Rabbi Noah Farkas
Rabbi Noah Farkas serves as the Federation’s President & Chief Executive Officer. Named by The Forward as one of America’s most inspiring rabbis, Noah served from 2008 to 2021 as a clergy member of Valley Beth Shalom, the largest Jewish congregation in the San Fernando Valley, where he led successful innovations in synagogue life through social action, mental health, and next-generation spiritual initiatives. Previously, Noah served Congregation Beth Israel in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he helped rebuild the Gulf Coast Jewish community after Hurricane Katrina.
Noah is a proven civic leader in Southern California. In addition to his work as an appointed commissioner and former Chair of the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority over a two-year campaign, he mobilized a broad coalition of synagogues, churches, and other organizations to pass historic legislation that invested over $5 billion into housing and services for the vulnerable. Noah is also a third-generation veteran and served as a United States Navy Reserve chaplain during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Noah’s core values include that the Federation support the entirety of Jewish life by creating foundations for Jewish learning, supporting Jewish social welfare, protecting Jews from antisemitism, and standing with Israel. Additionally, Noah believes Jews everywhere must be inclusive and commit to building bridges to other communities, join and convene diverse coalitions, and raise up the flag for social justice.
A prominent voice helping to define the next generation of American Jewish leadership, Noah has served for several years as scholar-in-residence of the Federation’s Rautenberg New Leaders Project and a close partner to the Board of Rabbis. He founded Netiya, an interfaith organization fighting hunger in Los Angeles, as well as the Seminary Leadership Project, which has trained hundreds of Jewish clergy nationwide to create social change. Noah is also a founding board member of Zioness, a pro-Israel organization fighting antisemitism – including anti-Zionism – with the same clarity and intensity used to combat other forms of bigotry. His writing on millennial engagement, spirituality, and Jewish innovation has been published widely and his work has been quoted or featured in the LA Times, The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, TIME Magazine, Newsweek, and on NPR.
Noah was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and earned a BA in Jewish Studies at the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University). He lives in Encino with his wife Sarah and four children. He is on Twitter at @RabbiNoah.