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Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Rabbi Sammy Seid brings his Torat Chesed (“A Torah of Loving Kindness”) into all aspects of communal and personal engagement from prayer leadership and teaching, to social programming and relationship building.

After earning a BA in History at UC Santa Cruz and a Preliminary Teaching Credential at Cal State Fullerton, Rabbi Sammy enrolled in the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies where he was blessed to learn from some of the finest teachers and rabbis. He earned his M.A. of Rabbinic Studies and Rabbinic Ordination in 2019 from the Ziegler School, where he also served as the Admissions Coordinator since 2017, helping to usher in the next cohorts of our people’s future rabbis.

Prior to Rabbi Sammy’s service at Ner Tamid, he served as the rabbinic intern at Temple Beth El of South Orange County where he enjoyed many opportunities to engage community members of all ages. He oversaw the religious school’s family learning programming, led dynamic prayer experiences, served as the teen group’s youth director, led monthly Tot Shabbat prayer service and other children’s holiday services, and taught adult education classes. Through all of these touch points, he passionately strove to meet members of the community where they were to engage them more deeply in their Judaism.

From the earliest connection with Ner Tamid, Rabbi Sammy, along with his wife, Heather Seid (a Cantorial Student at the Academy for Jewish Religion), and their (now five-year-old) daughter Winnie, felt an immediate sense of spiritual home and family. With such a loving and warm sense of family and home, Rabbi Sammy and Heather were blessed by the birth of their second child, Max, in September 2019. Rabbi Sammy brings his passion for welcoming and warmth, to ensure all feel included and engaged, to this already existing depth of inclusion at Ner Tamid. Recognizing that each of us connect to our Judaism and Jewish community in a variety of ways, Rabbi Sammy strives, alongside the loving members and leadership at Ner Tamid, to institute of vision of personal, spiritual, emotional engagement for all ages and all backgrounds. Whether you wish to participate in lifelong learning and spirited prayer experiences, fun social events and groups, personal religious growth and exploration, Rabbi Sammy is raring and ready to meet you, to get to know you, and to be by your side on your journey.

If you are trying to contact us in case of a pastoral emergency, such as: Death or imminent death in the family; moving a loved one to hospice; receiving a terminal diagnosis; emergency medical issues or accidents - Please contact Rabbi Sammy at 858 513-8330 to be forwarded to his cell if he is not in the office.

For non-urgent pastoral matters (such as routine surgery or other hospitalization), please call during office hours or email Rabbi Sammy at



Cantor Heather

Heather Seid graduated from Boston University’s School of Music with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and from the Academy for Jewish Religion California with a Master's of Jewish Sacred Music and smicha as Cantor.  Having studied with Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Cantors, and having served in diverse denominational settings Heather strives to bridge the gap between traditional and innovative davening styles by the weaving together of chazzanut and new melodic settings of prayers. She is privileged to have as her cantorial mentors Cantor Perryne Anker, one of the first working female Cantors, and Cantor Natalie Young, who is also a prolific Jewish music composer. Heather composes new Jewish music and is currently working on a project bringing to life prayers in four part harmony from the turn of the 20th century with Cantors and Cantorial Soloists from around the country.  She and her husband Rabbi Sammy Seid, and two sweet children Winnie (6) and Max (4) love being a part of the Ner Tamid community and the joy and kindness that emanates from everything the community does!


Morah Jessie

Director of Education & Youth Engagement Ner Tamid Shul School (NTSS), Kadima & USY

Jessie joined the Ner Tamid staff in summer 2020, continuing a long career in Jewish education.

Growing up in Sacramento, she was active in USY and spent several summers as a camper and then counselor at an overnight Jewish summer camp. Jessie participated in Nativ, USY’s gap-year program in Israel, then moved to San Diego and began working in the Jewish community. After graduating from San Diego State University with a BA in Religious Studies, she completed her Masters in Jewish Education at Hebrew College. She has served in a variety of roles within the San Diego Jewish community working with teens and children. She is married to Josh who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and their children are Lillian and Louis.

Through Jewish education, Jessie strives to help children grow and develop with a strong sense of identity and community, while making the experience relevant and engaging.

Please contact Jessie at

QuoteEach child has infinite directions that life can take them. Developing a positive Jewish identity and community gives our children immense strength, purpose, and connection as they take on life’s joys and challenges. What better gift can we give our children than tools to make life meaningful?

Leora Lazarus

Leora Lazarus serves as the Office Manager and a member of the Hebrew School teaching staff at Ner Tamid Synagogue, where her extensive background in education and organizational management plays a crucial role in the smooth operation of our community's activities. With over 35 years of experience in developmental preschool and Judaica teaching, Leora brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to her role.

Educated at Barkly House Teachers Training College in Cape Town, South Africa, Leora has made significant contributions both locally in San Diego and internationally. Known affectionately as Teacher Lee for her innovative Play-To-Learn preschool program, and as Morah Leora within the Jewish educational community, she has impacted thousands of children and families with her dedication to learning and Jewish education.

During the lockdown, Leora adeptly transitioned to online platforms, running a successful year-long pre-K program focused on STEAM subjects, showcasing her adaptability and commitment to education in challenging times.

Leora is also a best-selling author of Jewish themed books, such as Tree and Bird—A Havdalah Adventure and The Mask Mitzvah, alongside secular titles like Naughty Norman. Her literary work complements her educational efforts, providing valuable resources for both Jewish and secular learning.

In addition to her educational and literary achievements, Leora offers a range of hand-crafted teaching tools through her Morah Leora Etsy store, further supporting educators and parents in engaging children with meaningful content.

Leora plays a pivotal role at Ner Tamid as an administrator and educator.

Thu, June 13 2024 7 Sivan 5784