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Rabbi Jeffrey J. Sirkman

Rabbi Jeffrey J. Sirkman is the Senior Rabbi of Larchmont Temple, and has been privileged to serve the congregation for the past 25 years. At the core of his leadership, Covenant has remained the mission that gives meaning to Temple membership, as it does to Jewish life.

Connecting to congregants by celebrating the gifts each person brings, Rabbi Sirkman has aspired to foster a face-to-face faith-- building sacred relationships one person at a time. Indeed, his partnership with Reverend Bill Crawford of Larchmont Avenue Church and Bishop Wayne Powell of Strait Gate Church, have built bridges of understanding, and fostered a dialogue that have connected our temple community to other faith communities celebrating the journey of faith we all share. Reverend Crawford and Rabbi Sirkman, having co-hosted a local cable TV breakfast table dialogue for 5 years, were awarded a National Cable Emmy for their program “Faith & Eggs.” Bishop Powell and Rabbi Sirkman have honored the memory and work of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in an annual interfaith exchange that began 18 years ago, and has continued in Seder-seat outreach and teen trips to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

Reaching out to all—affirming that every person who seeks can find a place within the Jewish family, Rabbi Sirkman has helped nurture an active Outreach program at LT. Through a spectrum of learning opportunities, featuring the “Rabbi’s Fireside Chats” series, the congregation received the URJ Outreach Belin Award for addressing the questions and concerns of interfaith families.

Extending Torah’s teaching to the heart of our lives today, Rabbi Sirkman cherishes the gift of Torah learning with dozens every Shabbat morning at our temple’s Chevrah Torah table. Engaging adult learners through a spectrum of scholars and sacred teachers, he has helped to put Torah at the core of our lives.

Affirming the bond we share with Israel, and the importance of developing a relationship with the Jewish State, he has led hundreds of congregants and their extended families in hands-on, chock-full, inspirational visits to Israel.

Rabbi Sirkman has served as President of the Westchester Board of Rabbis and as the Chair of the Program Advisory Committee for URJ Eisner Camp Institute for over a decade. He has been a board member of the Westchester Jewish Conference, a member of the Admissions Committee of HUC-JIR, and is currently the Rabbi Stephen Wise Visiting Scholar at the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion teaching 5th year rabbinic and cantorial students, a year-long course in professional development.

Jeffrey Sirkman was ordained by HUC-JIR in 1987, received his B.A. in Religion and his M.A. in Theology with a Certificate in Modern Jewish Thought from Boston University. In honor of his 25th year, Rabbi is receiving his Doctor of Divinity Degree from HUC-JIR.

He and his wife Susan, live in Larchmont, the proud parents of four wonderful children: Aaron, Alexander, Gabriel and Sophie.

Rabbi Sirkman may be reached at the temple office or through his email at jsirkman@larchmonttemple.org.

Rabbi Mara Nathan

Associate Rabbi & Director of Congregational Learning

Mara S. Nathan is the Associate Rabbi and Director of Congregational Learning at Larchmont Temple. She has worked here in various capacities since 1994. Initially teaching in the religious school and acting as youth advisor, Rabbi Nathan served as rabbinic intern for three years before assuming her rabbinic post upon ordination.

Since 2010, in addition to playing an instrumental role in all aspects of congregational life including spiritual worship and ritual, Rabbi Nathan has focused much of her energy on the many aspects of education at Larchmont Temple. She has dedicated herself to creating a cohesive education staff and has focused on enhancing the content and context of programming and fostering cooperation and collaboration among the various committees of our Temple community.

Rabbi Nathan was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2000. She was a recipient of the Steinhardt Fellowship; a scholarship awarded to rabbinical students to further informal education with teens and college age students, and received academic awards for Hebrew, History and Talmudic studies. She received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in history as well as certificates in Jewish studies and women's studies from Northwestern University in 1993. As a high school student, she studied flute at the Juilliard Conservatory Pre-college Program. Her extensive musical training and experience enables her to incorporate her voice, flute and guitar into her service leading and other programs. She has produced a CD- LT Family Shabbat- which offers Shabbat music and liturgy for young families and more mature listeners alike.

