Cantor Young’s Message to the Congregation.

It’s hard to believe that I am finishing the end of my first year here at Beth Emet, a spiritual home and community that has brought tremendous blessing and fulfillment in my life. I am incredibly grateful for the warm embrace of community that I experienced upon my family’s arrival here in Chicago. The openness and trust that people shared with me, along with a genuine invitation to share my creativity, encouraged me to push the boundaries of worship with our Soul Spark Shabbat.  This monthly offering of soul-stirring music intertwined with deep learning and meditation, has become a beloved service offering. Over the course of the year, the core of musicians from our own Beth Emet community has grown to 14 people. Our ensemble includes singers, guitar, mandolin, violin or cello, percussion, and the shruti box (an Indian drone instrument used for chant). It has been exciting to connect with and build community tapping into music and spirituality in new ways.

As a composer, I have found inspiration to create new music, which has always been how I have connected to our sacred texts and to the Divine. Many know that I had a long dry spell for a year-and-a-half, that was finally broken when I settled here.  I want to express my gratitude to our community for helping me feel at home here and embracing all the change that comes with a new cantor with an open heart.