Music Leader Search Committee Update 11-4-21

“Music is a universal language and needs not be translated. With it, soul speaks to soul.” (Berthold Auerbach)

We are so excited to update you on TES’s Music Leader Search Committee. We have an enthusiastic and diverse group of congregants who are representative of our community’s demographics. We’ve already had our first meeting, and our search committee members are dedicated to finding the “right match” to create meaningful musical experiences through worship, programming, education, and personal interactions for Temple Emanuel Sinai.

Clearly, we are looking for someone who is engaging and compassionate; someone who is musically talented with a background in Jewish music; and someone with Jewish knowledge who can serve as a role model based on Jewish values.

Everyone can agree with those qualifications. Where we differ is musical style. Yes, music is a universal language; yet some styles of music speak to one person more than to another and vice versa. We have been blessed to experience multiple styles of music already this year, in addition to the many musicians that you may have engaged with throughout your own Jewish journeys. We will continue to worship with cantors, soloists and songleaders who bring their own interpretation of Jewish music and liturgy in the upcoming months. We hope that you will attend services in person or online, and be in touch with any of the members of the search committee (listed below) to share with them the style of music that most speaks to you.

We realize that we won’t be able to find someone who encompasses all of the musical styles that our congregation enjoys – this is the blessing and challenge of being such a diverse congregation! You should feel reassured that the search committee is committed to hiring someone who meets our high standards, whether songleader, cantorial soloist, or cantor. (Their title or label isn’t as important as the individual.)

We learned a lot from last year’s search, and with your input, we feel confident that this year we will have great success in our search.



Mark Birnbaum, Chair of Music Leader Search Committee

Paula Selvitella, President

Rabbi Valerie Cohen


Music Leader Search Committee

Mark Birnbaum, chair

David Bunker

Helene Freed

Harriett Katz

Jaylene Kaufman

Lee Radlo

Zelda Schwartz

Allan Shriber

Karen Kagan, Worship Cmte Liaison

Paula Selvitella, ex-officio

Rabbi Valerie Cohen, ex-officio

One thought on “Music Leader Search Committee Update 11-4-21”

  1. When considering candidates who play a guitar to accompany themselves, please carefully consider if the candidate knows how to really PLAY the guitar and not just strum it. Singers who only strum their instrument make the guitar distract from the real music and spiritual nature of the musical prayers. The guitar too frequently becomes too loud, overpowering and, sadly, painful and unpleasant to listen to. Thank you for considering my comment.

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