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Musical Services


Our Cantors-in-Residence, Sanford Cohn and Michelle Rubenstein


Congregation Beth El is fortunate to have Cantors Sanford Cohn and Michelle Rubenstein serving as our Cantors-in-Residence.  Each takes a monthly turn in leading our Shir Shabbat service with Rabbi Kideckel.  Please read below for more information on these amazing Hazzans.



Cantor Sanford Cohn officiated at The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford from 1999 through 2020, where he led services, taught adults and children, and involved himself with all aspects of an active congregation. He previously led congregations in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Silver Spring, Maryland; and in Whitestone and Port Chester, New York.  He earned his Bachelor of Sacred Music and Diploma of Hazzan from the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he received awards in composition and for musical excellence. In 2013, the Seminary granted Hazzan Cohn a Doctor of Music, honoris causa. He is a member of the Cantors Assembly and the American Society for Jewish Music. Cantor Cohn has performed music of all types throughout his life, including American, Israeli, Ladino and Yiddish folk and pop songs, as well as musical theater, light opera, hazzanut and classical art songs. 



While studying as an undergraduate at Cornell University, Michelle Rubenstein (nee Mason) had little inkling that her leadership role in campus Jewish life might at some point dictate a career path – nor that a friendship she formed with a graduate colleague, also involved with Cornell’s egalitarian minyan, would develop into a professional collaboration.  But that’s exactly what happened.

More than a decade after Rabbi Safman & Cantor Rubenstein first davened (prayed) together in Annabelle Taylor Hall, they are joining forces to lead the Beth El congregation in inspirational, musically compelling worship services that harness some of the youthful enthusiasm they brought to campus life.

Cantor Rubenstin has now worked in the Jewish community for more than fifteen years, leading services, teaching bnai mitzvah students and reading Torah for congregations in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.  She earned  a certificate in Jewish Liturgical Music from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts and was later being certified as a Hazzan through the Cantors Assembly.

Cantor Rubenstein, who now lives in a suburb of Boston with her husband Isaac and their son Jesse, looks forward to sharing her love of Jewish music and liturgy with the Beth El community and to making lasting connections with Beth El members while expanding her own musical repertoire.


Tue, May 17 2022 16 Iyyar 5782