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Cantor Daniel friedman

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, Daniel Eli Friedman was drawn to singing and the Cantorial Arts at a very young age.  His first mentor, Cantor Allan Michelson, z”l, of Adat Ari El began formally training Daniel when he was 16 years old as a Hazzan Sheinifor the High Holidays.  Upon graduating from UCLA with a BA in Theatre Arts and a minor in music, Daniel embarked on a 15 year career “making a living” (as his Bubbi loved to say) acting, singing and sometimes even dancing in such luminous Broadway National tours and NYC productions such as Les Miserables, CATS, Forever Plaid, Laughter on the Second Floor and Falsettos, to name a few. While living in NYC, he also filled his days working on many commercials, workshopping new material, and even made a few guest appearances in some television shows.  In 1999, while contracted with Forever Plaid in Las Vegas, Daniel found himself at a crossroads and realized there was a spiritual void in his life.  “I started exploring congregational life again and Jewish mysticism; the why we do what we do as Jews. It unlocked this part of my soul that had been yearning for real depth and expression,” he says.  It was at this time that Daniel left behind the world of theatre and began preparing for a life on the bimah. Prior to moving back to Los Angeles in 2009, Daniel held the position of Cantor for the 650 family Conservative congregation Temple Beth Sholom of Las Vegas for ten years.   Since 2010, Daniel has served Temple Ramat Zion of Northridge, CA. Daniel earned his master’s in sacred music at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California (AJRCA) in 2017.  His Master’s Thesis on the Teaching of Torah Trope spawned the creation of a torah reading scheduling web application, torahreaders.net. He is currently beta testing his soon to be published curriculum on the teaching of Torah and Haftarah trope that includes lesson plans for learners 2 to 82years old.  In his “down” time Daniel enjoys playing ice-hockey, backpacking with his three children, reading historical thrillers, and spending time with the love of his life, Jodie Levy.

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rachel goldman

Growing up in the classical music scene as a chorister from a young age, Cantor Rachel Goldman had already sung on some of Los Angeles' largest stages (such as the Hollywood Bowl and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion) and trained for several years in opera before choosing the path of the cantorate. With the help and encouragement of great mentors and teachers, her passion for Judaism and desire to leave a positive mark on people's lives along with her love of music made such a choice inevitable.

Ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California, in May of 2014, she holds a Masters of Jewish Sacred Music from the same institution. She has also completed a majority of the coursework required to receive a second ordination of Rabbi and a Masters of Rabbinic Studies, to be concluded at a later date of Cantor Goldman's choosing.

Cantor Goldman currently serves as Cantor at Congregation Ner Tamid of South Bay in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, the largest congregation in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. As a Cantor, she continues to enjoy offering her talents of singing and has appeared both locally and nationwide in concerts as a soloist, as well as on several recordings. In 2013, Cantor Goldman recorded with renowned “Friend’s” Composer Michel Skloff at Interscope Studios his arrangement of the K’dusha prayer. Most recently, Cantor Goldman was featured as a principal soloist at the Hobby Center in Houston, TX with the Houston Symphony, the Houston Opera Chorus, and world-renowned cantor/composer Meir Finkelstein in a tribute to Rabbi David Rosen. She also represented the American Conference of Cantors nationwide as a featured soloist at the Annual National Conference Concert in June of 2018, including debuting a world premiere vocal composition.

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Cantor Jessica hutchings

A national award-winning educator, Cantor Jessica Hutchings has spent almost a decade conveying the beauty of Jewish music to children and adults in Southern California as well as Las Vegas. Cantor Hutchings did her undergraduate work at California State University, Long Beach’s Bob Cole Conservatory from which she received a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in Vocal Performance and a concentration in Opera. She then continued her studies at the American Jewish University’s Fingerhut School of Education, receiving a Bachelor’s in Literature in Hebrew Letters as well as a Master’s of Arts in Education. In May 2014, Ms. Hutchings was ordained as a Chazzan/Cantor and received a second Master’s in Jewish Sacred Music from the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA.

