Dear Members of the Chizuk Amuno Community,
We are delighted to share with you that Cantor Randy Herman has agreed to become the next Hazzan of Chizuk Amuno, starting July 1 of this year.
At the start of our search, our community thought deeply about the characteristics we wanted our next Hazzan to embody. We are thrilled to have found someone who can bring us exactly what we have been seeking.
As those of you who had a chance to meet him saw for yourselves, Cantor Herman is an exceedingly talented musician. His vocal skills are exceptional. He is a master of traditional nusach as well as the more contemporary styles of Jewish liturgical music. He respects and will carry on the extraordinary musical heritage of our synagogue, while working enthusiastically with our rabbis to bring a fresh spirit and renewed energy to our services. He will be a vital and engaging presence in our schools. He will lovingly and skillfully guide our bar and bat mitzvah students and cultivate ongoing relationships with them and their families. He will teach and encourage members of all ages to play active roles in leading our services. He will be a source of strength and comfort for our members who seek a pastoral presence, and, with his wife Nicole and his two-year-old daughter Kaya, will be an engaged friend and neighbor for our entire community.
The decision to engage Cantor Herman emerges from a long and thoughtful search. The 20 people who comprise our Hazzan Search Committee reflect a broad cross-section of our community. They recruited candidates from across the globe and with a variety of backgrounds. They reviewed more than 50 applications, conducted dozens of video and extended in-person sessions, and brought in three candidates for full weekends. Based on everything they saw and heard over the course of nearly two years, the Committee concluded overwhelmingly that Cantor Herman was far and away the best choice for Chizuk Amuno, and our Board of Trustees concurred unanimously. We are deeply grateful to the members of the Search Committee, and especially to co-chairs Antony Rosen (last year), Joel Suldan (this year), and Jenny Gamliel (both years), for their hard and careful work.
Not only did the Search Committee conclude that Cantor Herman is the right choice for Chizuk Amuno; you did, too. After Cantor Herman’s weekend visit in February, we asked you to share your reactions with us. With a degree of agreement that we rarely see about anything, you told us that your interactions with Cantor Herman had been inspiring, that he would be a good fit for our community, and that you would welcome him as our next Hazzan. Many of you also offered more specific comments, and we will be sharing those suggestions with Cantor Herman so that as he starts his work with us he will have an even clearer understanding of our preferences and tastes.
We are confident that, as the next Hazzan of Chizuk Amuno, Cantor Herman will enable our members and students to experience the meaningful, inspirational, joyous tefillah and musical experiences we all seek as individuals, and will also help us collectively, as a sacred community, to meet the needs and expectations of our current and future members. We hope you share our excitement as we enter this new stage of our congregation’s life.
We are planning a Zoom welcome for Cantor Herman and his family. Look for more information about this in the coming days.
Rabbi Joshua Gruenberg
Rabbi Debi Wechsler