​Temple Ner Tamid of Downey

Cantor Kenneth Jaffe

Cantor Kenneth Jaffe has had the pleasure of serving Temple Ner Tamid of Downey from 2003-2005 and is delighted to have come back with its congregation in 2009. 
A graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cantor Jaffe has served congregations in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Missouri and California.

Prior to entering the cantorate, Cantor Jaffe sang opera professionally throughout the United States, having performed dozens of roles in several opera companies.

Cantor Jaffe is deeply committed to the furthering of Jewish culture and religion through the medium of music. His bibliography, "Hidden Treasures: Large Musical Works for Solo Voice(s) on Jewish Themes by Jewish Composers,"  was published in 2010 by Scarecrow Press. It has been called the most extensive Jewish music bibliography published in the last 50 years.

His songs have been published by Transcontinental Music and are sung in many congregations around the country. 

Cantor Jaffe has concertized throughout the country and was recently chosen as the tenor soloist in a work written by Ben Steinberg for the American Conference of Cantor's 50th Annual Convention Concert. He also is an exhibited ceramic artist, creating Judaic works, including seder plates, Mezuzot and Havdalah sets. He is the proud husband of Deanna Ableser, a nationally respected drama educator, and the father of Zahava & Gracie.

Rabbi Daniel Mehlman

Rabbi Mehlman brings diverse and dynamic interests and cultures to his tenure at Temple Ner Tamid and its Progressive congregation. A product of the Jewish Conservative movement in his native Argentina, Rabbi Mehlman lived in Israel for 13 years and completed his S'micha at the American Jewish University's Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles.
Rabbi Mehlman teaches classes at AJU in order to serve Spanish speakers who are Jews or want to become Jewish. He has been responsible for approximately 850 conversions, of which about half have been native Spanish speakers. 

He also believes strongly in serving outlying and nascent Jewish communities, which has led him to teach classes, conduct services and officiate at Beit Dins in the fledgling Jewish communities of Mexicali, Baja California, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Santa Martha and Barranquilla Colombia as well as Santa Maria, Calif. He has also been a returning speaker at the Crypto-Jews' Shabbatton in El Paso, Texas.

The Rabbi was born and raised in Buenos Aires, where he joined the Conservative morvement when it arrived in Argentina in the early 1960s, under the leadership of Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer, who became Daniel Mehlman's mentor. Mehlman began his rabbinicial studies at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires. 

As a young adult, he taught physical education in Israel. His Jerusalem girls' volleyball team made it to the national finals in Israel. 

He moved to the United States in 1990 and became a citizen in 1994.

Rabbi Mehlman also works as a state chaplain counseling inmates at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, California . In addition to his pulpits in California, Rabbi Mehlman has led congregations in Reno, Nev., and Jacksonville, Fla., and has conducted services on three continents in Hebrew, Spanish and English.

He lives in Santa Clarita, Calif., with his wife and two children.