Cantor Devorah Felder-LevyPhone: 408-358-1751 x8
Shalom, my name is Devorah Felder-Levy and I have been the Cantor at Congregation Shir Hadash since 1996. The translation of Shir Hadash is “new song” and we continue to bring new compositions and evolve our music program every year. The congregation began with a deep tradition in congregational participation in song. So there is a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy many Reform classics and introduce new Jewish music.
My educational background is a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana and a Masters of Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion where I wrote a thesis on Max Janowski.
At Congregation Shir Hadash, my role includes officiating at weekly Shabbat services, High Holy Days, and festival holiday services. I also participate and officiate at life cycle events within the congregation, including funerals, weddings and baby namings. As part of the clergy at the congregation, I make visits to the hospital when members are undergoing surgery or have taken ill as well as generally participate in the pastoral life of our congregation.
My role also includes teaching in our religious school. I teach and assist with the development of the curriculum for our Dalet Hebrew class (6th graders). I also teach the liturgy, the Torah and Haftarah portions to our B’nai Mitzvah students, both the children and the adults. In addition, along with the rabbis, I teach our B’nai Mitzvah family class which covers the process of what it means to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. I also teach adult education classes which usually consist of a musical nature. Past classes include “Music of the Friday Night Worship service,” “Music of our Reform Youth and Camps,” and Cantillation classes. Cantillation, also known as trope, is what we use to chant from the Torah and the Haftarah. I have also taught D’vrei Shir, which is the curriculum created by the URJ (Union of Reform Judaism) and the ACC.
I direct the Shir Hadash Volunteer Choir and our Junior Choir. Our choir sings once a month at our Friday night services and at our High Holy Day services. We perform annually at many community functions throughout the year. We have also had the opportunity to work with several Jewish composers, including Bonia Shur, Peri Smilow, Cantor Jeff Klepper and Danny Maseng.
In addition to my congregational duties, I belong to several professional organizations. I am a member of the ACC, the American Conference of Cantor (www.accantors.org) and I currently serve on the Executive Board representing the West Coast. I belong to the NCBC, the Northern California Board of Cantors and Synagogue Musicians. In 2002, I was the chairperson of the ACC-GTM, West Coast Midwinter conference. I am a member and past chair of CRAGSJ, the Cantorial and Rabbinic Association of Greater San Jose. In 2008, I completed a unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) at Kaiser-Santa Clara Hospital where I now serve on the Ethics Committee.
I am originally from Chicago and an avid sports fan. While, I have adopted the home teams around the Bay area, my heart still roots for my beloved Chicago sports teams. I met my husband in California and we are the proud parents of 3 wonderful children.
Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy