John Faulkner Guest
“As a caretaker of our musical heritage and an explorer or fresh musical pathways, I hope to speak for, and to, others in prayer, fanning the divine spark in individuals and strengthening the unity of our People.”
Thesis: “Commissioning Émigré Composers in Los Angeles, 1938-1945: Rabbi Jacob Sonderling’s Contributions to Jewish Musical History”
Summary: Rabbi Jacob Sonderling was a German emigre and the spiritual leader of a small synagogue in Los Angeles from the mid-1930’s until his death in 1964. His synagogue, Fairfax Temple – Society for Jewish Culture, was a magnet for other German Jewish emigres, including a number of well-established composers of secular music. Between 1938 and 1945, Rabbi Sonderling convinced four of these composers to write Jewish liturgical works. Rabbi Sonderling and the remarkable body of liturgical music he commissioned in Los Angeles are the subjects of this thesis.
Stephanie Rachel Kupfer
“As a cantor, and granddaughter of three holocaust survivors, it is my hope to invigorate a reawakening towards the belief in Judaism, through a synthesis of traditional hazzanut and contemporary, creative participatory music, enlightening all age groups.”
Lisa Ruth Peicott
“As a cantor, my goal is to lift people to a higher spiritual plane through the power of music and communal prayer, especially our youth, ensuring that they too build strong connections to their Judaism.”
Michelle Bider Stone
“As a cantor, my dream is to inspire through music, learning, ritual and prayer, culture, community and conversation, a love for our unique traditions and deep wisdom.”
Thesis: “What’s the Deal with Congregational Singing?
The Inevitability of the Demand for Congregational Singing in the American Synagogue”
Cheri Renee Weiss
“My mission to create and elevate community and spirituality through liturgical music. My special passion is bringing Jewish prayers and songs to those unable to attend worship services due to illness or other reasons beyond their control.”