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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.

Cantor Friedman for web

Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman brings a large collection of diverse passions and skills to her cantorate. She began her tenure at Beth Emet in July of 2015, just after receiving Cantorial Ordination from The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. She holds degrees of Bachelor of Music from Illinois State University, Master of Music from Arizona State University, and Master of Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College. Cantor Friedman has a wide range of musical styles, and feels at home in almost every style of Jewish music, such as playing her guitar in a small setting where everyone is participating with her, or singing a piece of Chazzanut or liturgical music for a large congregation. Her belief is that almost every style of Jewish music has its place in our synagogue, and when done prayerfully and with great intention, can inspire us to hear God’s voice.

In addition to her duties as Clergy, she is also the director of the Adult Choir, Teen A Capella Choir, Jr. Choir, and Intergenerational Band. The choirs rehearse weekly and perform for g’milut chasadim events, social justice concerts and for select Shabbat services throughout the year. The band consists of talented adult and teen musicians in our synagogue community rehearse before each service. Cantor Friedman strives to help all of our members find their Jewish voice and to that end, she often invites talented singers in our congregation to sing with her during Shabbat and High Holy Days services.

From 2011-2015, Cantor Friedman served as Cantorial Intern at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, NJ where she served as Assistant Cantor. There, she founded and directed their 40 member Junior Choir, Keshet, and also served as the cantor of the Barrie H. Greene Early Childhood Center. During her tenure at Jeshurun, she created and implemented the synagogue’s first ever Yom Kippur Family service for which over 600 families were in attendance. It has since been a staple of their High Holy Days services.

One of Cantor Friedman’s biggest passions is helping to sustain and foster the Reform Movement in Israel. From 2010-2011 Susie lived in Israel for the first year of school and volunteered at Congregation Ohel Avraham, part of the Leo Baeck Center in Haifa Israel where she served as volunteer cantor. She formed strong relationships with Rabbi Gabby Dagan, and the congregants who quickly became her Israeli family, and she decided to become a bat mitzvah with them. Six months later, Susie co-officiated a b’not mitzvah for seven Israeli women, all of whom celebrated with Susie at her ceremony and grew up never knowing that a bat mitzvah existed—only bar mitzvah. That year, Susie also conceived, directed, accompanied, and performed in Broadway on the Carmel, a concert to raise money for families who could not afford to have B’nai mitzvah for their children. While in Israel, she was nominated by her piers and received the Rabbi Jason Huebsch Memorial Prize for all of her work with Ohel Avraham.

Prior to becoming a cantor, Susie appeared in the Broadway National Tour of CATS  playing the roles of Jennyanydots and Grizabella. She also performed in regional opera, theater, concert, and as a pianist/singer/entertainer in clubs throughout NYC, hosting her own weekly open mic show at The Duplex. She has had the great fortune to perform with Betty Buckley, George S. Irving, and Alberto Mizrahi, and is frequently sought out to sing in various cantorial concerts throughout the U.S.  She is a proud member of the American Conference of Cantors, the Reform Cantors of Chicago, and Actors Equity Association.

Her love of children and strong desire to inspire b'nei mitzvah to remain engaged in Jewish life inspired her to be a cantor. It is Susie’s goal that every student who walks through the doors of the synagogue will grow up to become vibrant, participating members of congregations. She is married to the love of her life, Ross Friedman. Her absolute greatest achievements are their daughter, Abigail Hannah Friedman, who was born on May 6, 2013, and their son, Zev Noah Friedman, who was born on Nov. 5, 2014. They are both living examples of her answered prayers.

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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.

  • A Close Look at Torah

    with Rabbi Andrea London
    Fridays, October 20- June 8 (No class December 8, 22, & 29, January 12 & 26, March 30, April 6)
    9:30 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.
    There are many ways to interpret Torah and the nuances of meaning that are often o...

  • With Rabbi Andrea London

    Shabbat,  February 3, March 10, May 12, June 9
    3:30–5:30 pm This class meets at Rabbi London's home.

    Once a month on Shabbat afternoon at Rabbi London's home, explore Jewish spiritual practices that ...

  • with Rabbi Allan Kensky
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    The major religious movements in American Judaism have produced new prayer books in recent years. We will explore how their theological stanc...

  • Drumming for Self-Renewal

    with Linda Schneider
    Wednesdays, December 20, January 17, and February 21

    7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

    How would it feel to take a break from the regimen and “noise” of everyday life and instead focus on renewal of mind, body, and spiri...

  • Eat, Pray, Love a Good Movie: The Women's Balcony


    with Bekki Harris Kaplan
    Postponed until Sunday, April 7. Join us then to watch the film! (This was suppose to take place Saturday, January 20 at 5:30 p.m.)
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  • with Hyma Levin
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    We'll begin with the MAN who invented the slow cooker in response to his grandmother taking her pot of cholent to the baker every Friday to remain warm in his oven fo...

  • Jewish Mindfulness Meditation

    with the Center for Jewish Mindfulness at Orot
    Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. at Beth Emet (please note this class will NOT meet: April 4, April 11, April 18, May 30, and July 4)

    Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell, Rabbi Sam Feinsmith, or o...

  • with Hyma Levin
    Sundays, January 14 and 21, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
    Our sages made clear that ethical behavior is not just good to do; it’s the law! Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) focuses on how we treat each other—the behavio...

  • with Joseph Ringel
    Fridays, February 9 and 16, 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
    The creation of the State of Israel heralded the mass migration of Jews from all over the world, and especially from Middle Eastern countries like Persia (n...

  • with Cantor Alberto Mizrahi and Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman
    Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m.
    Join Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi as he leads through song, along with Cantor Friedman, in Ladino music sung in Sephardic cultures, and how...

  • with Rabbi Peter Knobel

    Fridays October 20 - April 13 | 8:00 – 9:00 a.m (No class, November 24, December 29, January 5, March 30, & April 6)

    This year we will continue reading Tractate Avodah Zarah, which deals with idolatr...

  • with Tamar Selch
    Thursday, January 25, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
    The Mishnah describes the ancient city of Tzippori, (Sepphoris) as having eighteen synagogues during the time of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi in the late second century C.E. What...

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