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        I am blessed to be a Rabbi and a Cantor on the path God has chosen for me. When I think back to my earliest Jewish memory, it is as my 4-year-old self, in Sunday school class reciting the blessings over grape juice and challah.  I enjoyed two years of Sunday school until my mother, as a single parent, could no longer afford the Temple membership dues required to continue my Religious School education.  For years to come, I would envy my friends who had the privilege of attending Religious School hoping one day to be able to join them.


        Fast forward 14 years... while studying voice at University of California, Santa Barbara among 20,000 students, I “found” Judaism again. It was fall, as the High Holy Days approached, I decided to try out Shabbat services at Hillel.  I had no expectations. I opened the door to welcoming gestures greeting me as if I was expected. Friendly faces and the aroma of Shabbat dinner filled the air. All of a sudden I felt at home. I formed many long-lasting relationships that night as I spent the most wonderful evening, in prayer and song in celebration of Shabbat.  That night would prove more significant than I could have ever imagined as it sparked the re-kindling of my Jewish education.


       I became very active in Hillel and attended services regularly. Although I learned the prayers and songs, I harbored a deep secret: I didn’t know how to read Hebrew so, that summer, at 20 years old, I decided to learn.  My Bat Mitzvah took place in October secretly during my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah service. I had my “aha moment,” as Judaism had become a much larger part of my identity. 

      During my senior year of college, I went on Birthright and returned from Israel with an even stronger connection with my Jewish identity. I began to research my grandfather's uncle, Hazzan Gershon Sirota. Among the great and renowned Hazzanim of his day, Gershon Sirota was dubbed the “Jewish Caruso.” It was on one of Sirota's earliest trips to Manhattan that he traveled with his nephews, Abraham and my great-grandfather William Sirota (Siroty), both who fell in love with America and decided to stay. During the early 40's, on a concert tour in America, Sirota was granted personal asylum from Poland, however, he chose to live out his days confined in the Warsaw Ghetto where he died with his family in 1943, during the uprising.  It was through learning about his life that my passion for singing, my love of Judaism and God, and a legacy to honor and continue the life’s work of Gershon Sirota had all come together.  My dream was to become a Cantor to sing for a voice that was extinguished during the Holocaust.


        I graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree with Highest Honors from the University of California in Santa Barbara. Through the encouragement of one of my mentors, Cantor Evan Kent, I enrolled in the Mechina pre-Cantorial program at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles.  I studied in his Mechina class for three years and his guidance led me to apply to the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. 


      The Year-in-Israel program was a beautiful start to my beginning at HUC-JIR. I had the opportunity to travel around Israel, learning about its ancient history, social cultures, and present day politics. The Hebrew immersion, bible study and community involvement both within the walls of the seminary and throughout the Jewish State created a meaningful once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I attended services at Orthodox, Sephardic, Reform and Conservative synagogues. I walked the same streets of Jerusalem as King David, the prophet Isaiah, and Golda Meir, and was able to experience this sacred land as a scholar first hand. I will never forget the setting sun over the old city as I led Havdalah after the N’eilah service in the Blaustein synagogue. 


       During my 5 years of education as a Cantorial student at the New York campus, I studied with world-renowned Rabbis, Cantors and Educators, who have now become incredible colleagues.  I collaborated for services with many Rabbis and rabbinical students, which afforded me the opportunity to create individualized and cohesive worship experiences by preparing musical programs to complement their many different styles. My days in Cantorial school were deeply spiritual, inspiring and educational through a creative musical connection.


       I started my professional career in 2010 as a Cantor in a 500-family congregation. It was there I realized that singing was only a portion of my job.  I led my congregants in song for Shabbat and the High Holy Days’, helped students become B’nai Mitzvah, taught trope and prayers, encouraged children to sing praises to God with ruach and ushered in Jews-by-choice into our covenant. Additionally, I was responsible for Saturday morning Torah study, weekly visits to ailing congregants in hospice, nursing homes, and hospitals, officiated at funerals and weddings, and delivered sermons. When the Rabbi went on vacation or took time off I was the sole clergy. During one of these times, a child of a congregant died; a tragic and difficult time for the most seasoned professional. I felt so inadequately trained. It was through prayer and deep reflection, I realized, among my profound moments of chanting the melodies of the High Holy Days’ services, I was also equally committed to my personal relationships with my congregants. We celebrated their simchas. Enjoyed conversations and coffee.  I held their hand during their times of need, listened to them express their grief, their fears, or their loneliness and shared moments of prayer with them. I knew I was meant to serve a congregation in a myriad of ways, as a Hazzan and a Morah; as a Cantor and a Rabbi. 


     I bravely decided to apply to HUC-JIR to continue my studies and become a Rabbi. With the role of clergy forever evolving to fill the needs of our congregations, my calling was to serve a congregation with a strong foundation combining my unique skill sets. 

     In 2012, I went back to seminary and entered the Rabbinical program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. I received a Masters in Hebrew Letters in May 2014 and my rabbinical ordination in May 2017. I have grown through professional development in fieldwork as a Chaplain at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, providing comfort to patients of all faiths.  Additionally, I am honored to have served as an Associate Professor of Synagogue Music and as a T’filah Advisor at HUC-JIR.


      While attending Rabbinical school, I also worked. I served as auxiliary clergy at Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, leading some Shabbat services. I led a Bereavement Group, filled in for Torah Study and library Minyan services as needed and I was an ongoing B’nai Mitzvah tutor and Cantor officiating at my students’ B’nai Mitzvah services.  I have also served as a High Holy Day Cantor for several synagogues around the country.

     From 2017 to 2023 I served as a solo Rabbi and the Cantor of Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim in Alexandria, Louisiana. I was the first woman Rabbi of this congregation since it was established in 1859. I also served as the Rabbi for Central Louisiana and for the Fort Polk Army Base.I have been an active member of Alexandria's Interfaith Assembly,  a Board Member of the Central Louisiana Fostering Community, and spent summers as faculty at Henry S.  Jacobs Camp in Jackson, Mississippi.


      Presently, I am the solo Rabbi and the Cantor of Temple Beth El, Knoxville, Tennessee. I am a past President of SWARR, the Southwestern Association of Reform Rabbis. I have recently taught as an Alumni seminar instructor of "History of Reform Judaism" for rabbinical and cantorial students at HUC-JIR.  I have a graduate certificate in Gerontology and Palliative Care from Yeshiva University. I am a member of the Woman's Rabbinic Network.


     I live in a house in the Rocky Hill community of Knoxville, Tennessee and I am a proud mother to my son, Gabriel, born in 2016, who is starting 1st grade.

I LOVE: being a mom, my close-knit family, Judaism, singing, music, Israel, musicals, animals, reading, documentaries, travel, history, cooking and baking, crafts, my Peloton bike, local fairs and art shows.

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