Cantor Rosalie Will (she/her)
Cantor Rosalie Will is the Director of Hava Nashira, and the Director of Worship and Music for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).
Rosalie’s decades of experience as a worship leader, consultant, performer, visionary and leader in new worship trends, has set the course for the Reform Movement’s growth in the area of dynamic prayer at URJ Biennial and beyond. In recent months, Rosalie has adapted her classes and coaching to help clergy, congregations, and musicians deliver the most meaningful online experience for their members and audiences, as well as think about how faith communities navigate the upcoming transition to a new normal.
From 2001 until 2017, Rosalie served as Cantor of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland, just north of Washington DC immediately after being ordained Cantor from the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She is a proud URJ Camp GUCI, NFTY-MO, and Kutz alumni.
Ellen Allard, an award-winning Performer, Music Educator, Composer, and Success Coach, is one of the most sought after performers in Jewish music.
Traveling throughout the US and abroad, Ellen has been performing and teaching music to young children, adults and families for over 40 years. Her 350+ song repertoire is featured across 14 recordings and 7 songbooks; her music has been published by fellow singer-songwriters on 31 recordings and 11 books. Ellen’s songs are sung in schools, synagogues and summer camps worldwide, and are part of the curriculum at Hebrew Union College, Hebrew College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Ellen presents regularly at Hava Nashira, Song Leader Boot Camp, NewCAJE, Hebrew College and the URJ Biennial. She is a cantorial soloist at Mishkan Tefila, Brookline, MA.
Ellen holds a BA in music from Boston University and a master’s degree in early childhood education from Arcadia University. Ellen is certified as a health coach, Kidding Around Yoga, Yoga Yeladim, and Rhythm ’n’ Ruach teacher. She lives in Boston, MA and has two daughters and sons-in-law who have blessed her with six grandchildren and two rambunctious grand-dogs.
Elana Arian is one of the leading voices in contemporary Jewish music. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, prayer leader, and recording artist, Elana inspires communities across the country with her soulful songwriting and spirit.
Elana’s work has been included in many Transcontinental Music publications, and her compositions are sung in synagogues, summer camps, and spiritual communities from London to Cape Town, from Australia to New Orleans, and everywhere in between.
Elana is thrilled to be working on her fourth album of original music, The Other Side of Fear. She has served on the faculty of both Shirei Chagiga in London and the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where she works as an Adjunct Instructor and Teaching Artist in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Tanglewood, and perhaps most memorably, five separate appearances at the (Obama) White House.
Merri Lovinger Arian
Merri Lovinger Arian serves as faculty-artist in Liturgical Arts and Music Education in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She teaches both cantorial and rabbinic students, offering courses in Music Education, Conducting, Congregational Singing, Worship, and Contemporary Congregational Repertoire. Merri also supervises rabbinic and cantorial students in creating worship collaboratively at the College-Institute. Merri is frequently invited as an artist-in-residence in congregations across the country and has served as a music consultant to a number of congregations, exploring with the clergy team ways to enhance the worship in their congregation.
A long-standing faculty member for Hava Nashira, Merri served as its faculty coordinator from 2005 – 2011. In addition, she served as the faculty coordinator for Shabbat Shira, from its inception in 2010 – 2018. Merri also frequently serves on the faculty of the North American Jewish Choral Festival. She was invited to conduct the Biennial Choir for the URJ Biennial in 2013 and again, in 2015.
Merri holds an MA in Teaching, a BFA in Music Education, and a Certificate in Music Therapy. Merri edited R’fuah Sh’leimah: Songs of Healing. Her recordings include Nefesh: Songs for the Soul, a CD for Synagogue 2000, and NFTY in Harmony, an album with an accompanying songbook of original choral arrangements. She has written on “Music, Prayer and Sacred Community,” on the educational value of youth choirs, and was a contributing writer in Who By Fire, Who By Water: Un’taneh Tokef, edited by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman. Merri’s newest book, recently released by Transcontinental Music Publications, is entitled Leveling the Praying Field: Methods and Melodies to Elevate Congregational Worship.
