Sign In Forgot Password

Cantors & Company Coast to Coast Present Virtual Concert - Songs for Sustenance

Hosted by Cantor Elizabeth Sternlieb
Cantor Elizabeth Sternlieb grew up in Westchester county and for the past sixteen years she served as Cantor and then Cantor/Educator at Sinai Free Synagogue in Mount Vernon, NY.  She was ordained at The Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) in 2014 while simultaneously receiving a Master of Arts in Jewish Studies from Gratz College. She has also served congregations in Long Beach, NY and Suffern, NY.

Cantor Sternlieb served as faculty at both URJ’s Eisner and Crane Lake camps for a number of years: coordinating summer Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring, drama coordinator and limud staff. She has had the pleasure of appearing as guest conductor for the AJR choir, served as a mentor for cantorial candidates and cantorial soloists, and she served on the board of ARC (The Association for Rabbis and Cantors).

Cantor Sternlieb worked professionally as both a voice over and recording artist. She appeared as a featured soloist with the Westchester Chorale, Metropolitan Klezmer, and has had several leading roles in community and regional musical theater productions. In addition to singing liturgical, classical, pop and broadway, Cantor Sternlieb also enjoys singing jazz and blues. She lives in Nyack New York with her husband Michael, a real-estate and construction lawyer, who also served on the North American board of the URJ for many years. She has two grown sons who live in Brooklyn, and two step-daughters who are married each with two children of their own. They all live in Houlton, Maine (last exit on 95 before crossing into Canada).

 

Honoring Cantor Meir Finkelstein
Meir was born in Israel, the son of the late Cantor Zvi Finkelstein. The family emigrated to England when Zvi accepted a cantorial position in London.  Meir showed outstanding musical abilities, and at an early age began accompanying his father and older brother, Aryeh, at services.  The boys and their father recorded two albums of original liturgical music which were released in the USA under the Mercury label.  

At the tender age of 14, Meir became the youngest cantor in Europe when he accepted a post at a synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland.  At 18, Meir became Cantor at London’s prestigious Golders Green Synagogue.  During this time, he also attended the Royal College of Music on a scholarship, graduating with top honors in Singing, Piano and Composition.  In 1974, Meir emigrated to Wilmette, Illinois, when Beth Hillel Congregation discovered his musical talent and engaged him as their cantor.

In 1982 Meir became Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California, which he served for 18 years.  During this time, he also enjoyed a successful career as a Hollywood composer/arranger. Meir scored numerous television shows including episodes of “Dallas” and “Falcon Crest” as well as many TV movies of the week.  He collaborated with Steven Spielberg, composing music for the Visual History Foundation’s award-winning documentary, “Survivors of the Holocaust” for which he was nominated for a Cable Ace Award.

Meir is one of the best-documented composers of contemporary Jewish music.  He has composed over 150 settings for the liturgy, and Meir's compositions are sung all over the world, his most famous settings being “L’Dor Vador” and “V'al Kulam”. On November 6, 2010, the American Conference of Cantors performed his “Modim / V'al Kulam” compositions in Rome, Italy in front of  Pope Benedict. In 1987, he composed a Jewish Requiem, “Nishmat Tzedek,” which has been performed in various cities throughout the United States.  Three years later, he premiered his large-scale cantata “Liberation” at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California.  Written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, it featured the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, many well-known soloists, and the entire evening’s performance was hosted by Billy Crystal.  

After the live performance, Meir recorded a CD of “Liberation” with the Israel Philharmonic.  More recently, he performed the work with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yoel Levi.  In 2007, Meir debuted his Passover Seder rock musical, “Matzah Do About Nothing”.  He also composed a new cantata featuring both Jewish and gospel choirs entitled, “I Won’t Forget You O Jerusalem”. Over the years, his colleagues have commissioned Meir to compose many original compositions. Additionally, he has produced and arranged numerous recordings for them.  

Meir possesses a beautiful lyric tenor voice, and has taught and mentored many young cantors. He is also an authority on the History of Jewish Liturgy, and he has lectured as a Scholar in Residence at synagogues throughout the country. Meir believes in physical fitness and healthy eating, and when not working out he enjoys a good game of golf.  He has been the cantor at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston for seven years. Meir is married to Monica and they have two children, Noah aged 22 and Emily aged 21.

