Rabbi Evon J. Yakar joined the Temple Bat Yam family on July 1, 2011.
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Rabbi Evon Yakar moved to South Lake Tahoe with his wife Rachel and their dog Sasha during the summer of 2011. He became the second rabbi of Temple Bat Yam: The South Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley Jewish Community. In addition to serving the Bat Yam Community, Rabbi Yakar is one of the two Adventure Rabbis. He works with Rabbi Jamie Korngold, founder and director of Adventure Rabbi: Synagogue without Walls based in Boulder, Colorado. Serving as the Distance Learning Specialist, Rabbi Yakar coaches Bar and Bat Mitzvah students, counsels wedding couples, learns with those seeking conversion to Judaism and others via skype and often travels to mark and celebrate their life-cycle moment on mountain tops, along alpine streams or set in desert landscapes.
Previous to his current positions, Rabbi Yakar joined the clergy at Temple Chai in Phoenix in July 2007. He grew up throughout the northern Midwest attending high school in the suburbs of Detroit and he lived in Minneapolis and Chicago before high school. Many of his summers were spent at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, a Union for Reform Judaism summer camp. OSRUI is a special place for many reasons, but high on the list is that it is the place where he met his wife Rachel. Evon earned a BS from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2001 where he studied Hebrew and Biological Aspects of Conservation.
Evon was ordained as a Rabbi in June 2007 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he also earned his Master of Hebrew Letters degree. He received awards for the highest academic standing in his class and for the most significant academic improvement during his tenure at HUC. During his time in Cincinnati, Evon studied in a joint program between HUC-JIR and Xavier University to earn a Masters in Educational Administration. During Rabbinical school, Evon served student pulpits and internships in Billings, Montana, Sylvania, Ohio, Skokie, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition, he served as a youth programs intern for the Department of Youth Programs at HUC-JIR in Cincinnati.
During Rabbi Yakar’s first year serving Temple Bat Yam, he worked to create meaningful holiday events, adult and youth learning and wonderful social events. Our synagogue community works to provide a broad spectrum of Jewish life and practice to the South Shore communities of Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley. Together with Rabbi Yakar, we are meeting that goal and will continue to work in sacred partnership. Also during his first year with Temple Bat Yam, Rabbi Evon and his wife Rachel welcomed their first child, Caleb Shai as the youngest member of our TBY family.
He is passionate about sharing Judaism with the families of our Temple Bat Yam community and he looks forward to the exciting years ahead in his rabbinate. Rabbi Yakar enjoys many recreationial activities that our natural surroundings provide, from skiing, hiking and cycling to water sports and playing ice hockey – Evon and his family enjoy them all. Together with Rachel, their son Caleb and dog Sasha, they look forward to sharing Judaism with the members and guests of TBY into the future.