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About CBS

About CBS:

Congregation Bet Shalom was founded around 1982 as a do-it-yourself congregation. Our founders envisioned Bet Shalom as a shul that would facilitate proficiency in our traditions. Our informal setting goes hand in hand with the grass-roots effort we continue to see at CBS. Men, women, and children take turns leading the prayers and chanting from the Torah. Bet Shalomers join our rabbis sharing words of Torah and teaching classes throughout the year. Our amazing people shop, prepare food, and make an amazing kiddush lunch each week for Shabbat. We take turns cleaning up and taking care of our campus.

We have always utilized a lot of volunteers, and under Rabbi Avi’s leadership we continue on that beautiful path. Since he arrived in 2012 we have grown in numbers and in participation, almost quadrupling in size. As we grow our rabbis and dedicated staff continue to encourage and empower lay leadership, volunteerism, and an inviting atmosphere.

We are independent; meaning we are not formally connected to a denomination or movement in Judaism. CBS has its own flavor of Jewish living. People from Reform, Renewal, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Sephardic, and Orthodox backgrounds somehow feel at home at Bet Shalom. Different from many American synagogues, we raise our money through voluntary contributions. Bet Shalomers are able to donate whatever amount of money they feel is appropriate, usually on a monthly basis.

Come be a part of our Positive Jewish Experiences

Meet our Staff

 Our Spiritual Leader


Rabbi Avi Alpert

Office phone: (520) 233-7814

A native Arizonan, Rabbi Avi has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Bet Shalom since 2012. After serving as a traditional cantor for more than eighteen years in Arizona, Nevada, and Northern California, Avi received ordination הסמכה from The Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles. He is busy in Tucson connecting people, building community, and helping to make Torah accessible.

Rabbi Avi was invested and commissioned as a cantor or חזן through the CA. He studied intensively, for five years, with Cantor Ivor Lichterman, who in turn received the tradition from his father, Cantor Jakub Lichterman of the Great Nozyk Shul, in Poland. In Israel, Avi was a student of Maestro Elli Jaffe, the director and conductor of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir. Avi Alpert also holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the Herberger College of Arizona State University.

Avi Alpert is known for his fervor and commitment to Hashem, to Torah, and to our people, עם ישראל. Rabbi Avi can be found officiating at a full range of life cycle events, counseling those in need, training students of all ages, coordinating lay-leaders, developing innovative programs, and teaching creative classes. Rabbi Avi is close to many leaders of various traditions building bridges in the larger community. He is a dear friend of Pastor Victor Styrsky who wrote about their bond in his book Honest to God.

Rabbi Avi’s wife and partner Kam is known for her unique ability to make people feel welcome and satiated with her delicacies. Together, Kam and Avi’s most important roles though are as parents to their children.

Congregational Director 

Lisa Schachter Brooks

Office phone: (520) 233-7813

Director of Adult Education





Yosef Lopez is a Rabbi and Educator with deep roots in Tucson. His educational journey took him to Israel, where he studied at institutions like Ohr Somayach,  Pardes, and Darchei Noam. Under the guidance of Rabbi Daniel Reifman, he honed his Talmudic expertise in preparation for Rabbinic Training.  Yosef's commitment to his faith was further solidified by receiving Semikha (Scholar of Tora)  Yore, Yore from the esteemed Hakham Haim Ovadia.

Currently,  Yosef plays a pivotal role as the Director of Adult Education at Congregation Bet Shalom where he imparts his knowledge to those seeking spiritual growth. He also shares his passion for Hebrew and Jewish Studies as an instructor at Tucson Hebrew Academy.  Yosef's dedication extends beyond education— he serves on the Central Council for the Sephardic Brotherhood of America, where he's an active member of the Religious Affairs Committee showcasing his commitment to community and tradition. There he has been involved in the publication of pamphlets for use on holidays in the Sephardic Ladino Tradition.

Yosef's journey is supported and guided with love from his family. His wife Sara, the love of his life, radiates warmth, kindness, and brings direction to his life. She extends love and welcome to all. Their sons, Avraham and Hizqiya, are his pride and joy, adding depth and purpose to his life

Yosef Lopez's journey reflects a life dedicated to learning, teaching, and contributing to the enrichment of his community.

Rabbi Yosef Lopez

Office Administrator

Joy Vargo

Office phone: (520) 233-7812

Sun, June 16 2024 10 Sivan 5784