My Story

I was raised a Reform Jew at Temple Israel of Jamaica in New York.  All throughout my childhood, people told me that I should become a cantor, but had my sights set on the opera stage.  In looking at colleges, my intention was to attend a music conservatory, but luckily, my parents insisted that I broaden my horizons.  I was thrilled to discover the double degree program at Oberlin that allowed me to have both a musical and a liberal arts education.

During my teen years, I became fascinated with various aspects of mysticism and spent some time studying Wicca before discovering Jewish mysticism and kabbalah in college.  This opened my eyes to an understanding of Judaism that went far beyond what I had learned as a child and I soon discovered that simply by following my interests, I had accidentally become a Judaic Studies major!

Although my intention post-graduation had been to become a professional opera singer, I realized during my time at Oberlin that it was not a lifestyle that I would enjoy.  I am a family person and wanted a life in which I could have a stable life with a family, friends, and a sacred spiritual home.  I came to realize that being a cantor would allow me to use my talents for a sacred purpose, while centering family and community in my life as I had always dreamed.

Professional Life

I earned my BA in Judaic Studies and a BMus in Vocal Performance from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and was thrilled to graduate with Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda honors.  Immediately after graduation, I headed to Israel to begin my cantorial studies at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.  I was ordained in 2002 with a Masters thesis entitled, “Music as Midrash: Music as a Language for the Creation and Communication of Meaning.”

During my student years, I was proud to intern at Temple Emanu-El of Edison, NJ.  Upon graduation I spent my first few years as cantor at Temple Emanuel in Worcester, MA.  In 2004, I followed love and moved to Nyack, NY and began my tenure at The Reform Temple of Rockland (then called Temple Beth Torah).

I have performed concerts all over the world, including at the Vatican and am a published composer of Jewish music through Transcontinental Music Publications.  In addition to writing and singing music, I am a passionate crafter and I love to bring my spirituality into knitting, crochet, sewing, paper crafting, and any other craft I can think of in the moment iin the name of Hiddur Mitzvah – or beautifying the mitzvah.

Hiddur Mitzvah

I discovered the joy of connecting Judaism to craft by watching my talented mother.  She is an artist who, when I was a teenager, specialized in silk painting.  For my Bat Mitzvah, she created her first hand-painted silk tallit.  It was GORGEOUS.  She has since created over thirty others for me and some for family and friends as well.  In fact, my son’s handmade by Bubby tallit is waiting patiently in our closet for his simcha several years in the future.

My main crafting focus is knitting and crochet.  During cantorial school I learned how to crochet yarmulkes from an amazing woman in Jerusalem (Rhea Rubin z”l).  She beautifully embroidered her creations, and I still aspire to match their beauty.  Inspired by her, I also love to add a crafty and feminine touch with embroidery and with beading.

In addition to kippot, I have also have sewn challah covers, matzah covers, and made some jewelry.  There is something really special about bringing my love of color and texture into creating beautiful ritual items, and I hope to continue finding new ways of beautifying mitzvot.

“Judaism is a religion of words, and yet whenever the language of Judaism aspires to the spiritual, it modulates into song, as if the words themselves seek escape from the gravitational pull of finite meanings. Music speaks to something deeper than the mind. If we are to make Torah new in every generation, we have to find ways of singing its song a new way. The words never change, but the music does.”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

"The vibrations on the air are the breath of God speaking to man's soul. Music is the language of God.."

Ludwig van Beethoven

"!שִׁירוּ לַה שִׁיר חָדָשׁ" - Sing unto God a new song!

Psalm 96

Contact Us

The Reform Temple of Rockland

330 N. Highland Ave.

Upper Nyack, NY 10960

(845) 358-2248