About Rabbi Sally

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Rabbi Sally Olins is a talented woman with a vast breadth of accomplishments.  Prior to becoming ordained she taught English and Modern Dance at the High School level and founded the Fine Arts Department at the Westlake School for Girls in Bel Air.  In addition, she owned and taught at The Firm Company Dance Exercise Studio for 13 years.    

She received her B.S. and M.A. from UCLA. She also has an M.A. in Jewish Philosophy from the University of Judaism in Bel Air, and was ordained in 1989, after completing her studies at The Academy for Jewish Religion in New York City. One of her greatest accomplishments was serving as one of 13 editors of the current edition of Etz Hayim, the Hebrew bible. Also, Olins was the first woman in the 102-year history of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Pacific Southwest Region to serve as its president.

Olins served as Rabbi for Temple B’nai Hayim in Sherman Oaks for sixteen years. She relocated to the desert in 2006 to become the spiritual leader of the congregation at Temple Isaiah in Palm Springs, where her creative approach to religious services and commitment to community outreach brought a new energy and focus to the organization and its mission. She derives great pleasure in helping the community understand the traditions of our faith, leading to a greater love of Judaism.

Known as ‘Rabbi Sally’ around the greater Palm Springs area, her community outreach includes ministering to the LGBT community, feeding the homeless, actively supporting local charities, visiting the sick, and personal counseling. She brings true joy to all those she meets.

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Rabbi Sally's Blog


It can be easy for us to walk through the world and our lives without really being present.  While dwelling on the past and living for the future are common pastimes, it is physically impossible to live anywhere but the present moment.  We cannot step out our front door and take a left turn to May of last year, any more than we can take a right turn to December 2025.  Nevertheless, we can easily miss the future we are waiting for as it becomes the now we are too busy to pay attention to.  We then spend the rest of our time playing “catch up” to the moment that we just let pass by.  During moments like these, it is important to remember that there is only NOW.

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  • From The Desert Sun, September 18, 2015

    Zach was a devout Jewish golden retriever who understood Hebrew, loved Shabbat and Hagim and had an addiction for challah.

    “He knew when it was Shabbat. He would see me getting ready and sit down and his tail would start wagging. What he wanted was the challah,” said Ron Werner, one of Zach’s parents.

    His full name was Zachariah Obediah Werner-Hering and he also loved to swim in the family pool, chase balls, go hiking and give his parents unconditional love.

    He was more than just a furry companion — he was a member of the family. That made it all the...

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Rabbi Sally - The People's Rabbi