Dr. Emily Aronoff
Dr. Emily Aronoff is an educator, researcher, and creator. She is dedicated to increasing and improving the ways communities educate and engage young children and their families in joyful Judaism. Her work focuses towards creating meaningful, memorable moments that foster relationships, nurture learning, and encourage harmony. Dr. Aronoff has a B.A. in Jewish Studies, an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, and an Ed.D. in Jewish Education. In her doctoral dissertation, Exploring Tot Shabbat: A Study on Tot Shabbat Programs and Their Effect on the Engagement in Jewish Life of Families with Young Children, yielded powerful insights that inform Jewish early childhood programs and synagogue services around the world.
Songs from her five albums of Jewish children’s music are used in classrooms and congregations worldwide and featured by PJ Library, Behrman House, and Transcontinental Music. Her work has been published by The Jewish Educator, The Journal of Jewish Music, Kveller, RJBlog, ScaryMommy, and more. When ‘Miss Emily’ became a mother, she launched Jewish Family JamsTM, a music & movement program for children 0-3 year and their grown-ups. through which she facilitates classes and provides training and curricula to facilitators. Dr. Aronoff lives in South Florida and is the proud mother of three brilliant researchers, ages 2, 4, and 6.
To learn more, please explore www.DrEmilyCelebrates.com.
Noah Aronson is a Jewish composer and performer whose music is known worldwide for its spiritual depth and unique ability to engage community in prayer.
He has produced 4 full length albums and songbooks including his debut solo album ‘Am I Awake’ in 2011.
Through his new online platform BeMajor.co Noah facilitates workshops, retreats, courses and events that engage people in music, movement and mindfulness practices to help individuals and communities find the meeting point of spirituality and creativity.
Rabbi Sam Blustin
Sam is a rabbi, ritualist, and musician, focused on creating meaningful connection through intentional gathering. Based in Atlanta, Sam serves the Ahavath Achim Synagogue as the associate rabbi, where his portfolio focuses on spirituality, prayer, and youth and family engagement. This summer, he'll be the rosh tefillah at Ramah Darom for a month, helping to create and implement a new tefillah curriculum.
Rena Branson (she/her)
Rena Branson is a Jewish composer, ritual leader, and educator who uplifts personal and collective healing through song. She is the founder of A Queer Nigun Project (aqueernigunproject.org), which organizes monthly community singing events for LGBTQIA+ folks on Zoom and sends spiritually nourishing audio content to people who are incarcerated in NYC jails. She is among few women and nonbinary people in the world who specialize in teaching and recording traditional Hasidic melodies, expanding access to their power for all seekers. Rena has taught at Let My People Sing!, Hadar's Rising Song Intensive, and as an Artist-in-Residence at the National Havurah Institute. She is the Cantorial Soloist at Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir in Philadelphia. You can watch her virtual choir video here (https://fb.watch/39GRSgTc0F/) and check out more of her music at renabranson.com.
Rabbi Ken Chasen (he/him)
Rabbi Ken Chasen is the Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, California. Before entering the rabbinate, Ken enjoyed a successful career in television and film music in Los Angeles, editing and composing musical scores on numerous film and network television projects.
Ken composes, records and performs original Jewish music as a member of the popular group, Mah Tovu, which released its fourth CD in 2019. Ken is also an accomplished author whose writings have appeared in a wide variety of books and prominent print/online publications, including his co-authoring of two music-centered books – “Days of Wonder, Nights of Peace” and “Day of Days” – which guide Jewish families in the creation of meaningful Jewish rituals in the home.
Ken’s melodies are sung in synagogues, schools and summer camps throughout North America, Europe and Israel.
Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Rabbi Daniel Cohen is a native of New Jersey. He came to TSTI in 1992 while still a student at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York. Ordained by HUC-JIR in 1993, he remained at TSTI as Assistant, then Associate Rabbi and has served as the congregation’s Senior Rabbi since 1999.
A graduate of Duke University, Rabbi Cohen holds a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters and Rabbinic Ordination from HUC-JIR. He earned a DMin in Pastoral Counseling from HUC-JIR and the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health in 2001. He was a participant in a Spirituality Specialist Program at HUC while a student and is a Certified Bereavement Facilitator.
He lives with wife, Raina, and their adorable pup, Nava, in South Orange, New Jersey.
Hadar Cohen (she/her)
Hadar Cohen is a Mizrahi feminist multi-media artist, healer and educator. She is the founder of Feminism All Night, a project that designs communal immersive learning experiences about feminism and spirituality. Hadar is a Jewish mystic who works to build decolonial frameworks for worshiping God. She teaches Jewish scripture and embodied practices through various platforms, including At The Well. Her artistic mediums include performance, movement, writing, weaving, sound and ritual.
Cantor Ellen Dreskin
Cantor Ellen Dreskin is a communal prayer leader, educator, coach, and consultant in the areas of liturgy, communal worship, and deepening prayer practice. She has served as visiting Artist/Educator/Shaliach Tzibbur at congregations across the country, and is also proud to have been teaching for many years at HUC-JIR, SongLeader Boot Camp, Hava Nashira, the JCCA Sheva Center, and online for the URJ. Find out more at www.ellendreskin.com.
Shir Yaakov Feit
Shir Yaakov Feit, ordained Rabbi from ALEPH, gives voice to powerful transformative experiences through the synergy of ancient Jewish texts, timeless songs, and heart-centered encounters. As one of this generation’s most prolific and creative Jewish composers, whose countless compositions are sung around the world, Shir strives to create a musical legacy in the lineage of his teacher Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement.
Shir is the spiritual director of the Kol Hai community he founded in 2014, offering Shabbat and holiday events, meditation retreats, and life-cycle rituals. Shir has been part of the international and multifaith leadership on the Zen Peacemaker Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau and is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Program.
Shir lives with his partner Emily and their three kiddos on the traditional land of the Lenape and Mohican first peoples in Esopus, NY. Connect with Shir through www.kolhai.org.
Stephanie Fink (she/her)
Stephanie Fink, MAJCS, RJE serves as Associate Director, Family Engagement at the URJ. She is a key member of the team behind RJ on the Go, managing experiences designed to help connect younger children and their grown-ups with the Reform movement and its camps and affiliates.
A highlight of her week at RJ on the Go is Shabbat ShaMorning, 30 minutes of scheduled joy each Saturday with longtime Hava Nashira faculty Shira Kline and Ellen Allard, together with Stephanie Guedalia and Lab/Shul. Since joining the URJ staff in 2009, Stephanie has supported the growth of congregations’ capacity to effectively engage with families raising young Jewish children. Stephanie also writes and curates content of interest to parents at ReformJudaism.org.
Stephanie grew up in Cleveland, attended Indiana University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, earned her MA at Brandeis as a Wexner Graduate Fellow, and served as a congregational educator for ten years before joining the URJ. A proud alumna of NFTY-NEL, Stephanie and her family reside in Minneapolis, ancestral land of the Dakota and Anishinaabe people.
Dr. Koach Baruch Frazier (he/they)
Koach Baruch (KB) Frazier is a transformer, heartbeat of movements, healer, musician and cofounder of the Tzedek Lab, a network of practitioners working at the intersection of dismantling racism, antisemitism and white supremacy. A collaborative leader, rooted in tradition, curiosity and love, Koach strives to dismantle racism, actualize liberation and transform lives both sonically and spiritually. Koach lives with their wife, LaJuana in Philadelphia where he is a student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
Larry Glickman has been working in the Jewish community for over 25 years, and has been with the URJ since April, 2013.
