With great excitement and anticipation,
we are pleased to announce that Cantor Alicia Stillman will serve as our next cantor. We are grateful to the Search Committee: Alison Freedman, Steven Lipsitt, Carol Targum, David Trietsch, and Bea Wilderman for many months of dedicated work.
This has been a robust search! Of the many candidates, Cantor Stillman rose to the top. We were drawn to her musical ability and skills, her warm and engaging presence, her experience in the cantorate, and her keen sense of collaboration.
The Search Committee unanimously reached this decision from among our final candidates. The Board ratified the recommendation of the Search Committee and Rabbi Zecher at its December meeting and the Leadership Council approved the terms and conditions of the contract with Cantor Stillman.
The Search Committee began its work with a congregational listening campaign to determine what qualities our members sought in a new cantor. We knew that our cantor must embody a love for Judaism and convey that in their work. Three overarching themes emerged in our conversations.
- Personal qualities were first. We value warmth, caring, approachability and empathy.
- Musical skill was next. Our cantor must appreciate multiple styles and traditions, and be able to communicate and teach with authenticity.
- And third, our cantor must be collaborative, adaptable, and enthusiastic about experimentation and innovation.
Cantor Alicia Stillman's gifts, skills, and abilities reflect all of these qualities.
In our multiple interactions, via Zoom and in person (in large groups and small, in classrooms and one-on-one), we found her to be thoughtful, wise, and enormously talented.
Those who know her, have worked with her, or call her their cantor spoke glowingly of her. They focused on her ability to connect with congregants of every age and stage, guide students toward Bar or Bat Mitzvah, and how she communicates her love of Judaism.
Cantor Stillman is no stranger to Boston. She is a graduate of Brandeis University and completed her training at Hebrew Union College in New York.
We feel fortunate that Cantor Stillman chose to apply and that we will be able to welcome her in July. She will be visiting us in the next few months as she spends time with Cantor Einhorn (who is thrilled to warmly welcome her to the Temple Israel family) and the rest of the clergy and prepares for the coming year. In the next few weeks, we will let you know of some occasions to meet her.
A time of transition is a time of many opportunities.
We look forward to honoring our beloved cantor and to welcoming our new one in the coming year.
May we continue to join together as a community filled with beautiful music and joyful song.
Rabbi Elaine Zecher Marc Maxwell
Senior Rabbi Board President