Temple Israel is pleased to welcome Shira Lissek as its new Cantor, as of July 1.

Cantor Lissek comes to Temple Israel after previously serving as Associate Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue in NYC since 2013. Cantor Lissek earned a Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where she majored in Voice as a merit scholar, and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University School of Music in Vocal Performance. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, she learned the art of being a Cantor from her father, Cantor Leon Lissek of Congregation B’nai Amoona. She is also the granddaughter of the late Rabbi Pinchas Chasin of Philadelphia and great-granddaughter of Hazzan Hirsch L. Chazin of New Jersey.

Cantor Lissek began serving as Hazzan Sheni at age 19, when invited to lead High Holy Day services for Congregation Beth Shalom of Kansas City and then Congregation Gesher Shalom (The Jewish Community Center of Fort Lee, NJ). Prior to Park Avenue Synagogue, she served as Hazzan and Music Director of Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights for six years. With her arrival at Temple Israel, Rabbi Murray Ezring noted he is “very excited Cantor Lissek has joined the Temple Israel family. Her beautiful voice and love of Jewish music, combined with her Jewish pride, help all who hear her experience the joy of Shabbat and holiday observances.”

Temple Israel President, David Rosenthal added, “Our congregational family, Board of Trustees, and my family are excited about celebrating many Shabbats Shira (Sabbaths of Song) and hearing various melodies and songs as interpreted by Cantor Lissek.” About her relocation to Charlotte, Cantor Lissek said, “We have been so moved by the warm welcome we have received and are thrilled to be a part of such a special community. I look forward to getting to know everyone and creating some amazing memories together.” Cantor Lissek and her two children, Reuben and Maayan (who will be attending Charlotte Jewish Day School), are happy to now call Charlotte their home.

Cantor Lissek is passionate about using her voice and music to inspire and empower individuals of all ages to engage deeply with their Judaism and community. She has participated in numerous interfaith services and events, sharing her voice within both the Jewish and broader communities, at national conventions and professional sporting events. She has been invited to serve as Hazzan in Residence at many congregations around the world including West London Synagogue in London and Agudat Achim in Washington D.C. In 2017, Cantor Lissek released her second solo album titled Ani Ma’amin, I Believe: A Voice For Humanity, featuring reflective, prayerful songs expressing Lissek’s love poem to the human spirit.

To welcome Cantor Lissek to the congregation, Temple Israel will host a “Welcome Home Shabbat” on August 10. The evening will begin with a pre-oneg at 5:30 PM in the temple lobby, followed by an engaging and uplifting Friday night Shabbat service at 6:15 PM. Both the pre-oneg and Shabbat services are open to all members of the community. Following services there will be a Shabbat dinner (free of charge) for all Temple Israel congregants. Space is limited. Please RSVP online at templeisraelnc.org.

At Temple Israel’s Selichot service, scheduled for Saturday, September 1, Cantor Lissek and Rabbi Ezring will introduce musical selections that will be featured during the High Holy Days.  Please note: This year, we will hold a single service on the 2nd day of Rosh HaShanah (in the Morris and Sylvia Speizman Sanctuary) incorporating both traditional and contemporary music.

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