Rabbi Mark Hyman’s journey to the rabbinate has spanned more than thirty-four years and has enriched his life with the blessings of good friends, wonderful teachers, and the inspiration of Torah.
Born in Mt. Vernon, New York, Mark’s family emigrated to California with his parents and two sisters in the early 50s seeking new opportunities and better weather. His family was very committed to Jewish life, community and education, and Rabbi Mark’s early years focused on his Hebrew studies, Boy Scouts, and playing the French horn. After his family moved from ‘the Valley’ to Beverlywood in 1961, his opportunities for Jewish enrichment blossomed.
Parallel to his secular studies, Rabbi Mark attended the Los Angeles Hebrew High School, the University of Judaism, and served as camping and nature specialist at Camp Ramah in Ojai for many years. He began his formal rabbinical education at UCLA (B.A.-Hebrew) and continued in 1967 as a student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Taking what in retrospect was a very long sabbatical break; he continued his work in the Jewish community as a youth director and teacher.
In the intervening years Rabbi Mark pursued his love of travel and adventure as he worked as a corporate and international travel consultant and spent several years on assignment in the Yucatan and Jamaica. He married Risa Kishineff in 1974 and after moving to Manhattan Beach in 1979, Rabbi Mark’s family immediately joined Congregation Tifereth Jacob, then a truly small haimish shul of about forty families with a only a Shabbat and High Holiday rabbi. Several years later, after serving as a board member, ritual committee chairperson, and High Holiday Shofar blower, the Hymans were blessed with two children: a son, Jonathan, and daughter, Marissa.
Rabbi Mark’s academic and rabbinical hiatus came to an end as CTJ called upon him to fill the position of the synagogue’s three-fold, yet part-time role as spiritual leader. August 1987 marked the beginning of his career as our ‘not-yet-ordained’ rabbinical and spiritual leader, cantor, and educational director (and some say administrator and shamash). Our community continued to grow and at the age of forty eight, Reb Mark returned to formal graduate studies at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies while continuing to lead our community. He received a Masters in Hebrew Literature and Rabbinic Ordination in 2001.
Rabbi Mark has served on the executive committee of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and as chair of the Funeral Practices committee. Rabbi Mark feels honored and fulfilled to be the rabbi of our vibrant and diverse community and is most proud of being available as a rabbi, teacher, and friend to our wonderful members.
Rabbi Mark became Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Tikvat Jacob Beth Torah in the summer of 2016 and will continue to fulfill an active role at CTJ while making time to travel to Israel more often.