 

Rabbi Joseph Black
Joseph Black has served as Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Denver, CO since July, 2010 - previously serving as Rabbi of Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, New Mexico from 1996-2010. He served as Assistant and then Associate Rabbi at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1987-1996. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Education from Northwestern University in 1982 and his Master’s degree and Rabbinic Ordination from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1987. In 2012 he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from HUC-JIR. Rabbi Black serves as a Chaplain in the Colorado House of Representatives and is Past President of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council. An award-winning songwriter and nationally recognized musician, he has recorded 5 albums of original Jewish music and published two songbooks.

Rabbi Black has published several essays, poems and articles in leading national literary and academic anthologies and journals. He has been featured in American Songwriter Magazine. He has recorded five critically-acclaimed albums of Jewish music, a songbook and two videos. Two of his songs, Boker Tov and The Afikoman Mambo have been made into Children’s books and distributed by the PJ Library. His most recent book, There Once Was A Man From Canaan: The Five Books of Limerick, is a collection of Limericks based on each Torah portion. He has performed his original music in many communities around the world and has received numerous honors for his performance and composition.

Rabbi Black is a pioneer of Jewish Contemporary music. He has performed for congregations and communities around the world. His recordings and books have received accolades from sources as diverse as The New York Times, Haddasah Magazine, Parent’s Choice, The American Library Journal and Kids First: The Coalition for Quality Children’s Video.

As a musician, Rabbi Black is known for his guitar virtuosity, soaring voice and lyrics that are at the same time, funny, inspirational, and thought provoking. His music is an extension of his Rabbinate.

 

Cantor Magda Fishman
A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s H.L. Miller Cantorial School in New York.
As a cantor and singer-musician, Cantor Fishman, a mezzo-soprano, brings a vibrant and unique experience to Jewish music and synagogue life through a unique blend of traditional and contemporary styles.  Over the years, she has built a large and loving following among a wide spectrum of audiences.  Her repertoire includes liturgical masterpieces, Israeli songs, jazz, musical theater and her own compositions.

Prior to her investiture in May 2011, Cantor Fishman served in the Israeli Army Orchestra as vocal soloist and trumpet player. She has performed extensively in Israel and Europe, the United States and Canada including the Kennedy Center, Central Park summer stage. Rose theater Lincoln center, the National Gallery of Canada, the 92nd Street Y Festival, central summer stage, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Walter Reade Theater, Prague State Opera, and the Israeli Embassy in Washington. She is part of the group : divas on the bimah and soul to soul of the folksbine yiddish theater with maestro zalmen mlotek.  She is the recipient of the prestigious America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship. 

Cantor Fishman lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is the senior cantor of Bnai torah congregation, the largest conservative syangogue in Florida. 

 

Cantor Chayim Frenkel
In his more than 36 years as cantor of Kehillat Israel Reconstructionist Congregation, Cantor Chayim Frenkel has built an impressive career marked by a series of exceptional musical accomplishments. Blessed with a rich, warm tenor voice and an ability to nurture others’ talents, Cantor Frenkel has become a driving force in the world of modern Jewish music and cantorial practice, following in the very large footsteps of his late father, Hazzan Uri Frenkel.

In 1998, Cantor Frenkel served as co-chair of the   Cantors Assembly’s celebration in honor of the State of Israel’s 50th anniversary. As part of these festivities, he performed at Carnegie Hall and produced a concert in New York’s Central Park, attended by over 10,000 people.

Cantor Frenkel has commissioned and produced numerous recordings and, in 2009, he launched KI tunes (kitunes.org), which offers free downloads of all the music of KI that he has produced.  Cantor Frenkel  loves to travel, especially when leading KI family trips to Israel.  
 
Cantor Frenkel sits on the board of directors of two worthy organizations: Promises Foundation and the local chapter of American Jewish Congress.

Cantor Frenkel lives in Pacific Palisades with his beloved wife, Marsi and two daughters Mandi and Molli.

