Cantor Keith Miller
Having grown up at Sinai Temple as a fourth generation member, it is truly an honor for me to return back to my home community.
My great grandfather, Abraham Silverman, Z'L', was Cantor of Sinai Temple in the 1930s and 1940s. My father, Ovvie Miller, was Bar Mitzvah at Sinai Temple when the congregation was located at 4th and New Hampshire, and I myself stood on the Bimah in 1977 as a Bar Mitzvah, leading the Shacharit service, with Cantor Gole beside me, and Aryell Cohen playing the organ. As a senior in high school, throughout college and beyond, I taught B'nai Mitzvah here at Sinai Temple, and eventually became the Director of B'nai Mitzvah Programming, preparing many hundreds of Sinai Temple youth for B'nai Mitzvah. I served in this position here in the congregation until 1992. My wife Laura and I were married here at Sinai Temple in 1989, and our daughter celebrated her naming here, as well.
I joined the Cantors Assembly in 1996, and earned my Cantors Commission in 1999. I have served as Cantor and Educational Director of several Los Angeles area congregations, and currently serve as the Cantor and Educational Director of The New Shul in Agoura Hills, CA. Sinai Temple will always remain my home congregation.
The process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is vitally important. I have observed that students who enjoy a positive experience during this holy time have a far greater likelihood in growing to become more deeply devoted to, and involved with, the Jewish community as adults.
This is why I strive to remain dedicated to teaching each individual student in a loving, patient, warm and positive manner.
Mazal Tov to all of our B'nai Mitzvah candidates and families.
Cantor Marcus Feldman
A native of Los Angeles, Cantor Marcus Feldman trained in opera as a Baritone / Tenor and graduated from the University Of Southern California in 2007 with dual degrees in Vocal Performance, B.M. and Business Administration, B.S. (concentration in Real Estate Finance). While at USC, Cantor Feldman was a member of the university's top choral ensemble and sang leading roles in two of the main stage operas.
Cantor Feldman began the study of hazzanut privately with Cantor Nathan Lam in 2005. While a student he served as Cantor of Sun City Jewish Services in Palm Desert, California and lead monthly Shabbat services and High Holy Day services with Rabbi Isaiah Zeldin. In 2010, as part of his cantorial studies, Cantor Feldman spent a semester in Jerusalem studying hazzanut with the renowned Cantor Naftali Herstik. Ordained at the Academy for Jewish Religion in May of 2011, Cantor Feldman holds a Masters of Jewish Sacred Music from the same institution.
Cantor Feldman was appointed to be the Second Cantor of Stephen S. Wise Temple in 2011, serving alongside his mentor and long-time friend, Cantor Nathan Lam. Additionally, Cantor Feldman regularly appears as a guest cantor throughout the state of California. Cantor Feldman is both excited and honored to join Sinai Temple as its Senior Cantor. He looks forward to following in, and adding to, the long and impressive tradition of cantors and music directors at Sinai Temple. Cantor Feldman views the cantorate as a sacred vessel for the seamless transmission of Jewish musical heritage throughout the ages. He strives to honor and preserve the rich traditions of the past while also always looking forward to the new gateways of the present and future in order to best serve the Jewish community in the 21st century
When I first came in to the “new main sanctuary” with my religious school class in the early 1960’s, I knew then, that Sinai Temple was and is a special place. As you opened this website, you no doubt viewed all of the photos rotating on the home page. Among those photos, is one of Cantor Urstein and myself, on the day of my Bar Mitzvah, at Sinai Temple. Cantor Urstein was a wonderful man who I came to know, love, and revere. He gave of himself completely to the Sinai community, and especially to the children. It was his passion and the loving way he was, that has continually inspired me. I began teaching Bar and Bat Mitzvah students at Sinai Temple with Cantor Urstein in 1970.
Sinai Temple is about people, and the bonds we make with each other. Teaching your child for a milestone event such as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a responsibility not taken lightly. We strive for each student to achieve to the best of their ability, and to be happy and confident on “the big day”. I am grateful for the good fortune of working with children of my former students, with bonds forming long, unbreakable chains. I look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your child, and providing an experience that will be a springboard to a long and productive Jewish life.
Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz
"For my d'var Torah, the rabbi made me say...." are words I never want to hear in the future from any of the wonderful teens whom I have the honor to mentor, teach and smile.
I have no problem challenging their precepts about their future Jewish lives, about how they view their maturing Jewish identity. But the thoughts they verbalize from the Bimah on "their" Shabbat comes from their hearts, their questions, their personal convictions, even if they sound "youthful" to the adult congregation.
Ten years from now and beyond, hopefully they will not only look back with pride, but, with this positive experience, will look forward to continuing to be an active part of the Jewish community.
I have the privilege of working with the parents and the b'nai mitzvah students. This gives me an opportunity to get to know the families and help them through the exciting bar and bat mitzvah process. Answering questions, reassuring parents and scheduling the weekly appointments with Cantor Brown and Mr. Cohen is a pleasure. I also schedule the D'Var Torah appointments with Rabbi Dershowitz and during the final few weeks before the simcha, I schedule the appointments with Cantor Gole. If I am lucky, the parents come back after the bar or bat mitzvah and tell me how well every detail went. What a satisfying job!
I began my synagogue career leading Junior Congregation at age 10 and in the Synagogue Choir at age 11. By far, the most satisfying of my temple experiences is the current one; preparing your children for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. It is a privilege that I take seriously. By giving children the tools to succeed, we are living the words of L'Dor V'Dor; from generation to generation.
I am honored to join the B'nai Mitzvah staff at Sinai Temple. I look forward to getting to know your family and your children in their lessons, and helping them to be successful in the journey. My goal is that your child comes away with a positive Judaic experience, and a sense of accomplishment on their Bar/Bat Mitzvah day. Watching the transformation in your child when they master their Torah portion and Haftarah is very gratifying.