Join us for our special High Holidays – all online – with a socially distanced Jazz trio and
special guests Rabbis and Cantors. Read more about our special guests below:
*Selichot- Friday Sept. 11 7pm (streamed free on Simshalom.com) with Guest Cantors DENISE HEITMANN & JOANNA LIND
* Erev Rosh Hashana- Friday Sept. 18 7pm (attend only with link) with Guest Cantor NINA FINE (High Holiday Message from Rabbi MIRIAM VAN RAALTE)
* Rosh H Morning- Sat. Sept. 19 10:30am with JAZZ TRIO (attend only with link) with a High Holiday message from RABBI DEBORAH MCKENZIE (Cantor Becky?), Shofar Blower and Cantorial Soloist EVAN KREMIN
* Rosh Day 2- Sunday Sept. 20 10:30am (streamed free on Simshalom.com)
* Kol Nidre- Sunday Sept. 27 7pm (attend only with link) with Guest Cantor KRISTEN GUSTAVSON and VIOLIZZY (LIZ TAUB)
* Yom K Morning- Monday Sept. 28 10:30am with JAZZ TRIO (attend only with link) with Guest Cantor MARIANNE STYLES, Shofar Blower and Cantorial Soloist EVAN KREMIN and a High Holy Day message from PASTOR ROBERT BRASHEAR
* Neelah/Break the Fast- Monday Sept. 28 4:30pm (join friends and family at special zoom gathering – separate link to be sent)
Hazzan (Cantor) Marianne Styles graduated from and was ordained by the Rabbinical and Cantorial Seminary of the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute (JSLI) in NYC, and is a member of the Women Cantor’s Network. A former native of Philadelphia’s Western suburbs, now residing on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Cantor Styles has served over the past 20 years as a Hebrew school teacher and music director, service and song leader, and Torah/Haftorah reader. She also served as a “weaver” for the Jewish Women’s Archives Women of Valor project and on the Board and as a facilitator for the Anti-Defamation League’s “No Place for Hate” program
Cantor Kristin Gustavson received her Cantorial Ordination in 2019 from the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute in New York. Cantor Kristin is now in her fifth year of teaching Hebrew School and tutoring B’nai Mitzvah students at Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos, CA, where she is a frequent Cantorial Soloist and Torah and Haftarah reader. She also reads Torah at Congregation Beth David in Saratoga, CA. In addition to her teaching and Torah reading, Cantor Kristin serves as a Jewish Family Services chaplain aide (currently via Zoom) with the Chai House and The Forum retirement communities in the San Jose area. Cantor Kristin converted to Judaism in 1997 and became Bat Mitzvah at Shir Hadash in 2014.
Rabbi Deborah McKenzie has served as a Jewish spiritual leader and counselor for more than 25 years. She works with interfaith and people of faith who seek to enhance or add a Jewish spiritual perspective to their understanding and experiences. Ordained through the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute (JSLI, Class #8) and a member of the Union of Jewish Universalists Communities (UJUC), she is one of four JSLI rabbis who stream weeknight Ma’ariv services for Sim Shalom. Congregants remark on the special kavana (spiritual intention) and soulful flare that she adds to traditional services. Her words and teachings foster an intuitive approach to learning Torah and the wisdom of the sages that facilitates relevance in 21st century living across all ages.
Rabbi Deborah is also the senior director for Standards and Official MethodsSM program at AOAC INTERNATIONAL where she oversees the development of consensus standards and conformity assessment for analytical test methods used in global food safety and public health. In 2019, she was named the Administrator for the US Technical Advisory Group to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee on Food products where she coordinates the US consensus for committee standards. In addition to her ordination, Rabbi Deborah possess both BA and MS in Analytical Chemistry and she resides in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.
Rabbi Miriam Van Raalte is a native of Chicago but has lived the majority of her life in southern California. She has a Master’s Degree in Education from the American Jewish University, Los Angeles, and has worked in synagogue life since the age of 16 serving as a teacher, principal, executive director and coordinator of engagement and communications. She is a life coach specializing in health and wellness, and was ordained in June 2020 from the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute. Rabbi Miriam’s work deals with integrating body, mind, and spirit, and seeks ways to engage with those who are at moments of spiritual transition. Rabbi Miriam’s real claim to fame is as the mother of Rachel and Eric, both who work in Jewish communal life. Her 7-year old and twin 3-year old grandchildren are the frosting on the cake of life as they look forward to their weekly celebration of Shabbat and singing Jewish songs.
Cantor Denise Heitmann is a talented singer, and songwriter. Denise began singing and playing the guitar when she was 12 years old. She sang and played in a Jewish choir all through high school, expanding her musical talents. Denise went on to teach Jewish music at a reform synagogue in Cranston, RI, leading their junior choir and singing alongside the Cantor on many a Friday night, a position she held for 20 years. After being ordained as a Cantor this past June, through Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute (JSLI), Denise continues to sing and daven with two conservative synagogues in RI. Over the past three years, Denise has been the co-spiritual leader of the pluralistic prayer group, Hayom, providing High Holiday services to those not affiliated with a synagogue and looking for a progressive community.
Presbyterian Pastor Robert Brashear studied at the Yale Divinity School and New Brunswick/Rutgers. Retired from West Park Presbyterian in New York, he travels extensively and serves as a guest preacher across the NY Metropolitan area and as a speaker and consultant in other countries. Bob makes a point of connecting people everywhere he goes and recently hosted an homage to Woodstock event in Harlem where Rabbi Steve Blane and other friends joined him for a night of music and fun.
We are thrilled to announce that Singer/Songwriter Evan Kremin will be joining us again in 2020 (5781). Evan has blown shofar at the jazz inspired Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services for the past four (4) years. A singer/songwriter, Evan Kremin, began blowing shofar after he bought a grand shofar in East Jerusalum. He added this skill to his musical repertoire in 1999 – Evan began studying and playing music when he was three (3). Evan is a NYC based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording artist. Evan performs locally, nationally and internationally, has recorded and released multiple albums and singles, and has written music for TV and film. Since 2014, Evan has had the pleasure of running the weekly open mic at the historic music club, The Bitter End, in NYC’s Greenwich Village, which is where he met and fell in love with Rabbi Steven Blane.
Cantor Nina Fine became a JSLI ordained Cantor after almost two decades of working as a professional vocalist. She has been heralded as a dynamic performer with exceptional vocal quality and acting ability and she has graced the stage in some of the nation’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, The Kennedy Center and The National Cathedral. Cantor Fine has conducted lifecycle events and led services including the High Holy Days at Temple Beth-El/Temple Israel in Ormond Beach, FL, Congregation of Reform Judaism in Orlando, Temple Israel in Winter Springs, Congregation Beth Am in Longwood, Temple Israel in Deland, and Temple Shalom in Deltona. Cantor Fine delights in working with young families and has led a multitude of specialty family programming as well as run (and taught at) Hebrew schools.
Cantor Joanna P. Lind descends from Belzer Hasidim of Eastern Europe. Upon ordination through JSLI, she became the sixth generation Lind family cantor. The newest Cantor Lind hopes to keep her family’s musical heritage alive for use in worship, to be of service especially to those who are unaffiliated or disenfranchised within the Jewish community, and to use her gifts to enhance her human community as a whole. Currently, Cantor Lind performs life cycle events independently and is the cantor for Ahavat Olam, a small congregation led by Rabbi Cantor Nancy Landsman, also a JSLI grad. Joanna inherited other musical and creative talents from both sides of her family, began her professional performing career at age four, and holds a B.S. in Theatre from Northwestern University. Outside of her religious calling, she remains a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, performer, and poet.