 

Cantor Netanel Hershtik
Netanel’s musical talent became apparent through his regular appearances as a child soloist in the Jerusalem Great Synagogue with his father, Naftali Hershtik. At the age of seven, he sang with this father in Australia, and throughout America and Europe. Educated at the Horev Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem and in Yeshivat Midbara Ke’eden, Netanel later served as an IDF combat paramedic. He graduated with an L.L.B degree from Sha’arei Mishpat College of Law and recently completed his L.L.M at the University of Miami School of Law.

His musical education includes graduation from the Tel Aviv Cantorial Institute, as well as training under Cantor Chayim Feifel, Raymond Goldstein and other renowned cantors and musicians. His concert appearances, both in Israel and worldwide, include performances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra as well as with the world’s leading choirs. Netanel has performed in the world’s most acclaimed concert halls such as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Vienna Konzerthaus, TheSydney Opera House and Casino de Paris. Netanel was the first cantor invited to perform a cantorial concert at the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall and Kennedy Center, Washington DC. Netanel was also the first cantor to be invited to perform at the U.N. in a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in 2006. Netanel has been recognized as an outstanding cantorial talent in the world of Jewish music today.

 

Cantor Robin Joseph
Robin Anne Joseph graduated from SUNY Purchase with a B.A. in Dramatic Literature and received cantorial ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion. She is celebrating her 40th year as cantor and educator at Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings-On-Hudson, NY.
 
She has developed a unique style of storytelling through song, called MidraShir.  As soloist, and as one-half of the duo B’shert, she has performed and recorded her original Jewish folk-rock.  In 1994 she won the American Zionist Movement’s First Annual Song Competition.  Her music has been published by Transcontinental Music Publications. 
 
For more than 45 years, Robin has been acting, directing, stage managing and playwriting for community and professional theatre. She currently runs the theatrical production company GoJo Clan Productions with her husband Albi Gorn.

 

Lisa Jane Lipkin
Lisa Jane Lipkin is a piano-playing songstress with a poetic take on life.  A sophisticated & spirited performer, Lipkin has graced numerous stages including opening for Dar Williams, Steve Forbert, Vance Gilbert, Shemekia Copeland, John Pizzarelli, Garnet Rogers, Tom Chapin, and more.
 
Her award-winning songs have appeared in film (“Passionate Politics – The Life & Work of Charlotte Bunch”) and on compilations albums such as “Indie Musice for Life” among others.  Her production work includes the latest release, "Greetings from the Wilderness" by award-winning singer-songwriter, Jay Hitt and the award-winning children's recording "Home" by Christine Pepe.

Lipkin’s latest album “Flying on Instruments” was co-produced with Richard Martinez (Across the Universe)  and features some of NYC’s top players as well as some of Lipkin’s most insightful songwriting. Her earlier recordings include "Raise the Honey" and "A Prayer for Peace", the latter being a collection of original prayers & chants influenced by her Jewish roots and her keen interest in spirituality.

Lipkin laughs to recall having once been called a cross between Diana Ross and Joni Mitchell. Still, she sees the sense in it as she cites such diverse influences as Beethoven & Bob Dylan, Bob Marley & Ella Fitzgerald,  Cat Stevens & Stevie Wonder.  
A Jersey-girl living in New York, Lipkin says she’s in it for "the way music connects us to one another - and for the honesty - which sometimes means the sad.” But she follows that with a line from her song   “A New Togetherhood” affirming that "it's alright...we're all in this together...anyway."

 

Beth Schafer
Beth Schafer continues to redefine Jewish music by combining masterful songwriting with sensitivity to liturgy and unique insight toward text. She specializes in music for Torah-minded adults looking for an extension to their Jewish lives through music. What makes her music special is her attention to the universal themes that not only define Judaism, but many other faiths as well. Beth Schafer won the 2006 American Idol Underground Faith Based competition and has used that win to create new music for interfaith communities. Schafer has degrees in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Miami School of Music and is a trained and much sought after guitarist in styles ranging from Classical to Blues, Folk to Jazz.

The worship experiences that Schafer creates both at home and on the road have been dubbed everything from “exhiliarating” to “incomparable.” She has an innate sense of the rhythm of worship and quickly connects to a congregation’s need to spiritually connect to one another and to God. When Beth leads a group in prayer, no one is a stranger.