Prior to joining the URJ, Larry was a synagogue executive director for 10 years, most recently at Temple Chai in Long Grove, IL for 7 years. Larry served as president of the Chicago Association for Synagogue Administration, and was an officer of the National Association for Temple Administration. Larry has worked as a youth group advisor, religious school teacher and principal, and began his career managing photo operations for a local publishing company. Larry has been a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP since 2019 and earned his NATA Fellow in Temple Administration in 2011.
Larry lives in Buffalo Grove, IL with his wife Dr. Lynn Glickman, Superintendent for Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46, and they have two young adult daughters, Eliana (Michael) and Sophie.
Alan Goodis is a touring Jewish musician playing over 150 events a year. Born and raised in Toronto, Alan is a proud product of URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute. Noted for his dedication to building relationships and community through music, Alan tours throughout the US to serve as an Artist-In-Residence and performer at Temples, Youth Conventions and Jewish summer camps.
In 2009, Alan’s self-titled debut album launched him onto the Jewish music scene with its powerful vocals and bold melodies. Alan is a strong presence in the Reform Jewish movement to engage and empower Jewish youth and adults through music. He’s served as Musical Director for NFTY International Convention and on faculty at Hava Nashira. In 2011, he developed Nashir: an NFTY Teen Songleading Institute in partnership with the URJ to provide meaningful Songleader training to high school students. Alan has been a featured performer and presenter at URJ Biennials and the Wexner Foundation.
In 2014, Alan released his long awaited full-length studio album “This Place.” In 2016, Alan co-founded "Friday Night: A Key Shabbat Celebration" with two Chicago congregations to engage underserved young professionals. Later that year he was named to Chicago's Jewish 36 under 36. Later this year Alan will release a new album entitled Joy.
Alan lives in Chicago with his wife Codi and their daughters Noa and Maya. To learn more about Alan visit: www.alangoodis.com.
Rabbi Noam Katz
Rabbi Noam Katz is one of the most exciting and influential voices in contemporary Jewish music. He has brought his high-flying energy and soulful melodies to Jewish and interfaith audiences across North America, Africa and Israel.
A longtime songleader/educator at URJ Eisner, George and Kutz Camps, Noam has performed at URJ Biennials, CAJE, BBYO International, Limmud – England, NFTY Convention, and countless summer camps and congregations. He currently serves as the Rabbi/Dean of Jewish Living at The Leo Baeck Day School in Toronto, Ontario.
Noam’s debut recording, RAKIA includes 12 original Hebrew and English melodies ideal for Shabbat and Havdalah. His second album, MIREMBE, SALAAM V’SHALOM, features musicians from Africa and the Middle East, and includes his Ugandan-inspired “Am Yisrael Chai.” Noam’s third release, A DRUM IN HAND, blends Jewish prayers with the live energy of a drum circle. His newest album, AFTER THE FLOOD, includes 14 new songs that focus on resilience and remembrance.
In 2003, Noam embarked on the most exciting journey of his life, volunteering with the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda. He has since shared their powerful story and music with audiences young and old, incorporating the message of Jewish unity and tikkun olam (healing the world) wherever he goes.
Cantor Jeff Klepper
Cantor Jeff Klepper has written hundreds of songs and performed as Kol B’Seder (with Rabbi Dan Freelander) since the early 1970s. He was one of the first cantors to champion congregational singing and to use a guitar in Jewish worship.
He is co-founder of Hava Nashira (with Jerry Kaye and Debbie Friedman z”l). Jeff is the Cantor Emeritus of Temple Sinai of Sharon, Massachusetts, and teaches at the School of Jewish Music of Hebrew College in Newton, MA.
Shira Kline is an internationally acclaimed performance and ritual artist. A co-founder of Storahtelling and founding ritual leader of Lab/Shul NYC, she is recognized as a revolutionary educator and named one of the new re-engineers of Jewish life. Onstage as kiddie rocker ShirLaLa and in the Sanctuary as a spiritual adventurist, Shira’s work is in the garden of sacred play.
