STARS OF DAVID CAST
Cantor Tifani Coyot was born in Long Island New York and grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where she realized her dream of becoming a Cantor during her Bat Mitzvah service.
Cantor Coyot graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a B.A. in Jewish Studies and a minor in Vocal Performance. She spent her junior year abroad at the University College of London, studying in the largest Jewish Studies department in Europe. It was in London where she met her husband Loïc, who introduced her to the French language, culture, and Judaism. She is an avid supporter of the Jewish community in France and serves as an artist in residence and teacher at La Communauté Juive Libérale in Paris.
She received her ordination as Cantor at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion with a Double Masters in Sacred Music and Jewish Education. Cantor Coyot is a strong believer in informal education which inspired her to become a Jewish professional. She has been active in Jewish camping and song-leading since high school. The theme of her Cantorate was joy and was centered around relationships and creating meaningful Jewish experiences. While studying at the Hebrew Union College, she served on Student Government and was the president of the School of Sacred Music.
As a member of the American Conference of Cantors, she served on the School of Sacred Music recruitment committee.
She is now a member of the URJ Joint Worship Committee and is an active leader in the Western Region Cantors Network, co-chairing the Regional Cantors Conference. She served as the cantor on the faculty at the Hebrew Union College campus in Los Angeles.
Cantor Coyot’s passion is in creating innovative worship experiences and has performed for communities around the world. She actively builds bridges using music and dialogue with many faith-based and non-profit organizations in Los Angeles. She has a love for revitalizing Jewish and secular music and in her spare time has composed Jewish music with her writing partner, Mary Ekler.
She loves living in California because of the amazing weather and gorgeous terrain. She leads Shabbat and Havdalah hikes, yoga, and meditation/chanting services, and Jewish wilderness programming.
During her free time, she enjoys yoga, exploring nature, new restaurants, and traveling. You can find her hiking in Runyon Canyon, biking in Sherman Oaks, or rollerblading in Santa Monica. She is blessed to have a supportive husband, Loïc and a beautiful son Natanel.
Cantor Rebecca Garfein, mezzo-soprano, is the Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City, and is the first female Cantor ever to hold this position. Cantor Garfein has appeared in numerous recitals throughout the United States, Israel, and Europe.
In 1997, Cantor Garfein was invited to participate in the Jewish Cultural Festival in Berlin, Germany and was the first female Cantor to give a solo concert in the same city her grandfather of blessed memory fled. At the 1998 Berlin Jewish Cultural Festival, she became the first female Cantor to preside in a German synagogue, and released a CD of the live recording of the 1997 Berlin concert, “Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue.”
On November 10, 2005 at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York, Cantor Garfein presented the concert and historic CD debut of “Golden Chants in America…Commemorating 350 years of Jewish Music, 1654-2004,” Including music from the Spanish-Portuguese Jews, the synagogue and the Yiddish and Broadway theater, the CD is the first U.S. recording to feature Jewish music spanning 350 years of life in America.
Cantor Garfein is also a featured soloist on two recordings from the Sacred Music Press, Celebrating the Past and Present, honoring the 50th anniversary of the School of Sacred Music, 1999, and Kol Sasson Kol Simcha, a commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 2001.
A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Cantor Garfein has been a featured soloist with the Ra’a’na’na Orchestra and the Zamir Chorale at the Jerusalem Theater in Israel and in 2001 was a soloist at the 350th anniversary concert of the Curacao Jewish Community.
Cantor Garfein made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 with Mandy Patinkin in a benefit concert for the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater. In 2003, Cantor Garfein made her debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in a concert celebrating the release of Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s book, “Musically Speaking.” She has been a participant in the opera program at DiCapo Opera in New York City and at the Aspen Music Festival. Last year, Cantor Garfein made her Town Hall Debut with Neil Sedaka and Jay Black in another benefit concert for the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre. As a teenager, Cantor Garfein was a participant in the Young Artists’ vocal program at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts.
Cantor Garfein graduated cum laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with a degree in vocal performance and opera. In 1993, she received her Master’s Degree in Sacred Music and Cantorial Ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).
Cantor Kay Greenwald serves as the Director of Placement for the American Conference of Cantors. Cantor Greenwald grew up in Southern California where she attended Pomona College, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Classical Studies. Upon graduating from Pomona, Cantor Greenwald matriculated to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and completed a Master’s in Vocal Performance. She then moved to Vienna and spent the next few years singing opera throughout the country of Austria, as well as numerous venues throughout the United States.
When Cantor Greenwald returned permanently to the U.S., she determined to join her love of music with her passion for Judaism. She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in 1992. Following her ordination Cantor Greenwald moved to the San Francisco Bay area, becoming Assistant Cantor at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, California. She served Beth Am for 13 years moving first to Associate, and then to Senior Cantor status over the course of her service to the congregation. Today Cantor Greenwald is Cantor Emerita at Congregation Beth Am.
Having served on numerous ACC task forces and committees, as well as the ACC Executive Board, Cantor Greenwald is a past president of the ACC. Cantor Greenwald has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Cantor Greenwald is happily married to Lee, a physician, and is the proud mother of Bill, who is a graduate student in Bioinformatics at UC San Diego.
Cantor Don Gurney a Cleveland native, joined Wilshire Boulevard Temple in 1999. After graduating from New York’s Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion, School of Sacred Music, in 1986 he became director of its chorus and instructor in liturgical and 19th-century synagogue music, remaining on its faculty until 1999. He also served as chazan at Emmanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut from 1986 to 1994.
From 1994 to 1999, Cantor Gurney served Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York and made his Lincoln Center conducting debut at the International Choral Festival in 1995. His tenor voice can be heard on two CDs, One Voice, and Meditations of the Heart.
Cantor Gurney is married to Los Angeles native Nancy Binder. They are the proud parents of daughter Gillian.
Cantor Yonah Kliger, a member of Temple Judea’s Clergy is dedicated to revitalizing worship and creating a bridge between the ancient sounds of Jewish tradition and contemporary music. With a strong background in theater, Cantor Kliger infuses his passion for music and performing with his love of prayer, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the synagogue experience. With Rabbi Aaron, he helped create one of the core Shabbat experiences at Temple Emanuel, Shabbat Unplugged. His passions extend far beyond the bimah, with a focus on engaging our Jewish youth as well as illuminating Judaism through the arts. Cantor Kliger’s dedication to the B’nai Mitzvah program has helped to make it a model emulated by temples throughout the Los Angeles Area.
A gifted teacher, he has captured the enthusiasm of our teens by establishing the Junior Cantors Program in which post-B’nai Mitzvah students congregate every Saturday to study Jewish text and music, culminating in their leading Shabbat Services throughout the year. Cantor Kliger also serves as Director of Temple Emanuel’s Emanuel Arts Center. Through his leadership, EAC has introduced original plays, musicals, concerts, film screenings, and Shabbat experiences to the Temple Emanuel Congregation. He is also very passionate about his work as Executive Producer of a concert in support of Israeli Victims of Terror.
Cantor Kliger received his commission as Hazzan-Minister from the Cantors Assembly and proudly serves on the Executive Board of their Western region.
Cantor Leigh Korn joined the clergy team at Temple Isaiah, in Lafayette, California in 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in bassoon performance and a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Iowa. While studying in Israel, he worked with Tzi’im, a choir of mentally challenged adults, which included preparing them for a performance at the K’nesset. Cantor Korn has served pulpits in Washington Township, NJ and Falls Church, VA. In 2004, he earned a Masters of Sacred Music degree from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Insititute of Religion School of Sacred Music, and in 2005, became ordained as cantor. Cantor Korn serves on the board of the American Conference of Cantors. In the fall of 2009, he conducted the Delegates’ Choir at the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial Convention in Toronto. In 2010, Cantor Korn was one of 20 cantors invited to sing at the Vatican for a historic concert as a part of a conference on Jewish-Catholic Dialogue.
Cantor William Tiep was born in Encino, California and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. Billy found his talents drew him to work with young people, and so a major in both music and education was a natural choice. Billy received his degree in Music Education from the University of Arizona, Tucson.
While studying in Tucson, Billy directed the music programs for Congregation Anshei Israel and Temple Emanuel. His educational experience includes working in the Clark County School District (Las Vegas) as a music educator for grades K-12 and holding the position of music director for the nursery school, religious school, and elementary school at Wilshire Blvd. Temple in Los Angeles, California.
Billy studied at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where he was ordained as a cantor in 2007. Besides his work with secular and religious schools, Billy has also been the Head Songleader at the URJ Greene Family Camp (1997), and URJ Kutz Camp (1998, 1999, 2003, 2004).
He served as cantor from 2007 to 2010 at the historic Touro Synagogue in New Orleans, Louisiana where he took the annual Jazz Fest Shabbat service to a new level, working with the famous Kermit Ruffins, Allen Toussaint, and Marcia Ball.
Billy comes to Temple Solel with his wife Michelle, their sons Zachary, Eli, and Joshua and two dogs, Oliver and Kona.
Cantor Lizzie Weiss grew up at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. She was very involved in all things music. From intergenerational productions at the Emanuel Arts Center to Junior Cantors to the High Holy Day Professional Choir, Cantor Weiss developed her Jewish identity with her experiences in Jewish living at Temple Emanuel, Camp Swig/Newman and all under the wing of her Uncle Rabbi Kenneth J. Weiss, and brother Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss.
Cantor Weiss is known for her powerful voice and welcoming presence. She values creating accessible and uplifting musical experiences for people of all ages and strives to bring contemporary pieces along with nostalgic melodies to her congregants.
After graduating from the University of California, Irvine with a degree in drama, Cantor Weiss moved to New York and was cast in the Broadway National Tour of Disney’s High School Musical. After a few years on the road, Cantor Weiss landed back in Los Angeles, and entered cantorial school at the Academy for Jewish Religion, under the mentorship of Cantor Nathan Lam and Cantor Perryne Anker. While in school, she served as Student Cantor at Congregation B’nai Tzedek for three full years, and four High Holy Day seasons. She spent her final year of cantorial school as Student Cantor at Temple Emanuel coordinating and tutoring for the B’nai Mitzvah Program, and singing at Shabbat Morning@Emanuel and various Friday-evening services. Cantor Weiss received her cantorial ordination in May 2015.
When not on the Temple Emanuel Bima, Cantor Weiss can be found singing in Jewish and secular concerts, alike, throughout Los Angeles, and continues to teach private voice lessons to kids and young adults.