Beth Emet - The Free Synagogue

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

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Cantor Cotler new headshto for web

Kyle comes from a long line of Jewish music – his great-grandfather was a Chazzan in Russia; his grandfather, Ted, served in Ventura; and his father, Doug, is currently the cantor at Or Ami in Calabasas. Kyle studied at the Academy for Jewish Religion in California and is now a fourth-generation cantor and first-generation rabbi. That has to be some kind of record! 

Kyle’s love for music was nurtured at a young age. His room was next to his father’s music room, and he remembers falling asleep to the sound of his father practicing and writing liturgical songs and prayers. It was only a matter of time before he began his own musical sojourn. By the end of high school, he was a proficient drummer, guitarist, and pianist. He received his B.A. in music theory and composition from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He was a baritone/tenor in the choir and was the principal composer and conductor for the Knights of Classic Lore vocal ensemble. Kyle’s primary medium of composition was the guitar and piano, but he has since embraced the digital age and now composes on his computer. 

Kyle’s first taste of Jewish music began at the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) camps. Having attended Camp Swig and Camp Newman as a child and teenager, by the end of college, he served as the head song leader at Camp Hess Kramer and then Camp Kalsman. He has also composed a number of original Hebrew songs and prayers and made his musical debut at the Center for Advancement of Jewish Education convention in Vermont in 2008, and was later a featured performer at the URJ Biennial in 2009. From 2010 to 2012 he served as the Cantorial Soloist at Temple Beth Ohr in La Mirada. From 2012 to 2016 Kyle was the cantorial intern and rabbinic intern at Stephen Wise Temple in Bel Air. From 2016 to 2019 Kyle served as the Cantor at North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, New York.

Kyle is thrilled to embrace his lech l’cha moment as he sojourns to Evanston. He brings a passion for Judaism, a love of all things musical, and a zest for creating meaningful connections with people. His primary goal and sincere hope are that he will enrich the lives of all those in our community and bring an innovative, infectious energy to all forms of worship in which he is involved. Though Kyle grew up a lifelong Dodgers and Seahawks fan, he is learning to love the ursine Chicago athletics teams. Kyle lives with his fiancée, Rachel, and their dog, Wishbone.

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Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

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