Our Rabbi

 Cantor Gershon Silins

Cantor Gershon Silins is cantor and member of the Montagu Centre Rabbinic Team of Liberal Judaism in the United Kingdom.

He served as cantor of Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, Ontario, Temple Avodah in Oceanside, New York, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois and Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland. He also taught cantorial studies at the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin and the Levisson Institute in Amsterdam. In all these communities, his central interests have been the creation of community, and the preservation, enrichment, and dissemination of the traditions of Judaism.

Cantor Silins sang at Israel’s Jerusalem Theater and presented a recital at the Zionist Confederation House. He appeared as cantor in the Bloch Sacred Service with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Oratorio Society. He was a founding member of the Washington Monteverdi Singers, a Washington DC based early music ensemble, and sang with many professional choruses, including the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the New York Choral Artists.

Silins’s essay, “The Discussion of Music in Lawrence A. Hoffman’s The Art of Public Prayer” appeared in the Summer 1991 issue of The CCAR Journal (scholarly journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis). He served on the Board of the American Conference of Cantors, and on the Joint Commission on Worship, Music and Religious Living of the URJ.

Cantor Silins appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto and in a performance of Ernest Bloch’s Avodat Hakodesh (Sacred Service) marking the 70th anniversary of its American. Cantor Silins frequently appears with singer/songwriter Dean Staker and composer/pianist Franklyn Gellnick.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Cantor Silins received his Bachelor of Arts in Music and Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his ordination as cantor and Masters Degree in Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in New York City.

Cantor Silins is currently completing his first year in the rabbinic programme of Leo Baeck College in London.

In May 2015, Cantor Silins was awarded a Doctor of Music degree (Honoris Causa) marking twenty-five years since his ordination as a cantor at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.


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