Cantor Lisa Segal
Cantor Lisa Segal joined the Temple Beth Sholom clergy team in June of 2011. She oversees all musical and liturgical aspects of the synagogue as well as director of the B'nei Mitzvah program. She came to Temple Beth Sholom with years of experience as a pastoral clergy member. It has been her greatest joy serving her congregants in their times of joy and sadness. She has a passion to serve in every aspect of the lives of her congregants including worship services, life cycle events, religious school and early childhood. Cantor Segal is a certified "PREPARE/ENRICH" pre-marital counselor and is qualified to officiate at life cycle events as a solo officiant or alongside her Rabbinic colleagues.
Prior to coming to Temple Beth Sholom, Cantor Segal served at Temple Beth Am, in Pinecrest for 24 years, where she was known for her personalized life cycle ceremonies, innovative alternative worship, and her role as an educator in the B'nai Mitzvah Program, Day School, Religious School and Preschool. Her greatest passion is to empower others serve as our congregation as service leaders, soloists, musicians, and chanters. Prior to becoming a Cantor, she served as a Cantorial Soloist for many south Florida congregations including Bet Breira, Temple Dor Dorim, Temple Beth El, Temple Judea and Temple Beth Am. She was a music teacher at Lehrman Day School and Beth Am Day School and she is passionate about our youth. Her prior career was in retail where she was employed by Jordan Marsh, Florida for six years as a Corporate Trainer and Systems Coordinator.
Cantor Segal is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. In 2001 she entered the Hebrew Union College/School of Sacred Music Cantorial Certification program and completed the program in 2007. She is an active member of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) and served on its national board. She is also a member of the Cantors Assembly and Women Cantors Network. Cantor Segal is a member of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Cantorial Cabinet. In March of 2010, she was honored by the Children's Bereavement Center for her volunteer work. She has also served as a volunteer for Casa Valentina.
Cantor Segal's experience as a counselor and song leader at URJ Camp Coleman contributed to her calling as a Cantor. She is extremely passionate about youth and summer camping. She is a former member of the URJ Camp Coleman Committee, and on its Clergy Advisory Board. She is also a former board member of Hillel at the University of Florida. She is involved with the Reform presence at UF Hillel and assists with staffing and preparing the High Holy Day services and training service leaders on the UF campus.
Cantor Segal is a member of "The Garage Band," a Miami area classic oldies rock n' roll band which performs at benefits for local charities. An accomplished vocalist and guitarist, she frequently teaches, performs, composes, records and concertizes. She has been a prominent presence at URJ biennials and Cantor conventions.
Cantor Segal was born in Detroit, Michigan and moved with her family to St. Petersburg, Florida as a teen. Upon college graduation, she moved to Miami in 1981. She is married to Jimmy Segal, a native of Miami and President of Electrical Supplies, Inc. They have two children: Danny is a comedy writer in Los Angeles and Andrea is pursuing a career in psychology. All four of them are graduates of the University of Florida and they are proud and passionate Florida Gator fans.
Jennifer Lamden, Cantorial Assistant/B'nei Mitzvah Administrator
Originally from Columbus Ohio Jennifer comes to us with a wealth of synagogue administration experience. She was previously at Temple Israel of Greater Miami as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and Rabbi. Prior to relocating to South Florida, Jennifer has held several synagogue administrative positions and has taught in Religious Schools across the country. Jennifer is excited to join our TBS team assisting Cantor Segal.
Jennifer and her husband are thrilled to be a part of the diverse community of South Florida. They can often be found (with their two Standard poodles and two Cockatoos in tow) on a sunny beach, deep sea fishing, antiquing, art festivals, and discovering the many attractions Miami has to offer.
Cantor Adele Nicholson
Cantor Nicholson came to the cantorate during a four-year sojourn in Germany that gave her an opportunity to explore Judaism in a deeply personal way. A singer at the Cologne Opera House, she began to feel a keen sense of obligation to her grandfather, who had come to America before WWI. His father had hoped for a new start for himself and his family, as his businesses had been confiscated by the Russian government one too many times. Cantor Nicholson’s grandfather became a Bar Mitzvah on the boat, and worked hard for many years to put his son through college. Her father was living proof that her great-grandfather’s hope had been realized.
As she walked daily by the sites of preserved WWII ruins, Cantor Nicholson knew that she owed a great debt of gratitude to her grandfather and his family. She wondered why she had been so fortunate to have been born into the favorable circumstances of 1960s middle-class America, and later to have prospered in 1980s America-friendly Germany. This spiritual search eventually led Cantor Nicholson to the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music (DFSSM) at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she became invested in 1996.
