Rabbi Stuart W. Gershon
Temple Sinai's Rabbi since 1993.
Rabbi Stuart W. Gershon is now in his 20th year as the Rabbi of Temple Sinai. Rabbi Gershon was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in 1989. Rabbi Gershon possesses two M.A. degrees, one in Jewish Education from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the other in Hebrew Literature from HUC-JIR. He received his B.A. in Judaic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Rabbi Gershon is known for his warmth, caring, and sense of humor. He brings his own unique blend of spirituality and intellectuality to Shabbat and festival services and to Torah study.
At the 12th grade graduation from Temple Sinai High School in May, 2013, one graduating senior said this about Rabbi Gershon:
"Rabbi, you are wise yet approachable, silly yet responsible, funny yet respectful...You are a tzaddik, a righteous one. You are the most purely good person I have ever known, and your faith is clearly part of the reason why. That is why I kept coming back to services. That's why I kept attending Hebrew High School. Before I was even a Jew in my own right, I knew that if Reform Judaism could produce a man like you, then it was a religion worth believing in."
Rabbi Gershon was a founder and tri-chair of the Darfur Genocide Rescue Committee of Summit from 2007 to 2009. He also served as a founder and co-chair of the New Providence Diversity Committee from 2007 to 2010. Rabbi Gershon was awarded the "Keeper of the Dream" Award by the Martin Luther King Day of Service Committee in 2010. Rabbi Gershon is the author of Kol Nidrei: Its Origin, Development, and Significance.
Rabbi Gershon began his rabbinic career in 1989 as Assistant Rabbi at Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was promoted to Associate Rabbi in 1992. In Worcester, Rabbi Gershon served as the chairperson of the Jewish Education Committee of the Worcester Jewish Federation from 1991-1994. In 1993, Rabbi Gershon co-founded and organized the very first "Torathon," a synagogue-wide community educational event. Rabbi Gershon was designated "Rabbinic Award Winner" by the Council of Jewish Federations in 1993 in honor of his volunteer leadership for Worcester Jewish Federation.
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Phone: 908-273-4921 x12
Cantor Marina Shemesh
Temple Sinai's Cantor since 2012.
Cantor Marina Shemesh was born in St. Petersburg, Russia (then known as Leningrad). She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the State Conservatory of St. Petersburg. While studying and performing opera in St. Petersburg, she studied Hebrew, in secret with other Jews, learning the language from tapes and movies smuggled into Russia from Israel. When the Iron Curtain was lifted, she and her husband made Aliya.
In Israel, she earned a second Bachelor of Arts Degree at the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music, where she won first prize in the Academy's Vocal Competition. In addition to being a soloist at the New Israeli Opera in Tel-Aviv, Cantor Shemesh performed in concerts, recitals, and oratorio with major Israeli orchestras, such as the Rishon-le-Zion, Ashdod, Raanana, and Haifa Technion orchestras.
She and her husband moved to Toronto which is where she became interested in becoming a Cantor. She served as Rosh Tefilah and Hebrew Teacher at Camp Ramah in Canada and later went on to earn her Master of Sacred Music and Diploma of a Chazzan at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City and is a member of the American Conference of Cantors.
Cantor Shemesh served Congregration Beth Israel in Worcester, MA from 2004-2010. In August, 2010 she assumed a Cantor position at the Brotherhood Synagogue of Manhattan, a non-affiliated congregation with 900 member families. In that role, she was the first full-time and first female Cantor at the synagogue.
In July, 2012 Cantor Shemesh came to Temple Sinai. She lives in Livingston, NJ with her husband and her two sons (ages 11 and 4). She also has an older son who is currently attending Brandeis University.
To hear Cantor Shemesh sing Y'varech'cha click here.