The Kern Family

Posted on February 1, 2011

Huge hearts.  Helping others. Honorable careers in the health field. Happy to hike to beautiful sunset vistas. These are only a few of the things that Drs. Aaron and Leslie Kern have in common. They were both born in Glendale

The Kern Family

The Kern Family

and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California; have two siblings; completed some of their impressive educational backgrounds at UCLA – where they first met; enjoy Scottsdale, Arizona and their condo there; and have two wonderful daughters (Rachel, 24 and Shira, 21) who bring them a great deal of joy.  The couple’s unique differences are equally as uniting. Aaron was born Jewish and Leslie Lutheran, yet Leslie saw many similarities between the two and embraced the idea of raising the children Jewish.  Actually, Leslie herself is very involved and well known in the Jewish community – particularly for the Long Beach Jewish Federation (LBJF) Woman’s Philanthropy. She’s a Lion of Judah member and this year’s chair of the distinguished group with the LBJF

Leslie is also well known in the nursing field where her specialty and sub-specialty are cardiac nursing, heart surgery nursing, and arrhythmia mechanisms. After earning a PhD in nursing, Leslie went on to publish two books earning her the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award back in the 90’s. She’s also published several nursing manuscripts and shared her expertise throughout California and around the world – as a featured speaker in China, Mexico, and Spain. Currently, Leslie consults for and is a Fellow of the American Heart Association.

Aaron is in his 27th year as a doctor of internal medicine, with a practice in Lakewood, CA. He’s the past Chief of Staff at Lakewood Regional Medical Center and has always been interested in health care reform.  His initial inspiration to enter the medical field came from seeing Normal Rockwell prints of doctors making house calls. Blending intellect and compassion as a way of helping people is what especially captured his interest.

In the couple’s free time, Aaron serves on the Temple Board in Planning and Development, likes to read about early American History – especially by author David McCullough, enjoys movies – Dead Poet Society and The King’s Speech are among his favorites, and travels – Israel will always be one his and Leslie’s most treasured journeys.  Fluent in Spanish (after completely two years of medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico) Aaron is now learning French.  Leslie is getting back into quilting; loves Native American art, horseback riding, cooking, photography, and gardening; and is now looking to do some community based volunteering.

One more of the many things Aaron and Leslie have in common is their love for Temple Beth David, especially the people and the music.  Lucky for us, Aaron serves as the pianist for family Shabbat services.  Their initial attraction to the synagogue was the Temple’s pre-school program where they watched their daughters perform in skits to celebrate their newfound knowledge about Jewish holidays.  Rachel and Shira also had their Bat Mitzvahs and grew up in the religious school here.   Both now go to San Diego State, where Rachel is completing her degree in Graphic Design/Multi Media Arts and Shira is finishing up a Psychology degree. Both are already making a name for themselves in their chosen fields outside of the classroom.  Shira volunteers at a horseback program helping those with physical challenges.  Rachel recently had a graphic design accepted as the branding for a well known San Diego street fair.  As a family they are a very close-knit group who enjoy laughing (usually at Aaron’s unique sense of humor!) and learning together. They even have a Kern family song from Aaron’s childhood that is sung among relatives at every family gathering!

We are grateful the Kerns are part of the Temple Beth David family tree.  They surely add to the health and vitality of this place many of us call our spiritual home away from home.