Rabbi David S. Lieb, z'l was the spiritual leader of Temple Beth El of San Pedro from 1971 through 2005, and has been Rabbi Emeritus since 2005. Born and raised in Chicago, he received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Illinois. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, in 1969 and then served as an Army chaplain for two years at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. In 1994, Rabbi Lieb received the Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College. A longtime resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, Rabbi Lieb died at his home in Indio, California on Saturday, March 8, 2008.
He had served on the CCAR-UAHC National Commission on Religious Living and the boards of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis. He was chair of the South Bay Harbor InterReligious Council, a member of the Southern Region Federal Council board, and co-chair of the South Bay’s celebration of Israel’s 50th anniversary.
Rabbi Lieb served all but two years of his career as a congregational rabbi in San Pedro. His long tenure there was testament of his dedication to the congregation and to the greater South Bay Jewish community. Throughout his rabbinate, Rabbi Lieb was noted for his sense of humor, his abilities as a teacher of both children and adults, and universal respect and admiration among his colleagues. Rabbi Lieb also led many congregational members on several trips to Israel and one trip to Eastern Europe which included many of the landmarks of Holocaust.
David Lieb was an avid Chicago Cubs fan, a model train fanatic, and a really mediocre golfer. He was married to Estelle Lieb, his High School sweetheart for 42 wonderful years. They are the parents of three children: Jacob, who is married to Julie Desmond, Adam who recently got engaged to Rebecca Wasserman, and Amy. Rabbi and Mrs. Lieb have four extremely beautiful granddaughters, Leah Rebecca Knobel, Alana Michelle Knobel, Maxine Desmond Lieb, and Sadie Jane Lieb.
Rabbi Lieb retired in May, 2005, and moved to Indio, CA with Estelle. In his retirement, Rabbi Lieb had recently completed a textbook on comparative religions, and had published several articles in Jewish education and theology. He became an active member of Temple Sinai in Palm Desert, and volunteered for several community organizations. Also during this time, Rabbi Lieb traveled to Tanzania, a life long dream, with his son Adam. He also made several trips to his home town of Chicago to visit his daughter Amy, and granddaughters Leah and Alana. He also relished in visits from his son Jacob, daughter-in-law Julie and granddaughters Maxine and Sadie.
Rabbi Lieb was diagnosed with colon cancer in December 1999. As a cancer patient, Rabbi Lieb underwent several difficult times, but was proud of his participation in experimental treatment protocols. He was treated at San Pedro Hospital, UCLA Medical Center, Torrance Memorial Hospital, and at Desert Regional Medical Center.