Photo of Rabbi Michael on the beach

Rabbi Michael

Rabbi Michael began his tenure at Congregation Shirat Hayam in July 2015.  He draws from the best of Jewish tradition to create open, accessible and meaningful experiences which leave you feeling welcome, connected, and enriched.  He is particularly committed to helping everyone find their own Jewish practice.

Previously, he led Congregation Sha’are Shalom in Leesburg, Virginia where membership increased by thirty-two percent and religious school enrollment by eighty percent during his seven year tenure.

Rabbi Michael learned the aleph-bet (Hebrew alphabet) at age 25 and fell in love with Jewish life while living in Jerusalem and studying at Pardes.  Prior to becoming a rabbi, Rabbi Michael was a baker (from age 9 – 14), taught Algebra through Teach for America, and worked in technology.  He is married to Sarah; their children, Liora, Noam, and Aleza, were born in 2007, 2009 and 2018.  He enjoys basketball and the outdoors.

Photo of Cantor Sarah on the beach

Cantor Sarah

Sarah serves as the Cantor at Congregation Shirat Hayam beginning July 2021. Cantor Sarah prides herself on being warm, friendly, and approachable, singing with the congregation rather than for them.  She is passionate about bringing Judaism to young families and welcome all people into the synagogue doors.

During her own Bat Mitzvah preparation, Cantor Sarah discovered she had a talent and a love for singing Jewish melodies. She continued to sing on the bima throughout her teenage years and began filling in for cantors during college. She studied music education and voice at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and also holds a Master’s degree in Non-profit Studies from Arizona State University.

Cantor Sarah’s professional experience, in addition to her previous long-term pulpit in Boca Raton, includes running a successful mommy and me music program and coordinating youth programming for a major orchestra. Her performance background ranges from choral soprano to musical theater, which she loves to perform at yearly synagogue concerts.

Sarah is married to husband Peter, also an accomplished musician on bass trombone. They enjoy juggling their hectic music schedules around caring for their daughters Aria and Ada, and making music together as a family.

Mazel Tov to Cantor Sarah on her January 9, 2022 Ordination

The ALEPH Ordination Program trains rabbis, cantors, rabbinic pastors and mashpi’im (spiritual directors) to be community builders, teachers, spiritual leaders, counselors, liturgists and artists of the Jewish tradition. The Cantorial Program, led by Hazzan Jack Kessler, is a comprehensive training program that embraces traditional hazzanut and contemporary Jewish musical and liturgical creativity.