Our Clergy

Rabbis, Cantor, and Chaplin




Rabbi Jules King

rabbi Dr. Jules King

Rabbi Dr. Jules King was ordained and received his סמיכה S’micha/ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion California in Los Angeles, CA.

Senior Rabbi

Rabbi Dr. King is our Founder, Senior Rabbi and serves as our spiritual leader and teacher. He is the one who shares in our joys and our sorrows, offering uplifting and enlightening sermons to encourage and inspire. 

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He helps us make informed choices regarding Jewish beliefs and practices and is instrumental in creating and developing our community.

Rabbi Dr. Jules received his master’s degree in Rabbinical Studies from AJRCA and his doctorate at the Claremont School of Theology as a participant in the D. Min., Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice, and Strategic Leadership program. Rabbi Dr. King was awarded the Claremont School of Theology’s Doctor of Ministry Presidential Academic Award for Excellence.

Rabbi Dr. King holds various other degrees and spent many years working in small to large organizations and Fortune 500 companies, serving in both healthcare and mortuary science. Rabbi is an accomplished musician, pianist, organist, and vocalist. In the recent past, he sang with the large (nearly 300 voice) Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.

Most importantly, Rabbi Dr. King brings sincere devotion, dedication, and passion to his rabbinate and a desire to enhance and improve the lives of those we interact with to improve the world.

Rabbi Dr. King resides in the greater Palm Springs area. He is the father of two children. He is active and busy with work and loves traveling and enjoying his journey with the fast-growing congregation of Desert Outreach Synagogue and the Coachella Valley community! He is often heard saying, “Come join us! You already belong!”

Rabbi Rachel Axelrad

Rabbi Rachel Axelrad

Associate Rabbi

Rabbi Rachel Axelrad was ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, in 2020. She has 20 years of experience as a Shaliach Tzibur in multiple service formats.

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Her experience includes providing pastoral care to individuals needing spiritual support, whether in hospitals, nursing homes, or hospice, or supporting mourners for funerals and memorial services.

Her expertise focuses on working with adults of all ages, especially seniors, whether active, independent, or frail. She has a special interest in working with dementia patients. Her chaplaincy experience includes a 1-year internship at Pomona Valley Hospital, where she worked with patients and families in various stages of crisis. She considers pastoral care a critical element of a rabbi’s role in the community and is always available to congregants needing spiritual support.

Before joining the rabbinate, she worked as a CPA and Systems Analyst in various corporate environments. She met her husband of 44 years at Pomona College in Claremont, where she concentrated on Russian Area Studies. She and her husband have two beautiful princesses and one grandchild. They were residents of the Inland Empire—Claremont and Upland—for over 40 years and now reside in the Coachella Valley. She is very happy to be a member of the Desert Outreach team.

Rabbi Bentley

Rabbi Andrew Bentley

Associate Rabbi

Rabbi Andrew Bentley has been serving as a rabbi in the Coachella Valley since 1998. Originally from London, he emigrated with his family to Israel in 1990.

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In Israel, he attended Bar Ilan University and Ohr Torah Stone Institutions under prominent American/Israeli Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Rabbi Chaim Brovender. While in Rabbinical school, Rabbi Bentley worked as a Hebrew scribe, writing mezuzot, megillahs, and torah scrolls.   

After receiving his Orthodox Rabbinical ordination, he became rabbi of Desert Synagogue in Palm Springs. After leaving that position, Rabbi Bentley decided to explore his lifelong passion for music and explore Judaism in a more progressive way. During this time, he worked as a professional musician and music producer, while also serving as consultant to Temple Isaiah, reading Torah and leading services. Rabbi Bentley became head rabbi of Temple Sinai of Palm Desert (2014-19), where he brought his unique background in Jewish education, music, and spirituality.

Rabbi Bentley has taught variety of classes including Torah study, Talmud, Kabbalah, and modern Jewish ethics. He also composes music for the Jewish liturgy that has been incorporated into various synagogue services throughout the Coachella Valley. Currently, Rabbi Bentley has a podcast, The Rabbinic Cynic, where he discusses Judaism, current affairs, pop culture, and music. He also continues to produce and record secular and Jewish music. Rabbi Bentley, and his wife, Dr. Beth Allan-Bentley, have four adult children. They currently live in Palm Desert.

Cantor Lori

Lori Reisman


Cantor Lori Reisman began her very eclectic Jewish education at the behest of her father, who was raised the youngest of nine children in Brooklyn, New York.

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Cantor Lori’s father, a rabbi, and his mother remained in New York with the family long after his father had made Aliyah to Israel. 

Believing every child should decide their level of religious observance based upon knowledge, not ignorance, their home was filled with traditions based on orthodox, conservative, and reform traditions.

Interestingly enough, all 3 siblings settled upon different Jewish denominations for their own families in later years. One Orthodox, one conservative. and Cantor Lori Reform Judaism. Enrolled in the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, an orthodox Jewish day school, she began singing Christmas music with The Singing Angels of Cleveland. At 15, she studied opera at the Cleveland Institute of Music while becoming known as the national anthem singer at major league events for the MLB, NFL, and NBA.

After studying opera at Boston University for two years, she transferred to NYU to study musical theater at Tish School of the Arts and graduated from NYU. After pursuing her passions in the theater, she became a mom to Sean, Kayla, Brooke, and Brandon. Lori continued singing for organizations such as the Jewish Federation and the IDF.

In 2010, Lori moved to California and enrolled in the AJRCA Masters of Sacred Jewish Music program. Interning at Congregation Or Ami for the next five years, she studied under the mentorship of Cantors Doug Cotler, Nathan Lam, Don Gurney, and Perryne Anker. In 2015, Lori became ordained as a Cantor upon graduation from AJRCA and married her soulmate, Joe Patterson, becoming a mom to Megan and Tyler. Cantor Lori Reisman, under the domain
Cantorforhire.com provides lifecycle event services for destination weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, shivas, funerals, unveilings, and baby namings.

Cantor Lori is thrilled to be the Cantor for High Holidays for the third year in a row for Desert Outreach Synagogue. Cantor Lori is also the Cantor for Desert Outreach Synagogue’s Shabbat services.

Believing strongly that a coordinated effort and strong relationship between Rabbi and Cantor is paramount to creating a magical, inspirational Jewish experience for the congregation, she is thrilled to be once again teaming up with Rabbi Dr. Jules King to bring high holy days to the congregants of Desert Outreach Synagogue. 

Chaplin Randy

Randy Lester-Wilson  


Chaplain Randy found his home in Judaism in 2003. Raised in the Lutheran church, when he was a senior in high school, he had a “born-again” Christian experience.

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Soon after, he began attending a full-gospel (Charismatic) church. This faith community was not a welcoming environment for someone who happened to be a Christian and openly gay. In 1986, he found a place that welcomed his spirituality and sexuality: the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches. It was here where his work as a Chaplain began. 

Chaplain Randy was licensed as a member of the Clergy in 1989 and Ordained in 1993. Visiting congregants in the hospital/making home visits, and calling to check-in on parishioners were part of his duties and responsibilities. He served this denomination for 13 years until he found his spiritual center within Judaism. As a result, he spent two summers at the training for lay leaders at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. In 2005, he became the “Caring Community” Chair at a synagogue in the Inland Empire. His responsibilities consisted of doing what comes naturally for Chaplains: supporting individuals mentally-emotionally-spiritually as they navigate life.  

Randy enjoys being a “cheerleader for humanity;” holding someone’s hand and heart brings untold joy and fulfillment. “Being present and establishing meaningful connections are ways I live out tikkun olam.