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There once was a girl who loved to sing... That girl grew into a woman, and through all of life's ups and downs, music was always a comfort, and her voice was always how she discovered her strength. As time went on, she discovered why she loved to sing so much... She had a calling. She was called to be klay kodesh (a holy vessel), lead the people Israel in song and prayer, serve God with gladness, and through her voice, uplift and inspire. Her voice was the instrument in the search for holiness. She became a dreamer and a goal setter. She aspired for more for herself, her family, and her community.

That is the short story of how I arrived here, as your Cantor and leads me to why I'm writing this "Save-the Date" about a very monumental and significant day for all of us at Temple Menorah and the South Bay Jewish community. You see, I'm a dreamer, but I don't just dream and forget... I'm the kind of person who dreams and takes action to make those dreams come true. On May 18th, 2014, two of my dreams are coming true. Both of these dreams cannot be achieved without you! One of them is life long, and one evolved over the past year. The first dream is becoming a Cantor. The second dream is bringing Matisyahu to Temple Menorah to be part of my first dream... Let me explain...

I've been listening to Matisyahu's music since he hit the big-time and appeared on KROQ (106.7) with the song King Without A Crown. I'll never forget sitting in the car with Jeremy as he said, "Have you heard this song? I think this dude said HaShem and Moshiach in his lyrics! That's weird; I'm not used to hearing Jewish music on my rock radio station." Neither had I! This was amazing! A Jewish guy with Jewish music had broken out into the mainstream with Jewish ideals! How cool is that?! Matisyahu continued to gain fame, and eventually came out with his hit single One Day. It was a song that touched us all, and was one of the staple songs at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He successfully bridged secular and sacred, and his fans had the opportunity to watch him evolve from Orthodox Judaism into a Jew on a journey, with a different path. While still observant, keeping Shabbat, and raising his children as Torah scholars, he shaved his beard and defined his Jewry on his own terms; still proudly Jewish and every song with an outstanding stance on the Jewish mission, morality, and path in life. Last May, I stood in the front row of his MacMall show to benefit anti-bullying, and I watched almost one thousand people swoon at his melodic voice, epic beats, and beautiful message. I thought to myself, "This is exactly what my thesis is about! Bridging secular with sacred and maintaining the sanctity of synagogue song. I need to bring his vibe, his message, and his music to Temple Menorah... I want him to be part of my final Cantorial Recital." How was I going to make it happen? How would I reach him? How would I afford him? I thought, "This is a dream I can't bring to fruition." Nonetheless, I made some connections, eventually reached his agent, and unbelievably, with the support of Skechers, and especially the Temple Menorah staff, board, and community, he's actually coming to Temple Menorah!!!

Sunday May 18th! Mark your calendars and go online and buy your tickets!

Here is what the day is going to look like:

At 12:30pm, I will fulfill my first dream. I will take the bimah for my Graduate Cantorial Recital. It is the final step in preparing to officially earning Smicha in the cantorate. I will be featuring the new music of contemporary composers and as well as featuring some of the most up and coming new cantors. The finale will feature our wonderful Temple Menorah Youth Choir and Matisyahu!!! The recital is free of charge, and a dessert reception will follow. We do ask that you RSVP for this part of the day so that we know how many to expect. Please make a point of attending this symbolic and monumental performance. It will be the first time Matisyahu takes the stage with a female Cantor!

Between my recital and Matisyahu's solo show, there will be multiple food trucks and activities in our parking lot. Fun for the whole family.

Matisyahu's acoustic performance will begin at 3:30pm, and tickets for members are $36, $54, $118, and $250 (which include a meet and greet with Matisyahu following the concert). It is sure to be an incredible performance!!!

Tickets will go on sale this week on our website. Ticket prices will be listed at $45, $65, $130, and $350. These are non-member prices. You will have a special code and receive the member pricing. Purchase your tickets right away, as they are sure to sell out!

This is a whole day of family fun at Temple Menorah, and we look forward to having you be a part of it! This is not only a fundraiser; our goal is to bring our South Bay Jewish community together, so bring your friends and family!

Other events to keep in mind that weekend: May 16th is a special service and dinner, come join as we celebrate our last four years together. Please see the Temple website for details and to RSVP.

On Memorial Day, May 26th at 2pm, I will be officially ordained at Stephen S. Wise Temple. All are invited.

I'm looking forward to celebrating with each and every one of you!

(Erev) Cantor Jessica

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Tuesday, April 15th
10:00 a.m.
Pesach Yom Tov Service

Friday, April 18
6:00pm – Nosh & Social 
6:30pm – Yom Tov-Shabbat Service

Saturday, April 19
9:00am – Torah Study with Rabbi Steven Silver
10:00am – Morning Yom Tov Shabbat Service

Tuesday, April 22
10:00 am Yom Tov Yizkor Service

Friday, April 25
6:00pm – Nosh & Social 
6:30pm – Shabbat Service

Saturday, April 26
9:00am – Torah Study with Rebecca Yussman
10:00am – Morning Shabbat Service: Mia Berger will be called to the Torah

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