This past year in quarantine Shira has immersed in her dreams of living inside a cartoon, collaborating with animation and video artistry for a new series of work. She hopes to be back in your neighborhood soon, touring extensively locally and globally, teaching, collaborating, and imagining ritual to life in communities, congregations, seminaries, and gatherings of all ages.
Shira Kobren is a performer, song writer, recording artist, and early childhood music educator who is based in New York City. She is the front-woman and song writer for her “kindie rock” band, Shira & Friends, that plays high energy, interactive concerts for kids and families. By day Shira works as the Manager of Music for the Family Engagement Department at Central Synagogue in Manhattan, singing with the young students at Central’s schools, and creating and leading musical celebrations for Central’s families.
In all of her work, Shira is focused on creating an experience that adults can enjoy and engage in along with their children. She has released 2 albums with Shira & Friends, “When You’re a Kid” and her most recent album, “B’yachad” which is a stylish pop-rock celebration of Jewish holidays and concepts. Shira’s music will be featured in the upcoming “Complete Jewish Songbook for Children: Volume III.”
Lisa Langer, RJE
Lisa Langer, RJE, currently serves as the Union for Reform Judaism’s Associate Director, Congregational Innovation and as a Clinical Faculty Mentor for the Executive M.A. Program in Jewish Education at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She has been a leader as a practitioner, mentor and consultant in the field of Jewish educational change and innovation for nearly 30 years. Her experience spans all spaces where Jewish learning thrives, including congregations, camps, central agencies, day schools and homes.
Lisa is a graduate of HUC-JIR and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Menlo Park, CA.
Rabbi Sandra Lawson (she/her)
Rabbi Sandra Lawson, an activist, public speaker, musician, and trailblazing leader, is Reconstructing Judaism’s inaugural Director of Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Lawson’s hiring brings a prominent figure, teacher of Torah, activist, and thought leader to Reconstructing Judaism, the central organization of the Reconstructionist movement. As one of the first African American, queer, female rabbis, she has consciously sought to alter the perception of what a rabbi — and the rabbinate — looks like. Lawson is known for tackling difficult questions surrounding Jews and race in podcasts, essays, media appearances, and speeches. A social media pioneer, Lawson models what it means to teach Torah in the digital space.
Before returning to Reconstructing Judaism, Rabbi Lawson served as the Associate Chaplain for Jewish Life and Hillel Jewish educator at Elon University in North Carolina.
Lawson is coming aboard as Reconstructing Judaism and other Jewish organizations are focusing on systemic racism and uplifting the voices of Jews of Color. Lawson is a 2018 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduate. Lawson lives in North Carolina with her wife Susan and three "fur babies" Izzy, Bridget, and Simon.
Batya Levine (she/her)
Batya Levine uses song as a tool for cultivating healing and resilience in her work as a communal song leader, musician, shaliach tzibur (Jewish prayer leader) and cultural organizer. She believes in the liberatory power of song to untie what is bound within us, and sustain us as we build a more just and beautiful world. Batya is a founding core team member of Let My People Sing! and is a Cultural Organizer with Linke Fligl.
She offers song, ritual, and workshops in a variety of communities, and composes original music made of Ashkenazi yearning, queer heart-medicine, and emunah (faith/trust). Batya recently released her first album, Karov. Learn more at www.batyalevine.com.
Cantor Lisa Levine
Lisa Levine is a Cantor, composer, chaplain, yoga teacher and builder of faith bridges. Her calling to serve the Jewish community began as a NFTY song leader and led to her Ordination through HUC and Aleph Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
Lisa’s healing music, liturgy, prose and poetry is widely published and shared around the world. "Sound of Your Soul” is her pandemic Yoga recording and back tracks weekly Yoga Shalom at Home zoom practices. Listen and find out more at www.cantorlisalevine.com
Eliana Light envisions a joyful, vibrant, heart-centered Judaism that speaks to the soul and moves the spirit, reminding us that we all are One. She offers professional development to educators, clergy, and lay leaders to elevate and deepen their prayer gatherings, allowing them to offer more meaningful experiences to more people.
