Dear Fellow Congregants,
We are very excited to announce that we have a new member of our clergy staff. After months of interviews and research, the Cantor Search Committee has identified and unanimously recommended the hiring of Cantor Rachel Reef-Simpson as the next Cantor of Temple Emanuel. With the full support of the Executive Board, Finance Committee, Rabbi Chaiken, and the staff, we presented a contract to our Board of Governors at last night’s meeting and are pleased to report Cantor Rachel was approved with overwhelming board support.
Cantor Rachel has served as the full-time Cantor of several congregations in Massachusetts. In 2021 she moved to York, Maine, where she currently lives, and pursued a chaplaincy training program. Currently she is Hospice Chaplain at Constellation Health Services in Maine while also working part-time as a B’nai Mitzvah Educator at Congregation Shalom of Chelmsford and Musician-in-Residence at Temple Shalom of Newton.
Cantor Rachel received her investiture as a Cantor in May 2016 at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR in New York and received a Cantorial Arts Certificate at Hebrew College in Newton in 2007. Before that, she served as Cantorial Soloist for congregations in the Greater Boston area for many years.
Cantor Rachel impressed the Cantor Search committee with her musical talent, beautiful singing voice, familiarity with both Reform and Conservative worship styles, and her ability to work with all ages from preschoolers to adults. She is most excited to work on the bima with Rabbi Chaiken, get to know our members and become an important part of our community, while honoring our traditions and presenting creative ideas for worship through music.
As we say hello and welcome to Cantor Rachel, we will be saying farewell and thank you to Cantor Irelander and our soloist, Gitit Shoval. In the days to come, we will share our plans to gratefully acknowledge their years of service to our congregation, and the joy they have brought our community through song.
I hope you will help me welcome Cantor Rachel when she officially joins the congregation in July, and I encourage you to stay current about upcoming events through our e-news and bulletin.
Wishing you and your families a Happy Passover,
President, Temple Emanuel