Neal Katz, TX HD-6

Neal has spent the last 15 years in Tyler, Texas as a Rabbi and community advocate who has served countless local and state-wide boards and non-profit organizations.



Neal grew up in Virginia Beach, VA. Neal father's is a jeweler and has run his own small jewelry business for nearly 50 years.  He is a Navy Veteran who served in Vietnam, and his belief in the power of small business and a strong work ethic has been a great influence on him.

Neal's mother was a nurse for 35 years – and she worked in the same hospital where she was born!  Most of her nursing career was in Labor and Delivery, but she was also a private childbirth educator for many years.  Her compassion as a nurse combined with her medical expertise was always a source of inspiration to Neal.  In her retirement, she is an active volunteer in her community – proving that the loving heart never rests.

Neal is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with a degree in political science. He continued my graduate studies there in counseling before heading off to Israel to begin a five-year training to become a rabbi.  After finishing seminary in Cincinnati, OH, Neal moved to Tyler, TX to serve as the rabbi at Congregation Beth El.  And, he's have never left.  

Neal has an amazing wife, Jennifer, and three wonderful children, Micah, Lila, and Rebecca – all of whom are proud students in Tyler public schools. 

During his 15 years in Tyler, Neal has been honored to serve with local and state-wide non-profits and civic boards.  On those boards, he has worked with Republicans and Democrats and everyone in between – because when it comes to serving our community, I know East Texas is at its best when we work together. 

Neal has served in the following capacities:

Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce – current Board Member
Tyler Area Partnership for Education - Leadership Team member and Middle School Liaison
Philosophical Society of Texas - Life Member, inducted in 2013
City of Tyler Parks and Recreation Board - former Board member
City of Tyler Arts Coalition Leadership team - current advisor
Hospice of East Texas - former Board chair
Hospice of East Texas Foundation - current Board member
Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas - founding Board Member and former Board chair
Discovery Science Place - Former Board member, Gala Committee member, and 2017 Gala Honoree
Tyler Ministerial Alliance - Former chair
Leadership Tyler - graduate of Class 19 and current panelist for LT's Diversity Day
Art of Peace - co-founder and current committee member
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration - former event organizer
Texas Peace Summit - co-founder and organizer
Texas Freedom Network - current Board Member
P.A.T.H.  (People Attempting to Help) - former Board member and Board chair
UT Health Northeast - former member of Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Ethics Committee

He has also taught full courses at both UT Tyler and Tyler Junior College over the years and is an active speaker at many local schools, churches, and civic groups.  In addition to all this, Neal is a performing musician.  

In 2005, Neal was the recipient of the prestigious T.B. Butler Award for "Most Outstanding Citizen in Tyler 2004" by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. He shared this award with my friend, Anwar Khalifa.  In 2012, Neal was honored again by the Tyler Chamber of Commerce with the W.C. Windsor Award for Outstanding Community Service by a citizen under the age of 40.  In 2008, Neal received the Martin Luther King award for Non-Violent Social Change at the MLK, Jr. Day Celebration in Tyler.