Beth's infectious energy, well-crafted songs and intelligent lyrics coupled with a great band has made her a leading presence in the Jewish music world. Her audiences span many faiths who have found that her messages and music touch them. It is her universality that placed her at center-court for the half-time show at an Orlando Magic game. Her messages even brought her into the politcal arena when she was asked to play for President Barack Obama during his historic campaign.

Since 1999, Beth has been a musical presence for the Union for Reform Judaism. She has headlined and been the guitarist for Shabbat services for the last 7 biennial conventions. At the 2013 URJ Biennial, Beth became the first woman to produce an event for the URJ. Beth wrote and directed "Extraordinary Women Shaping Reform Judaism," a show celebrating the 100th anniversary of Women of Reform Judaism. She also penned the anthem, Limdu Heiteiv, for their centennial celebration.

Beth likes making music, loves bringing people together through the power of music, and feels God's presence when it all works right. She has no intention of forcing any beliefs on anyone, but to those who are searching for something greater than themselves, Beth seems to make a magical connection. She is creating modern-day musical midrash, the contemporary interpretations of ancient texts that help us deal with our day to day questions and struggles. She has been told on numerous occasions that she has scored the soundtrack to her fans' lives.

Her 7 CDs of original Jewish music have become favorites in synagogues as well as churches and spiritual radio stations of many denominations. The title song to her CD Build That Bridge, was written and recorded with “Still the One” singer, Larry Hoppen, and was released in 2007. In 2009 she released her first acoustic rock album, Raise It Up Bring It Down-a combination of her secular and spiritual writing which was met with critical acclaim.

In 2015, Beth became the Bunzl Family Cantorial Chair at Temple Sinai in Atlanta. There, she fuses her love of liturgy and music production skills into creating dynamic worship experiences for the 1400+ family, URJ flagship congregation. 
 
Beth loves being a mom to her daughters, Hannah and Sarah,  and her dog, Chester.

 

Hazzan Basya Schechter
Blending a psychedelic sensibility and a pan-Mediterranean sensuality, Basya Schechter leads her band, Pharaoh's Daughter, through swirling Hasidic chants, Mizrachi and Sephardi folk-rock, and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings and electronica.Her sound has been cultivated by her Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece.

She began retuning her guitar to sound like a cross between an Arabic oud and a Turkish saz, with harmonic minor melodies, and odd time signatures. With the many amazing musicians, named below and others as well she has recorded four albums, three with Pharaoh's Daughter and one instrumental exploration with Persian santur player, Alan Kushan. PD also appears on three Tzadik label compilations: Voices in the Wilderness, the 10 year of anniversary of Zorn's Masada compositions; a collection of Sasha Argov music; and, a Brazilian Jewish composer from earlier in the 20th century, Jacob Du Bandolim.

Pharaoh's Daughter has toured extensively through America, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Greece and the UK. This past summer, Pharaoh's Daughter had the honor of debuting at Central Park's Summer Stage series in August 2004, and has played such presigious stages as Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. When she's not touring or performing, Basya plays darbuka, riq and frame drum as part of the B'nai Jeshurun music ensemble that accompanies Friday night services.

 

Cantor Rosalie Will
Cantor Rosalie Will consults congregations on issues of worship, music, and synagogue transition and change and mentors clergy in the field, trains songleaders,  leads worship and creates singing communities. She also serves as the Director of Worship and Music for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).  Rosalie served from 2001 until 2017 as Cantor of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland, just north of Washington DC immediately after being invested Cantor from the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.  She is a product of URJ Camps and NFTY, and received her undergraduate degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

She is a Synagogue 3000 Fellow, is a Partner in the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and is a past Vice-President for Member Relations of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC). She is frequently asked to write or present workshops on worship trends, serve on panels, and teach songleading to teens and adults.  Through PresenTense, an incubator for young Jewish social entrepreneurs she launched a project called Kesher Shir: a venture which brings together Jewish musicians from diverse backgrounds to study, collaborate, and create meaningful music which will enrich and enliven worship and strengthen communities.

You can learn more about Rosalie at www.rosaliewill.com

Mon, August 8 2022 11 Av 5782