2020 Virtual Celebration Journal Journal 2020 Final - Page 12

C ANTOR SUSAN ALCOTT G r rowing up, Judaism was always important to me. Music was equally important. There were no women cantors then, so becoming a cantor was not a possibility. After college and marriage, while my children were growing up, I was asked to lead some Friday night summer services at our synagogue in Larchmont, NY. That experience was very inspiring to me. To be a cantor was what I was meant to be! The Academy for Jewish Religion did not have a cantorial school at that time so I applied to the Cantors Institute at the Jewish Theological Seminary and was accepted. After three years at JTS I heard that AJR was starting a program for cantors which had one student and one professional cantor as the teacher. I wanted to join that program and they wanted me. It was exciting to be part of a new cantorial school and to be in the first cantorial graduating class. Years later, AJR honored me with a Founders Award for my efforts. I keep that award in my study at my home and am so proud of it. Over the years I served as cantor of several synagogues. Thank you AJR for my years with you and for helping me do the work I was meant to do. RABBI JUDITH FRANKLE B ARDACK I I am forever grateful to The Academy for Jewish Religion for accepting me in the Rabbinic Studies program and enabling me to become a Rabbi. I was the Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Elohim in Scarsdale for several years and AJR-trained Cantors were on the bima with me. I shared the pulpit with Cantor Susan Alcott and then Cantor Elaine Faver, may her memory be for a blessing. Following that, I was the Assistant Rabbi at Temple Israel of New Rochelle for one year. After moving from Westchester to Connecticut, I taught Jewish History at Western Connecticut State University for ten years. My husband, Lester Bardack, died in October 2007. He was much too young. Lester encouraged me to pursue the Rabbinate and was so proud. Rabbi Zlotowitz, may his memory be for a blessing, said that he would go to heaven because Lester was the parnas for two rabbinical students. I have two daughters. Lisa is a doctor practicing in Westchester. Amy is the Rabbi of the Pittsburgh Federation. AND I have four grandchildren: Sophie (25), Eli (24), Ilan (18), and Orelle (16). I moved back to NYC ten years ago to my childhood neighborhood. I take part in all that the city has to offer. I belong to two synagogues, West End and Stephen Wise and am involved in both. I go to one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Sunday is my day of rest! I am blessed. 10 AJR 2020 CANTOR LESLIE FRIEDLANDER I am a native of Chicago, IL, graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and hold a Master’s Degree in Voice from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. I am proud to have been one of the first cantors ordained by AJR, as well as being the catalyst for the creation of the AJR cantorial program. I have served as an AJR faculty member and president of AJR’s alumni association (ARC). I received certification as cantor from American Conference of Cantors, and completed a three-year leadership development fellowship, a joint initiative of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College. I have served URJ congregations for the past 32 years as cantor and Jewish educator and am currently serving as cantor of Temple Isaiah of Great Neck. I’ve received awards for outstanding community service from the City of New York, the Assembly of the State of New York and the Bronx Borough President. In addition to performing cantorial repertoire in concert, I continue to sing opera and oratorio roles with international companies and have been a featured soloist in the United States, Europe, and Israel. As I reflect on the spiritual path that I’ve chosen, certain feelings emerge. Whether selecting comforting music for a healing service, teaching a class, or giving a sermon, the feelings felt are the same as the feeling transmitted: we are here together to share the most inspirational and moving parts of our Jewish tradition. Mount Vernon, NY, is my home, where I reside with my husband, Steven, who is a retired UJA/ Federation CEO. I am the mother of two grown children, Gabriel and Shaina. R A B B I D R . H . R A FA E L GOLDSTEIN, BCC I was the first openly gay person to be ordained by the Academy for Jewish Religion, in 1994. My first job after ordination was as the Director of Los Angeles Jewish AIDS Services. My first book was Being a Blessing: 54 Ways you can Help People Living with AIDS. That book was later rewritten for a more general audience, changing the last word in the title to Illness. I also wrote Access to G!d: 54 ways to get closer (without the internet) and the Dynamics of Hope Prayerbook for people living with illness and their caregivers. I am currently working on a book of psalms of healing. I was Board Certified by the National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) in 2004, and then by the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2011. I went on to earn my Doctorate in Ministry (Spiritual Counseling) from Hebrew Union College in 2014. I served as the Executive Director of Neshamah: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) from 2016-2019. Prior to my time with NAJC, I was the Director of Clinical Services for the Center for Spirituality and Health of Mount Sinai Health in New York City. The department improved exponentially during my time there, growing from a staff of two to a staff of 35. I have served as the Vice President for Jewish Affairs of Jewish Family and Children’s Service in Phoenix and as the Jewish Community Chaplain and founding rabbi of the Jewish Healing Center in San Diego.  I am currently in private practice providing spiritual support for people living with illness, their loved ones and caregivers, and people struggling with LGBTQ issues, as well as serving as a cancer coach and a Chaplain’s Chaplain. AJR 2020 11