Cantor Hutchings has worked as a Hebrew and post-B’nai Mitzvah teacher at Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), a Cantorial Soloist at Valley Outreach Synagogue (Las Vegas, NV), a B’nai Mitzvah coordinator at Temple Shalom of the South Bay (Hermosa Beach, CA) and as the Youth Director (grades 3-12) of Congregation Tikvat Jacob (Manhattan Beach, CA). A long-time educator and Guest Cantor at Temple Israel (Long Beach, CA), she also was a Guest Instructor there teaching an Adult Education class entitled “Contemporary Jewish Music.” Between 2010-2014, Cantor Hutchings served as the Cantorial Soloist and Director of Music Programming and Education at Temple Menorah (Redondo Beach, CA). In addition to co-leading all Shabbat and holiday services as well as the B’nai Mitzvah, Cantor Hutchings established and directed the Kol Hakavod youth choir, established Jews Next Dor, a young adults social chavurah for singles and couples ages 21-36, an adult choir and band, and worked with the Director of Education to develop and implement music curriculum. Cantor Hutchings’ renown as a superlative Jewish educator received national validation in 2009, when she won the national Grinspoon-Steinhardt Excellence in Jewish Education Award for being an “Exceptional Teacher, Mentor and Leader.” That same year, she also received the Smotrich Family Foundation Educator Award. Cantor Hutchings has performed in a number of major concerts all over the world, from Carnegie Hall in NYC to historic venues in Europe, of both Jewish and secular music. And she also proudly sang the National Anthem at a Los Angeles Dodgers game as well as at two games of the Los Angeles Kings.

In July of 2014, Jessica, her husband Jeremy, and their two dogs: Matzah Ball and Latke, moved back to Las Vegas so that she could begin her tenure as the first ever ordained Cantor at Congregation Ner Tamid, Las Vegas, her childhood synagogue.

Rachel Raskin

Assistant to Rabbi Akselrad and Cantor Hutchings

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Cantor Carl Jacobs

Bio to come.

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Cantor LISA PEICOTT

A classically trained soprano, Cantor Lisa Peicott earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Music on full scholarship from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, before entering into her cantorial studies at the Academy for Jewish Religion of California, where she was ordained in 2018. Her many roles at UCLA included “Nanetta” in Verdi’s Falstaff, “Tina” in the West Coast Premiere of Johnathan Dove’s Flight, the title role of “Agrippina” in Handel’s Agrippina, and “Blanche de la Force” in Dialogues of the Carmelites.  She was a two-time musical fellow at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, where she studied opera and performed in various recitals throughout Europe.  She regularly appears in Cantorial concerts and recitals throughout Los Angeles, specializing in the interpretation of classical and contemporary Jewish music.

Cantor Peicott serves as one the cantors at Wilshire Boulevard Temple In Los Angeles.  As a Cantor she strives to lift congregants to a higher spiritual place in synagogue through the power of music and prayer.  Cantor Peicott resides in Encino, with her husband, Joe, and their adorable Pug, Houdini.

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Cantor lizzie weiss

Cantor Lizzie Weiss currently services as Cantor at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.

Cantor Weiss grew up at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. She was very involved in all things music. From intergenerational productions at the Emanuel Arts Center, to Junior Cantors, to the High Holy Day Professional Choir, Cantor Weiss developed her Jewish identity with her experiences in Jewish living at Temple Emanuel, Camp Swig/Newman and all under the wing of her Uncle Rabbi Kenneth J. Weiss z'l, and brother Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss.

Cantor Weiss is known for her powerful voice and welcoming presence. She values creating accessible and uplifting musical experiences for people of all ages, and strives to bring contemporary pieces along with nostalgic melodies to her congregants.

After graduating from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in theater, Cantor Weiss moved to New York and was cast in the Broadway National Tour of Disney’s High School Musical. After a few years on the road, Cantor Weiss landed back in Los Angeles, and entered cantorial school at the Academy for Jewish Religion, under the mentorship of Cantor Nathan Lam and Cantor Perryne Anker. While in school, she served as Student Cantor at Congregation B’nai Tzedek for three full years, and four High Holy Day seasons.  She spent her final year of cantorial school as Student Cantor at Temple Emanuel coordinating and tutoring for the B’nai Mitzvah Program, and singing at Shabbat Morning@Emanuel and various Friday-evening servicesCantor Weiss received her cantorial ordination in May 2015. She went on to serve as Interim Cantor and eventually the fourth full time Cantor, and the first female Cantor,  in the 80 year history of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills.

When not on the Temple Emanuel Bima, Cantor Weiss can be found singing in Jewish and secular concerts, alike all over the country. She proudly serves as a Member of the Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation league of Los Angeles and as an Advisory Board Member of The Urban Voices Project.