Raising Our Voices

Music elicits emotions and brings people together. Whether you are participating through active listening or by raising your own voice in song, music at Temple Emanuel Sinai is a joyful noise indeed! We are inspired and comforted, brought to heights and tears, by infusing our worship with meaning through our music.

A Year of Musical Exploration

2021-2022 will be a year of musical exploration for Temple Emanuel Sinai

First, we want to thank our songleader search committee, who dedicated so much time and energy to diligently pursue candidates for this position. Unfortunately, as is true across all Jewish professions this year, there was a lack of candidates. There is an unusual lack of movement in Jewish professional careers this year, and the only real movement we’re seeing is either early retirement or transition to a different profession.

In light of this, and after discussions with the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, the “Year of Musical Exploration” began to develop. During this year, we will take the opportunity to experience a variety of Jewish musical styles, from songleaders, cantorial soloists, cantors, and singer/songwriters. They will join us for Shabbat, holidays, and lead education and music workshops. We will explore the music that speaks to us as a community and better understand our liturgy and how we want to worship. After saying goodbye to Cantor Rachel and her musical leadership of six years, this will be a healthy and informed way to transition to new musical leadership. Meanwhile, in the fall/early winter after the High Holidays, we will renew our search for a musician to serve on staff, armed with better information of the congregations’ musical needs.

A Year of Musical Exploration PLAN
Rabbi Valerie will be collaborating with renowned Jewish musician/“rock star” Rick Recht, who founded Songleader Boot Camp and facilitates leadership trainings for musicians and clergy around the country. With Rick’s guidance and with input from congregants, we will formulate a plan that includes:

  • Visiting High Holiday Cantor: Jonathan Kohan, for more information about Cantor Jonathan and his visit to TES from Aug 18-Nov 3, 2021, see here
  • Local guest musicians for Shabbat Services (from all around New England)
  • Up to six Musician-in-Residence weekends led by Jewish musical professionals with different styles, all who have expertise in liturgical music

LASTLY – and MOST IMPORTANT: we will need a number of volunteers to help with coordinating these visits. If you’re interested in a “one-off”: just helping with one event, or assisting Rabbi Valerie with calendaring Shabbat Music Leaders for a few months or longer, we need you to make this exciting year work! Please contact Paula Selvitella or Rabbi Valerie if you’re willing to invest your time in our congregation’s music.

TES Summer Institute 2022 is coming your way!

Check out the schedule for this year’s 4th Annual TES Summer Institute and mark your calendars!

July 8 (early service) - RAW (Refugee Artisans of Worcester) with Joan Kariko, Co-founder

July 15 - The Jane Fund with Marcy Ostrow and Laurie Porter, Jane Fund Board Members

July 22
- Genesis Club of Worcester with Lisa Brennan, Director, and Luke Knowles, Club Member

July 29
- Ansaar of Worcester with Mona Ives, President and Educator

August 5
- Southeast Asia Coalition with Anh Vu Sawyer, Director

August 12 (early service)
- CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) with Shelley Rodman, Advocate Volunteer

August 19
- YOU, Inc. Worcester Family Resource Center with Debbie Bunker, LICSW

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