Rabbi Cantor Gershon Silins was our rabbi for 2 years, leading our community between 2018 and 2020. He completed his rabbinic training at Leo Baeck College, was ordained in July 2019, and was “inducted“ as our rabbi in December 2019.
Gershon Silins is both an ordained cantor and rabbi. He was ordained in 2019 after rabbinical training at Leo Baeck College in London. He is a member of the Montagu Centre Rabbinic Team at Liberal Judaism. He previously served as cantor of Temple Sinai Congregation in Toronto, Temple Avodah in Oceanside, New York, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois and Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland.
Silins’s essay, “The Discussion of Music in Lawrence A. Hoffman’s The Art of Public Prayer”appeared in The CCAR Journal (scholarly journal of the Central Conference of American Rabbis). He served on the Board of the American Conference of Cantors and on the Joint Commission on Worship, Music and Religious Living of the Union for Reform Judaism in the US.
He has also been an active freelance singer in the worlds of concert and opera, including appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under James Levine, Carlo Maria Giulini, and Sir George Solti, and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic under Lukas Foss. He also sang with the Maryland Handel Festival in the role of Simon in Handel’s Judas Maccabeus with the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Paul Traver.
Gershon received the degree of Master of Sacred Music from the School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where he was ordained as a cantor. In 2015, Cantor Silins was awarded the degree of Doctor of Sacred Music (honoris causa) by Hebrew Union College, marking his contributions to the American cantorate, twenty-five years after his ordination.