Cantor Nicholson has served Jewish congregations in New York, Chicago, Detroit, California, Oklahoma, South Florida and St. Thomas, USVI. Presently, she serves Temple Chaim in Margate, FL, and Temple Adath Yeshurun in Manchester, NH as Cantor. She is also the Coordinator of Alumni Engagement at the DFSSM. She has officiated at Temple Beth Sholom services on several occasions, and looks forward to meeting and preparing TBS’s B’nei Mitzvah and celebrating with her students and their families on their special day.
From time to time, Cantor Nicholson wears her grandfather’s frayed Bar Mitzvah tallis on the bimah. It gives her a keen sense of connection to her family, and to our Jewish ancestors upon whose shoulders we stand. Every time Cantor Nicholson feels the excitement of learning together with a student, every time she stands beside a Bar or Bat Mitzvah on the bimah, she senses that she is paying a small portion of the debt of gratitude that she will always owe to her grandfather.
Jennifer Benrey is a music educator and cantorial soloist based in the Miami area. She holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree in choral music from the Florida State University. She is currently in Jerusalem, attending her first year of Cantorial school at the HUC-JIR Debbie Friedman School of Jewish Music.
She has taught at Michael Krop Senior High School in Aventura and Cypress Bay High School in Weston, and currently teaches music in the religious school at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, at the Temple Beth Shmuel Montessori School, and at the Homeschoolers of Miami Enrichment program (H.O.M.E.).
She is also the assistant conductor of the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale and teaches private voice, piano, and math.
Liora is a vibrant, talented teacher who captures the hearts of children and adults with her enthusiasm and love for Judaism. She is also an energetic Israeli dance instructor who has the pleasure of leading the Israeli dance classes and Harkadot at TBS . Liora has many years of experience teaching Hebrew and preparing for Bar/Bat Mitzvah as well as leading Family high holiday’s services. Liora was born and raised in Israel. She made Miami her home away from home 13 years ago when she came for the second time to the Alper JCC summer camp as the Jewish agency Israeli emissary. Liora feels she still fulfills her Zionist mission outside of Israel by creating and keeping a strong bond with the Jewish community. She believes the connections she makes with the community will strengthen their relationship and commitment to Israel. Her goal is to make Hebrew learning and the Bar Mitzvah journey an enjoyable and meaningful journey.
Sigal was born in Tel Aviv, Israel and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She holds a Bachelors in Journalism and worked in the field while living in Israel, but soon after realized where her true passion belonged – in the classroom. This prompted her to transition to Education and complete her second degree. She has always enjoyed working with children and living in a hot climate so she made the decision to relocate to Miami and make it her new home. Her love for educating children coupled with her passion and commitment to Israel and Jewish learning was what brought her to Temple Beth Sholom. Sigal hopes to inspire her students to cultivate their own unique Jewish identities through the meaningful and enjoyable Bar Mitzvah journey.
Vered Pasternak was born and raised in Israel. Like most Israelis, she served in the Israeli Armed Forces. She graduated from the Art Academy in Tel Aviv and worked for "Isram" (a travel agency) for twelve years.
Temple Beth Sholom is like a home away from home for Vered. She worked here as a receptionist and in the last several years, she has had great success as a private tutor in the B'nei Mitzvah Program.
Vered is proud to be part of a great team who will work under Cantor Lisa Segal’s supervision and sees it as her own mitzvah to be part of the new generation's Jewish education. Vered moved to Miami in 2001, is married to husband, Zev, and has one very adorable son, Daniel.
Becky de la Zerda
Becky de la Zerda has been teaching bar and bat mitzvah preparation for nearly 30 years -- having taught in her native city of Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, and New York. A graduate of an Israel-oriented youth movement and its summer camps, where she grew from chanicha (camper) to madricha (counselor) to merakezet chinuch (director of education) to Israel programs coordinator, she has been involved in Jewish education, and Jewish music education, for most of her life.
Currently, she teaches Hebrew, Judaics, and music at Cuban Hebrew Montessori preschool, where she is known as "Morah Becca." She has worked at the Miami Beach JCC, both as supervisor of its Club K'Ton Ton child care and as specialist in its summer camp. She sings with Nova Singers, is an active charter member of Miami's Second Avenue Jewish Chorale, and recently sang with Temple Beth Shalom's Chai Notes.
Becky has a bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Michigan. She is a freelance writer and editor, working with universities, private companies, and individuals around South