About Cantor Shammash

The daughter of a mother with roots in Latvian Jewry and a Baghdad-born father of Babylonian Jewish tradition who emigrated to American in 1947, Cantor Elizabeth Shammash  feels the proud inheritance of two rich Jewish lineages. She has served Tiferet Bet Israel in Blue Bell, PA since 2007 and enjoys sharing her passion and calling with congregants of all ages, in music of diverse genres, connecting them to our rich liturgical and cultural tradition.  In addition, she works the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, mentoring rabbis and cantors in Jewish mindfulness practices.

Prior to entering Jewish Theological Seminary in 2004, her career in opera and concert took her to work with companies including New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Wolf Trap Opera,  Palm Beach Opera,  Sarasota Opera, Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and the Beijing Music Festival and symphonic appearances including the Israel Philharmonic, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony, Los Angeles Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra. The 2018-19 season highlight was a Yiddish Liederabend at YIVO in New York City, and 2019-20 included a Leonard Bernstein 100th birthday concert at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, presented jointly by Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Lyric Fest, with Jamie Bernstein as narrator, as well as a Hebrew Liederabend at YIVO, featuring the arts song of Israeli composers.

Cantor Shammash has recorded extensively for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music. She holds degrees from Brown University, Manhattan School of Music, Boston University Opera Institute, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a longtime yoga practitioner and makes her home in Philadelphia with her husband, David Reed, and their rescue dog, Lenny.

Media

Video Recordings

Shloymele, Malkele. Music by Joseph Rumshinksky. Lyrics by Isidore Lillian. Recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Morenica, “Dark Beauty”, traditional Ladino. Elizabeth Shammash, mezzo-soprano; Allen Krantz, guitar. Recorded live at 1867 Sanctuary, Ewing NJ . 

Baym Bentshn Likht. Music: Lazar Weiner. Yehudi Wyner, piano. A young woman recalls how her mother would tear up with her deepest prayers as she lit the Shabbat candles on Friday nights.

Shloymele, Malkele. Music by Abraham Ellstein. Lyrics by Molly Picon. Recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Audio Tracks

L’chu N’ran’na, Kabbalat Shabbat liturgy. Recorded live 10/25/19. Music: Elana Rozenfeld & Lautaro Mantilla.  Cantor Leon Sher, guitar; Gaston, Bernstein, percussion.

L’cha Dodi, Kabbalat Shabbat liturgy. Music: Breslov Hassidic/ folk tune/ Aaron Bensoussan. Rabbi David Ackerman, guitar.

Ahavat Olam, Shabbat Maariv liturgy. Music: Eric Mandell. Rabbi David Ackerman, guitar.

Avinu Malkeinu, Yom Kippur liturgy. Music: Max Janowski. Recorded for the Milken Archive of Jewish Music.

Hineni, High Holy Day liturgy. Live recording, Tiferet Bet Israel, Yom Kippur 2019/5780. Music: Adolph Katchko.

Tavo L’fanecha, Yom Kippur liturgy. Music: Max Janowski. David Schlossberg, piano.

Calendar

Upcoming Events

November 17
Divas on the Bima
Beth Torah Benny Rok Campus
Miami, FL more info

December 6
Shulhouse Rock 7:30 p.m.
with Joe Tayoun, percussion
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell PA

December 12-15 | 3 nights
“Deep Calls to Deep: Shabbat Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat” with Cantor Elizabeth Shammash and Rabbi Myriam Klotz
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Lenox MA
more info

December 20
Shabbat Sababa 7:30 p.m.
with Roger Mgrdichian, oud; Stan Slotter, flute; Marc Bernstein, bass guitar; Joe Tayoun, percussion
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell PA

January 10
Shabbat with Strings Attached 7:30 p.m.
with Allen Krantz, guitar
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell PA

January 12-17
Institute for Jewish Spirituality – Teaching Retreat
Brandeis-Bardin Institute, Simi Valley CA

January 24-26
Scholar in Residence
Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, Baltimore MD

January 31
Shulhouse Rock 7:30 p.m.
with Joe Tayoun, percussion, and Rory Michelle
Sullivan, guitar

February 3
Divas on the Bima
Jewish Federation of Durham
Chapel Hill, NC more info

February 7-9
Scholar in Residence
Temple Israel of Great Neck
Great Neck, NY

February 21
Shabbat Sababa 7:30 p.m.
with Roger Mgrdichian, oud; Stan Slotter, flute; Marc Bernstein, bass guitar; Joe Tayoun, percussion
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell, PA

February 27
Divas on the Bima
Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach, FL
more info

March 1
Concert: Bat Yam Temple of the Island
Sanibel, FL

March 20
Shulhouse Rock 7:30 p.m.
with Joe Tayoun, percussion
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell, PA

March 27
Shabbat with Strings Attached 7:30 p.m.
with Allen Krantz, guitar

April 3
Shulhouse Rock 7:30 p.m.
with Joe Tayoun, percussion

April 17
Shabbat Nafshi 7:30 p.m.
with Cantor Leon Sher, guitar, and Gaston
Bernstein, percussion

April 24
Shabbat Sababa 7:30 p.m.
with Roger Mgrdichian, oud; Stan Slotter, flute; Marc Bernstein, bass guitar; Joe Tayoun, percussion
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell, PA

May 1
Shulhouse Rock 7:30 p.m.
with Joe Tayoun, percussion
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell PA

May 3
Concert: Tango Under the Jewish Stars 4:00 p.m.
Cantors Elizabeth Shammash and Ramon Tasat,
with a traditional tango band
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell, PA

May 7
Divas on the Bima
Temple Beth Sholom, Cherry Hill, NJ
more info

May 8
Shabbat with Strings Attached 7:30 p.m.
with Allen Krantz, guitar
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell, PA

May 31
Divas on the Bima
Neve Shalom, Metuchen, NJ
more info

June 5
Shabbat Nafshi 7:30 p.m.
with Cantor Leon Sher, guitar, and Gaston Bernstein, percussion
Tiferet Bet Israel, Blue Bell, PA

June 14
Divas on the Bima
Temple Beth Sholom, Roslyn Heights, NY
more info

June 22-July 2 | 10 nights
Cantors Assembly Mission to Italy
more info

July 19
Divas on the Bima
Shirat Hayam, Ventnor City, NJ
more info

Contact

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