She is also a sought-after songwriter and performer of catchy, content-rich tunes for all ages, and has put out three albums of original music. Eliana received her Master’s in Jewish Education from the Davidson school at JTS in 2016. and is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.
Sheldon Low is a Jewish musician, performer, innovator, and social entrepreneur making over 100 appearances throughout North America each year. Between his three artist projects (Sheldon Low, Hadar and Sheldon, and We Are The Northern Lights) Sheldon has sold over 100k copies of his more than 10 studio releases to date and his music has been featured in several feature length films and TV shows.
Sheldon is also a highly regarded Jewish educator and innovator who frequently combines art with philanthropy. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sheldon created, produced, and performed in Yom Ha’atzmaut Across North America, an annual concert and fundraiser that has raised over $42K for MAZON, IsraAID, and Feeding America. In 2019, Sheldon released the "Body Is A Temple” music video in coordination with Stop Hunger Now to help pack 50,000 meals for the hungry.
Sheldon is also the creator and host of "Jewish Songwriter", a podcast devoted to the people and stories behind contemporary Jewish music. In 2020, Sheldon created the “Video Like A Boss” digital course and video series to help users create high-fidelity DIY video content.
Sheldon currently resides in New York City where he serves as the Artist in Residence of Temple Israel of the City of New York. (www.SheldonLow.com)
Cantor Rebecca Moses
Cantor Rebecca Moses has served as Cantor of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel since 2012. Prior to that she served Temple Anshe Sholom in Hamilton, Ontario. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, she holds degrees in Vocal Performance, and a Masters of Sacred Music from the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York.. She was ordained in 2009.
Rebecca enjoyed an exciting and active career in musical theatre before becoming a Cantor. Her love of theatre continues and she will happily discuss all things Broadway at any moment. She lives with her husband, Aaron, and their wonderful children, Alexandra and Levi, in West Orange, New Jersey.
One of the most popular performers and composers in modern Jewish music, Josh Nelson brings his extraordinary message of hope, unity and spirituality to concert stages and worship services across the globe.
Josh is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose work is celebrated and integrated into the repertoire of congregations, camps and communities around the world. Josh has served as the Music Director for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Biennial Convention, Faculty for the Hava Nashira Music Institute, and a Musical Artist in Residence for the JCC Maccabi Artsfest.
Cantor Leslie Niren (she/her)
Cantor Leslie Niren has been a member of the dynamic clergy team at Temple Emanu-El of Dallas since 2010. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal
Performance and a certificate in music education from Carnegie Mellon University.
She holds a Master of Sacred Music and was ordained in May 2013 at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. As a prayer leader, she strives to open hearts, minds and souls through the transformative power of music. In her spare time, she can be found cooking up colorful Israeli dishes in the kitchen under her alias, @CantorintheKitch.
With a career defined by reinvention including two years as a nuclear, biological and chemical warfare defense trainer in the IDF, TV appearances on programs such as Kochav Nolad (“Israeli Idol”), and performances at receptions for international dignitaries such as Barack Obama, it is no wonder that Israeli-American vocalist, songwriter, and performer Hadar continues to establish herself as one of the most highly sought-after soloists and performers in NYC.
To date Hadar has released 3 indie-pop EPs, received multiple placements in film, TV, press and podcasts, and tours over 100 dates each year. Recently, Hadar has been shining a light on the enormous contribution made by Jewish composers to the distinctly American invention of jazz and the Great American Songbook with her jazz debut album “It Never Was You - Jazz by Jewish composers."
Hadar lives in Harlem, NY and between writing, recording, and performing, she can be seen regularly singing for Shabbat and High Holiday services at Temple Israel of the City of New York and Temple Emanu-El of the City of New York.
