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Beth El Board

2024 Board Members 
Stephanie Seawright, President 
Nez Gross, VP
Tracy Lisner, Treasurer 
Amelia Duran, Secretary
Dana Philibert, WRJ Co-President
Joyce Johnson, WRJ Co-President
Dennis Darryl, House Chairman

Keith Ables
Tim Beck
Kris Goodman
Cheryl Green
Gary Gross, Past President 
Rebecca Owen
Wanda Rauscher
Sheila Rust
Tim Sherwood
Shirley Watterston  

Cemetery Chairs
Pam Lisner
Dennis Darryl

Ex Officio
Neal Katz, Rabbi
Gene Levy, Rabbi Emeritus

Beth El







Neal Katz has served as the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Tyler, TX since his ordination from HUC-JIR in 2003.  Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, Neal attended George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where he received his undergraduate degree in political science and did graduate work in counseling. Neal has spent about three years in Israel as a student and working with tour groups.

In Tyler, Neal is involved in many non-profit agencies. He is a past board chair of the Hospice of East Texas, PATH, The Tyler Loop, and  MOSAIC Counseling Centers of East Texas.

Neal currently serves on the statewide Board of the Texas Freedom Network and SWARR - the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis. 

Neal enjoys speaking to many different church and civic groups and is an adjunct teacher at UT Tyler, where he teaches an “Introduction to Judaism” course.

Neal is also a musician, with 4 solo CDs to his name. He has also been involved in numerous other CD projects and musical productions. 


Rabbi Eugene Levy was honored as the emeritus rabbi of Congregation Beth El in 2015. Rabbi Levy was born in El Paso and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He attended the University of Texas and was ordained in 1972 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rabbi Levy served for three years as the director of the Hillel at the University of Oklahoma before coming to Tyler in 1975. For 12 years in Tyler, Gene was a wonderful rabbi to our congregation and an active voice in the wider interfaith community. He was involved in a number of local non-profit organizations and was a beloved to teacher to the wider community. His years as the rabbi of Beth El in Tyler are remembered fondly, and his presence is still felt in Tyler to this day.

In 1987, Rabbi Levy moved with his wife and three children to Arkansas, where he served as the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Little Rock until his retirement from congregational life in 2011. He continues to work both with smaller Jewish congregations and to teach at various churches in Arkansas and Louisiana. And he remains active in interfaith and civic activities.

In 2015, Rabbi Levy published a book titled, "A Privileged Encounter: My Unique Experience with President Bill Clinton, 1987-2000."

Rabbi Levy still maintains a close relationship with the Beth El community in Tyler. He visits friends in Tyler and leads occasional services and life cycle events at our congregation. He still lives in Little Rock, but for all of his years of service to Congregation Beth in Tyler - and for all his 40-plus years of service to the wider Jewish community, we are honored to call Rabbi Levy our rabbi emeritus. May he continue to serve and teach for years to come.

Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyar 5784