Rabbi Joel Nickerson joined the clergy of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in the summer of 2019. Prior to WBT, Rabbi Nickerson served as the co-senior rabbi at Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles. He has also worked on college campuses, both at Stanford University before he attended rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and upon ordination, as the Senior Jewish Educator at the University of Pennsylvania Hillel. During his tenure at Penn Hillel, Rabbi Nickerson was responsible for running the Jewish Renaissance Project (JRP), dedicated to making Jewish learning relevant for students who were peripherally involved in Jewish life on campus. His work with JRP at Penn was featured in Rabbi Mike Uram's book, "Next Generation Judaism: How College Students and Hillel Can Help Reinvent Jewish Organizations" and referenced in Ron Wolfson's book, "Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community." Rabbi Nickerson has a fascinating background that includes an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University, research about monogamous bonding at the Emory National Primate Research Center, and work in the CDC's Rabies Lab.
Outside his work at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Rabbi Nickerson serves on the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles Board of Rabbis and as a member of the Windward School DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging) Steering Committee. He loves spending time with his wife, Julia, and their three daughters, enjoying a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop, BBQing in his backyard, paddle boarding, or taking advantage of the great outdoors. Rabbi Nickerson is a caring and experienced rabbi, an engaging and personable leader whose innovative approach to prayer, programming, and small group organizing have been powerful additions to the Temple’s offerings.