Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley is pleased to welcome Cantor Shanna Zell. Shanna is a singer/songwriter turned cantor who believes in creating a warm, uplifting community of song open to all seekers and lovers of Judaism.
Shanna graduated from the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College in June. During that time, she served as a member of the Worship Working Group and as student liaison to the Reform Movement’s Commission on Worship, Music and Religious Living. She was a Be Wise Fellow, working with the institution and classmates to digitize the Sacred Music Press.
Shanna was also a cantorial intern for Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where she was a prayer leader, b’nai mitzvah tutor, Rosh Hodesh girls’ group organizer and co-facilitator of the
20s/30s “Brooklyn Jews” community.
“We are absolutely delighted to have someone of her skills and energy become a part of the TBE community,” said Joel Sisenwine, senior rabbi. “With our beloved cantor of 35 years, Jodi Sufrin, Shanna will be part of an unmatched cantorial team.”
Shanna is no stranger to the Boston area, having received her BA in both European cultural studies and English and American literature from Brandeis University. She went on to work for the Makor/Steinhardt Center of the 92Y, where she assisted in programming for multi-denominational Jewish 20/30s and received an award for her “lasting contribution” to the institution.
Cantor Jodi Sufrin notes that she is delighted to welcome Shanna as a partner in making sacred music. “Her multi-faceted musical talent and passion for Judaism are spectacular, and her commitment to young adults dovetails beautifully with TBE’s commitment to that population.”
Shanna lives in Brookline, loves keeping her finger on the pulse of the underground music scene, exploring new neighborhoods and eating sushi. She feels as though she has “come home” and is thrilled to be serving as the new assistant cantor at Temple Beth Elohim.
Shanna will be formally installed at Temple Beth Elohim on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m.
Temple Beth Elohim is a warm and inclusive Reform congregation, dedicated to creating a sacred community engaged in joyous, participatory and meaningful prayer, lifelong Jewish learning, excellence and innovation in education, and dedicated social activism. We are a magnet congregation of more than 1,200 families from more than 37 different cities and towns from the suburbs of Boston.
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