Welcome Rabbi Raina Siroty
Rabbi-Cantor Raina Siroty grew up in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree in voice performance with highest honors from the University of California in Santa Barbara. Through the encouragement of one of her mentors, Cantor Evan Kent, she enrolled in the Cantorial program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York where she received a Masters in Sacred Music in 2009 and her cantorial ordination in 2010.
Raina served as the student Cantor at Temple Isaiah of Los Angeles, CA, Temple Beth El of Huntington, NY, Sinai Reform Temple in Bay Shore, NY and Temple Beth Miriam in Elberon, NJ. From 2010-12 she served the Toledo, Ohio Jewish community as the Cantor of Congregation Shomer Emunim.
Raina states, “Some of my most profound moments are from chanting the melodies of the High Holy Days’ services and, yet, I also cherished the quiet moments with congregants. My presence at their times of change, sometimes lasting only a few minutes, helped them feel understood when experiencing their grief, their fears or their loneliness. Also remarkable is the sharing of their joys: the birth of a child, a b’nai mitzvah, or a wedding anniversary. Those connections on this very personal level are deeply moving to me and, in my most introspective moments of reflection, I realized I am meant to serve a congregation in a myriad of ways, as a Hazzan and a Morah; a Cantor and a Rabbi.”
Raina adds, “With the role of clergy forever evolving to fill the needs of our congregations in today’s financial climate, there are so many smaller congregations who could barely afford a Rabbi, let alone a Rabbi and a Cantor. My goal is to serve a congregation and preserve Judaism at this fundamental level. I can do this best as a Rabbi and a Cantor.”
In 2012, Raina applied to the rabbinical program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles to continue her studies to become a Rabbi. Her most recent five additional years of study have been spent as a rabbinical student where she had the opportunity for great personal, spiritual and religious growth as well as professional development. Raina received a Masters in Hebrew Letters in May 2014 and her rabbinical ordination in May 2017.
While attending rabbinical school, Raina interned as a chaplain at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, providing comfort to patients of all faiths, served Temple Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills, CA as a Rabbinic Intern and at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion as an Adjuct Professor of Synagogue Music and as a T’filah Advisor. Raina also served as an auxiliary Cantor at Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, leading some services and well as an ongoing B’nai Mitzvah tutor and Cantor officiating at B’nai Mitzvah services. She also served yearly as a High Holy Day Cantor for several synagogues in need around the country, including this past year at Congregation Beth Shalom in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she fell in love with the charm of the Jewish life in the south.
Raina is most passionate about the power and spirituality of music in prayer.
Raina shares, “Music, the pulse of Jewish spirituality, is the heart and soul of every service. It transcends the physical as it connects individuals one to another, forming a community. I embrace the opportunity to motivate and lead the congregation and religious school in prayer, and in music and song, to foster an experience that invites participation while enlivening worship and growing Jewish identity. I add my unique voice to the collective voice, bringing with me my enthusiasm and passion for both Judaism and music.”
To learn more about Rabbi-Cantor Siroty, and to hear her recordings, please visit her website www.rainasiroty.com
NEW LEADERS ELECTED
by TEMPLE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MICHAEL A. BINDURSKY - President
DR. BRAD KIRZNER - First Vice President
Brent Caplan - Second Vice President
Treasurer - Mimi Kirzner
Secretary - Sharon Williams
AT THE ANNUAL MEETING of Congregation Members
held on Sunday, March 5, 2017, these new members were elected to the Temple Board of Directors:
Kim Bindursky - 2020
Lee Fine - 2020
Sharon Williams - 2020
Dr. Brad Kirzner
filling an unexpired term through 2018,
. . . . joining returning members:
Matt Stroderd - 2018
Martin Heyman - 2018
Brent Caplan - 2019
Alvin Mykoff - 2019
Louis Wellan - 2019
Art Williams, Immediate Past President
Nat Marks, Sisterhood Representative
Congratulations to Arthur Williams on a very successful term as President of the Congregation from 2014 through 2017. He replaces Marilyn Wellan as Immediate Past President, and will continue service on the Temple Board of Directors until his successor is named.
Congratulations to Michelle Bournstein and Tommy Wahlder for their important contributions to the Temple as members of the Board of Directors for the 2014-2017 term. Michelle served as Secretary, Religious School Administrator and Chairman of the Rabbinical Search Committee; Tommy served as Vice President, and also serves as Co-chairman of the Jewish Community Foundation.
Congratulations to Dr. Ronnie Marks for being named to the national board of the Jewish Federation of America.
Congratulations to Edwin Caplan and Lee Rubin for their re-election to the Temple Endowment Committee for 6 and 5 year terms, respectively; and to Dr. Brad Kirzner for his election to the Endowment Committee for a 1 year term. They join these members of the Endowment Committee:
Dr. Ronnie Marks
Michael Bindursky, Temple President
Services at the Jewish Temple, 2021 Turner Street, Alexandria LA
Shabbat Evening Services - Fridays at 6:00 pm. Social begins at 5:30 pm.
Saturday morning Shabbat services take place every Saturday at 9:30 am.
Torah study at 10:30 am.
NEW - Donations may be made and dues may be paid using PayPal!
NAT'L HISTORIC REGISTER
Thank you for visiting the website for Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim.
Please review our map of web pages titled TEMPLE TOPICS (above). Simply click the links (page titles) to travel from page to page.
We welcome comments or questions. Please send to us from the "Contact Us" page.
Dedicated With Pride 11-10-13
4th St. Downtown Alexandria, LA.
near Rapides Women's & Children's Hospital
SEE Holocaust Memorial
Alexandria's Holocaust Memorial was made possible by scores of members of the community. It commemorates the military role that Central Louisiana played in the liberation of the death camps, and honors the contribution to mankind by young victim, Anne Frank.
Thanks to the City of Alexandria, Rabbi Emeritus Arnold Task, and all who made this memorial possible.
ANNUAL CORNED BEEF SANDWICH SALE is HISTORY!
It was a great event, with participation by many, and attended by many. Thanks to everyone who helped, and everyone who enjoyed our Corned Beef lunches.
Gnat Marks - Chair
Helen Caletka -
JEWISH TEMPLE HISTORY
as told through our application
to be included on the
National Historic Register