Rabbi David Paskin
David Paskin, or Rabbi David as he is known, is an accomplished spiritual leader, singer/songwriter, entertainer, Jewish futurist, social activist, and award-winning Jewish educator. Prior to moving to Florida, David served as the rabbi and spiritual leader of Temple Beth Abraham in Canton, Massachusetts for seventeen years. David currently serves as the Director of Youth Education at Temple Sinai of North Dade and as the Educational Director of the Institute of Jewish Knowledge and Learning in Broward County.
A graduate of Brandeis University (1993) and the Academy for Jewish Religion (2002), David has been working in the Jewish world for over two decades teaching at various religious schools, day schools, and camps around the country. In the Boston area, David served as Music and Judaics Director of Grossman Camp, as Judaic Studies Coordinator of the Rashi School of Greater Boston and as co-head of school at Kehillah Schechter Academy.
David is an "early adopter" and technologist. He has produced hundreds of videos on Facebook and YouTube with well over half a million views. David shares his love for technology and Torah in his weekly Torah Tech Tips videos. David's accomplishments in Jewish education were recognized when he received the Keter Torah Award from the Bureau of Jewish Education in Massachusetts.
After the loss of his second daughter, Liat Chanina, David and his wife Heather founded the Liat Chanina Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to creating and sustaining opportunities for hope and healing. David currently lives with his wife Heather, his daughters Dalia, Ayelet and Naomi, and the memory of his beloved daughter Liat (z’l) in Boca Raton, Florida.
Jay Rapoport (he/him)
Jay is the Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Sholom of Chicago. He earned his master's degree in Religious Education (MARE) from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York City and a B.A. in Elementary Education and Music from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 2019 Jay earned the Reform Jewish Educator (RJE) title, reflecting his academic and professional accomplishments. In 2020 he was the recipient of the Yad B’Yad Award from the ARJE recognizing innovative programming and curricula. Most recently, he received a Covenant Foundation grant to compose the theme song for the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland’s “La-bri’ut” curriculum.
Jay is a pianist, vocalist and composer of original Jewish music, and is a Featured Artist on Jewish Rock Radio (JRR) and JKids Radio, and a member of JRR Chicago Sings. Jay and his wife Rachel live in Lakeview with their two children, Ruthie and Emet.
Rick Recht is recognized as a pioneer of the Jewish rock music genre. In addition to being a top touring Jewish artist and leadership-trainer, Rick is the founder and executive director of Jewish Rock Radio, JKids Radio, and Songleader Boot Camp. Rick has been the PJ Library National Music spokesperson for the past 10 years. Rick lives in St Louis, Missouri with his wife, Elisa, and their two sons, Kobi and Tal.
Eliana Rubin (she/they)
Eliana Rubin is a queer and trans artist an educator. She aims to help people better understand themselves and the world around them through Jewish, LGBTQ+ and theatre education.
Eliana is currently a candidate for a Masters of Educational Leadership at HUC-JIR, with an expected graduation date of May 2022. She received her BFA from NYU / Tisch (ETW). Eliana is a musician, with her first album expected to be released this fall. She will never say no to a bag of movie theater popcorn.
Cantor Rollin Simmons
Rollin Simmons has served as Cantor at Congregation Emanu El in Houston, TX since 2017. At Emanu El, her roles include music director, worship leader, teacher, pastor, life cycle officiant, youth choir director, concert producer, and conversion mentor. She is grateful to work with an inspiring clergy team and staff to enrich the lives of the Jewish community and beyond. In her free time, she enjoys art projects with her kids Levi and Bea, eating delicious treats baked by her husband, Rabbi David Segal, and walks with their dog, Olive.
Ian Simpson has been making a name for himself in the world of Jewish music for the past six years. While studying music at Worcester State University, Ian worked at up to five synagogues at once throughout the Massachusetts and the greater-Boston area and spent his summers directing the music program at URJ Crane Lake Camp.
