Cantor Sarra Allegra Spierer joined Congregation Beth Elohim in August of 2007 as our first Pastoral Associate and Cantor. She works with Rabbi Rothbaum to lead our community in prayer, learning, celebrating simchas and other life cycle events, and collaborates throughout the year with our CBE choir.
Cantor Spierer comes to CBE from the Jewish community of Manchester, NH.Her love and appreciation of Jewish music and prayer was kindled when she was a young girl, singing and participating in Shabbat services at Temple Israel.She sang with the Jewish teen choir, Kol Rinah (directed by Cantor Charles Osborne), and later joined the Zamir Chorale of Boston (directed by Dr. Joshua Jacobson), where she was inspired by and met many of her future teachers and mentors.In 2000, while she was an undergraduate at Boston University, she studied with Rabbi Jacob Rosner and served as the High Holiday cantorial soloist at her home synagogue in Manchester. On the bimah that New Year, she made the decision to pursue Jewish studies and become a cantor.
Cantor Spierer was ordained as cantor in June, 2007 by the Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts.She is a member of the first graduating class of Hebrew College’s Cantor-Educator Program, a course of study that emphasizes the growing role of cantors as pastoral leaders and educators (as well as prayer leaders) within their communities. She also earned a Master’s degree in Jewish education and completed an intensive training program in Clinical Pastoral Education at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.The first two years of her cantorial studies were at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.
At CBE, Cantor Spierer leads Shabbat and holiday services with Rabbi Rothbaum, serves our community in a pastoral role, works closely with B’nai Mitzvah children and their families, and teaches classes in Adult Education. She especially enjoys creating opportunity for congregational participation and spirit during services, helping B’nai Mitzvah children develop their strengths and gain confidence as they prepare, and collaborating with Judy Kramer (CBE’s choir director) and the members of our wonderful choir.She is an active participant in interfaith learning and a practitioner of meditation, especially as a form of healing and prayer.