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Cantor Leah Shafritz

Cantor Leah Shafritz
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Cantor Leah Shafritz grew up just a few hours down the 101 in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA. During her youth and teen years, she was very involved in the music programs and worship at her home congregation, B’nai B’rith, encouraged and mentored by Cantor Mark Childs. Cantor Shafritz attended college in Boston, MA where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance, magna cum laude, from The Boston Conservatory. After graduating, she worked at Congregation Sha'aray Shalom in Hingham, MA in various youth and music education capacities, before embarking on her cantorial studies in Jerusalem and New York City.

She was ordained by The Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, where she also earned a Masters of Sacred Music degree. During her studies, she served as the student cantor at Port Jewish Center on Long Island, and as the cantorial intern at Shaaray Tefila, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Following ordination, Cantor Shafritz returned to the Boston area to serve as the cantor of Temple Shalom of Newton.

Cantor Shafritz believes that music is a powerful tool with which to connect to people in ways beyond what is possible in everyday interactions; that it can reach, inspire, and create relationships with people in many different aspects of congregational life. As clergy, she feels privileged to be able to create connection and to empower others to bring their unique gifts in order to build community, creating sparks of holiness within the entire congregation.

Cantor Shafritz is thrilled to be back in California, this time with her husband, Abram Koester, their future therapy dog, Albie, and pandemic puppy, Luna. She enjoys cooking, baking, and playing tennis. Always a Southern Californian at heart, Cantor Shafritz proudly bleeds Dodger Blue. 

If you are interested in learning more about or getting involved with any of our youth or adult music programs at Temple Emanu-El, please e-mail to be connected with Cantor Shafritz.

Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784