Rabbi Joel Simonds

  • Clergy

Rabbi Simonds served as University Synagogue's rabbinic intern from 2007-2009; upon his ordination, he served as the associate Rabbi for the synagogue from 2009-2017. In 2017 Rabbi Simonds became the founding executive director of the Jewish Center for Justice, where he envisioned the need for a Jewish justice organization to reach the unaffiliated and expand the breadth and scope of the wider Jewish community. His interest in the intersection of justice and Judaism is demonstrated in the various organizations he has worked with. These include the Commission on Social Action; the Central Conference of American Rabbis Justice, Peace, and Civil Liberties Committee; and Repair the World. He is also a founding member of the Israel Policy Forum’s Rabbinic Network and a founding member and leader of Reform California.

Rabbi Simonds also serves as Rabbi of the Synagogue for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, where he obtained a degree in Rabbinical Studies in 2009. He also holds a Bachelor of Art in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2002. He is married to attorney Ariella Thal Simonds and they are the proud parents of their two children.