After graduating in 2019, Ian moved to Dallas, Texas to work full-time as the songleader for Temple Emanu-El, the largest synagogue in the Southwest of the United States. There, Ian experienced the joy of making music with hundreds of students a day at Temple Emanu-El’s Early Childhood Education Center, and being fully immersed in one of the nation’s largest Jewish communities. Ian was one of the winners of Jewish Rock Radio’s first ever Jewish Star Talent Search, and his song ‘No More’ was chosen to be included in Transcontinental Music’s latest compilation book, Ruach 5781.
Ian has recently began working on production for his first full-length album, a project he shares with his writing partner and fellow Crane-laker, Jeremy Sipe. Outside of the world of Jewish music, Ian has been headlining the monthly tribute series at Opening Bell in downtown Dallas, and has sang with Dallas String Quartet.
Ian has just landed in Los Angeles, where he will be working full-time for Wilshire Boulevard Temple as their new songleader in residence.
Reverend Cameron Trimble
Rev. Cameron Trimble is the CEO of Convergence (formerly the Center for Progressive Renewal), an organization that supports the reshaping of congregations and leaders engaged in an age of movement from “organized religion” to “organizing religion” driven by the values of an inclusive, progressive theological vision for a more just world for all.
She began her ministry as a new church developer and, to pay for her “ministry habit”, also owns a real estate company and a software company. She has also been the pastor of four congregations in Atlanta, Georgia.
Before starting the Convergence, she served as an advisor to the Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Team of Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ and as Associate
Conference Minister of Church Development in the Southeast Conference of the UCC. She has worked with many denominational bodies as they set up systems for church development, and
she coaches pastors in the UCC, Episcopal, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), ELCA, United Methodist, Unitarian Universalist, and Presbyterian (USA) churches.
Rev. Trimble has served an adjunct professor teaching church planting/renewal and leadership with the Pacific School of Religion, Brite Divinity School, Auburn Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary. She co-authored the book “Liberating Hope” and most recently published “Piloting Church: Helping Your Congregation Take Flight” in 2019 and 60 Days of Faith in 2020.
One of the great honors of her life is serving as the board chair of an organization called Stop the Traffik, focused on putting an end to human trafficking around the world through the use of
intelligence-led prevention. STT works in partnership with IBM, Homeland Security, MI5, Facebook, Twitter, Wells Fargo, the Financial Times and many others to develop the tools to identify human trafficking networks and disrupt them.
When she is not working, she will be found piloting airplanes with passengers who love to see this wonderful, wild world from the sky.
Rabbi Michael Weiss
Michael Weiss is the assistant rabbi at Congregation Schaarai Zedek in Tampa, Florida, where he is adjusting to the oppressive humidity. He was ordained as a rabbi from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati in May of 2020 after having served as a student rabbi in Richmond, Indiana and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and as rabbinic intern at Rockdale Temple in Cincinnati.
He grew up in Connecticut and Toronto and is passionate about food, family, and music. Rabbi Weiss is deeply committed to accompanying people on their Jewish journeys and inspiring a love of prayer, study, and acts of kindness and justice.
Debra Winter (she/her)
Debra Winter is a prayer leader, educator and musician based in Washington, DC. Originally a classically trained student studying music education, Deb spent a summer as a camp songleader during college and quickly discovered the power of Jewish communal music in bringing people together. She has devoted herself to enhancing Jewish communities through music ever since, through summers with camp programs from Warwick, NY to Angelus Oaks, CA; year-round gatherings in the Reform, Conservative, and Pluralistic movements; and songleader training at NFTY’s Nashir and the JCCA’s LEV: Lift Every Voice conferences.
Deb has been a featured songleader at the International Conventions of BBYO and USY, Music Director of NFTY Convention, Associate Music Director of the URJ Biennial, and currently serves as Director of Spiritual Arts at Temple Micah in Washington, DC.