Rabbi Nathan is the president of the Westchester Board of Rabbis and is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Women’s Rabbinic Network and the New York Board of Rabbis. She also serves on the rabbinic faculty at URJ Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Rabbi Nathan was born in Westbury, New York. She currently lives in Mamaroneck, New York with her husband Larry, their two sons Isaac and Solomon, and their daughter Miriam.

Rabbi Nathan may be reached at the temple office or through her email at mnathan@larchmonttemple.org.

Cantor Tracey Scher

Cantor Tracey Scher began serving as Cantor of Larchmont Temple in July of 2013. She has been a member of the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors since 2006.
Prior to her appointment at Larchmont Temple, Cantor Scher served as cantor at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA from 2008-2013 and at Temple Beth Or in Washington Township, New Jersey from 2003-2007.

A mezzo-soprano, Cantor Scher is from Nova Scotia, Canada. She received a Master of Sacred Music Degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, a Graduate Degree in Opera Performance from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Acadia University in Nova Scotia and studied extensively with the world-renowned tenor Carlo Bergonzi at the Accademia Verdiana in Busetto, Italy. Currently, Cantor Scher studies with acclaimed vocal teacher and coach, Lenora Eve in New York.

Cantor Scher has performed lead and supporting opera roles at the Banff Center for the Arts in Canada, the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD, various venues in New York City, and the Britten-Pears Institute in England. She has also performed major oratorio works with orchestras in the northeastern United States, most recently performing Leonard Bernstein’s “Jeremiah” with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra in Maryland. Her concerts of Jewish Music are becoming well-known in Canada and the United States. In 2010, Cantor Scher, along with twenty other Cantors from the American Conference of Cantors, performed at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome, Italy.

Cantor Scher is married to Christopher Lewis and they have two children, Isaac and Maya.

Cantor Scher may be reached at the temple office or through her email at tscher@larchmonttemple.org.

Cantor Fredda Mendelson

Cantor Emerita

Fredda Rakusun Mendelson comes from a lineage, which includes a grandfather born in Riga who spent his life as a cantor in many cities in America, after emigrating in the early 1900's. Her love of music was also passed on through her mother who played the piano, her father who sang and played the violin, uncles who sang and one uncle who was a well known Dixieland clarinet and saxophone player. By 4th grade Cantor Mendelson was studying violin and became proficient in keyboard, piano and vocal studies during high school. She continued her musical education receiving a BS in Music Education from Ohio State University and a Masters of Degree Music from the College-Conservatory of Music, University Of Cincinnati. She pursued an operatic career as a Verdi mezzo-soprano throughout America and many cities around the world. Her European opera debut was as Azucena in Frankfurt, Germany.

She met her future husband, Cantor Jack Mendelson while at the American Opera Center, part of the Julliard School, in 1978. With his encouragement she began studying at the Hebrew Union College in 1992 and was invested as a Cantor in 1996. Cantor Mendelson is a member of the ACC (American Conference of Cantors), the Cantors Assembly, and the Westchester Vaad of Hazzanim. She serves on the Executive Board of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Cantorial Alumni Association. She has often been featured leading sessions and as soloist at conventions, most recently in Berlin and Munich, June, 2012. She has recorded for Transcontinental Music as well as the CD "Souls on Fire" narratated by Leonard Nimoy and "Jewish Music and More", recorded in Chicago with her husband Cantor Jack Mendelson. Before coming to Larchmont Temple in 1999 she served as cantor at Temple Bethel in Spring Valley, NY. Cantor Fredda and Cantor Jack Mendelson’s son Daniel is also a talented vocalist and is pursuing a career in film/video editing and cantorial music.

Cantor Mendelson may be reached at the temple office or through her email at cantorm@larchmonttemple.org.