Rabbi Debbie Israel became the spiritual leader of Congregation Emeth in 2006. She received her smicha (Rabbinic ordination) from the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR-CA) in Los Angeles, a transdenominational Rabbinic school that trains its students to serve all Jews and Jewish movements.
In addition to her rabbinic knowledge and training, Rabbi Israel has an extensive understanding of the synagogue, expertise working with volunteers, and a lifetime career as a Jewish educator. As a professional and as a volunteer, she served in many Jewish institutions, including being president of her 500-member synagogue, Congregation Brith Shalom in Houston, Texas. Prior to entering Rabbinical school, she was Regional Director of Jewish Women International and co-publisher, managing editor and writer of Noah's Ark, an international newspaper for Jewish children, which had over a million readers.
Rabbi Israel has received many honors and awards, including: "Outstanding Alumnus" (B'nai B'rith Girls National Award); "Distinguished Service to Jewish Education" (the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Houston); and "Rising Star Award for Outstanding Volunteer Achievement" (B'nai B'rith Women International).