he enjoys with his wife, Karen, who  teaches Kindergarten at the Rancho Vista Elementary School in RPV, and their children, Ezra and Avi. The Briskins live in San Pedro.