top of page

Rabbi Michael Barclay

Rabbi Michael Barclay (הרב משה ישראל בן אברם הכהן) is an American rabbi, author, and lecturer.  The founding rabbi of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, CA. (, he is recognized as an insightful theologian who integrates authentic Jewish theology into 21st century situations.

The descendant of Ukrainian rabbis from Chernigov, Rabbi Barclay was both the Hillel Director and a professor in the School of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He has lectured around the world on cross-cultural mysticism and meditation. Rabbi Barclay was also the recipient of the 2010 B’nai Zion Distinguished Humanitarian Award.

Writings and Temple Ner Simcha:

Rabbi Barclay is a frequent Torah commentator for The Jewish Journal as well as contributor for multiple periodicals including The Jewish Forward, The Jewish Times, The Acorn, and PJ Media.  He authored “Sacred Relationships.  Biblical Wisdom for Deepening Our Lives Together” (2013, Liturgical Press), a Biblical commentary that has the rare privilege of being endorsed by academics and leaders of multiple faith traditions including rabbis, ministers, bishops, representatives of the Vatican, and the Chancellor of Oxford.

In 2013, Rabbi Barclay founded Temple Ner Simcha, the first non-Orthodox synagogue in the nation with no membership dues. There is no cost for High Holiday tickets, classes, and events such as lectures and concerts; and no financial costs for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs or tutoring. The full service synagogue subsists entirely on donations and grants.  Ner Simcha is inclusive and non-denominational, using conservative prayer books; but, the liturgy is often prayed in English. The temple is also the largest provider of free High Holiday services in the nation; and the only synagogue in California that never closed and never restricted live attendance during the Covid pandemic.

The majority of teachings and guest lectures are based on traditionally observant Jewish theology and Kabbalah.  This inclusive theological practice and business model has been emulated around the country, starting a nationwide “movement” of synagogues with “no dues”.

Rabbi Barclay has served as a peak performance coach for athletes and business executives seeking an extra edge in their field including Oscar and Emmy Award winners, NCAA athletes, CEOs of multiple corporations, and the Chicago White Sox.  He lectures across the world on Judaism, cross-cultural mysticism, and Jewish understandings of politics and ethics; and is brought around the globe to officiate life cycle events.

TNS Watermark.PNG

Thoughts From Some of Those Who Have Studied with Rabbi:

“You have brought back a level of Judaism and Jewish learning that has long been missing. I only wish I could have had the benefit of a rabbi like yourself to guide me through my Jewish experience, both as an adolescent and as a Jew raising a family. Your knowledge, understanding, and talent for weaving a complete picture of Judaism, on many levels, is a very rare quality that I wish I could have embraced years ago.”

Larry Horowitz
President of Congregation Shaarei Torah

“Michael’s work and insights regarding myths and cultures around the world create an interest and enthusiasm reminiscent of the work of Joseph Campbell.”

Tony Trupiano

Host of the nationally syndicated show, “America, Good Morning”

“It’s amazing how much support I am now able to give others as well as myself.”

Brooks Barton

Senior Vice President, Coldwell Banker

“Amazing. What you bring to the table is remarkable. Thank you for your support, love, and wisdom.”

Dr. Deborah Mash, Ph.D

University of Miami

Great man, fantastic teacher. Through Judaism he brought me so much closer to my Catholic faith.

Rate my Professor

Loyola Marymount University

RABBI BARCLAY IS THE BEST EVER! If you are lucky enough to take a class with him be thankful, thankful, thankful. It might seem hard but you will learn so much, and so much more than just standard boring book learning. This man is AWESOME!

Rate my Professor

Loyola Marymount University

“These teachings have radically changed and empowered my life. There are old souls in young bodies. Rabbi Barclay is this merging of youthful enthusiasm and ancient knowledge. He is a rare being.”

Jeremy Kagan

Emmy Award Winning Director of such films as “The Chosen”, “The Journey of Natty Gann”

“I had no idea how meaningful this would be to the way I look at life, others as well as my own. I would highly recommend your journey of teachings, experiences, support, and love to all who would be so willing to live and work more fully.”

Dr. Steven Degelsmith, Ph.D.

Founder of The Men’s Center of Los Angeles

“He takes the wisdom and teachings of ancient cultures and make it accessible in a unique way. It’s a lot of information hidden in a fun and enjoyable package.”

Jeff Shechtman

host of the syndicated radio show, “Synchronicity”

The stuff i learned in this class has prepared me in life more than anything else ever could. Brilliant man. Take this class, you will not regret it.

Rate my Professor

Loyola Marymount University

This Professor is really cool. He is a peak performance coach for the whitesox, Oscar de la Hoya and other famous people. I might have gotten lucky. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Rate my Professor

Loyola Marymount University

“Professor Barclay, I can honestly say I have never met someone as unique and inspirational as you. You have an extremely great talent for relating to students, as well as your peers.”

L. Fujinaka

Loyola Marymount University

Rabbi Barclay's Website Recommendations

bottom of page