Rabbi Jeffrey J. Sirkman
Rabbi Jeffrey J. Sirkman is the Senior Rabbi of Larchmont Temple, and has been privileged to serve the congregation for the past 25 years. At the core of his leadership, Covenant has remained the mission that gives meaning to Temple membership, as it does to Jewish life.
Connecting to congregants by celebrating the gifts each person brings, Rabbi Sirkman has aspired to foster a face-to-face faith-- building sacred relationships one person at a time. Indeed, his partnership with Reverend Bill Crawford of Larchmont Avenue Church and Bishop Wayne Powell of Strait Gate Church, have built bridges of understanding, and fostered a dialogue that have connected our temple community to other faith communities celebrating the journey of faith we all share. Reverend Crawford and Rabbi Sirkman, having co-hosted a local cable TV breakfast table dialogue for 5 years, were awarded a National Cable Emmy for their program “Faith & Eggs.” Bishop Powell and Rabbi Sirkman have honored the memory and work of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in an annual interfaith exchange that began 18 years ago, and has continued in Seder-seat outreach and teen trips to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.
Reaching out to all—affirming that every person who seeks can find a place within the Jewish family, Rabbi Sirkman has helped nurture an active Outreach program at LT. Through a spectrum of learning opportunities, featuring the “Rabbi’s Fireside Chats” series, the congregation received the URJ Outreach Belin Award for addressing the questions and concerns of interfaith families.
Extending Torah’s teaching to the heart of our lives today, Rabbi Sirkman cherishes the gift of Torah learning with dozens every Shabbat morning at our temple’s Chevrah Torah table. Engaging adult learners through a spectrum of scholars and sacred teachers, he has helped to put Torah at the core of our lives.
Affirming the bond we share with Israel, and the importance of developing a relationship with the Jewish State, he has led hundreds of congregants and their extended families in hands-on, chock-full, inspirational visits to Israel.
Rabbi Sirkman has served as President of the Westchester Board of Rabbis and as the Chair of the Program Advisory Committee for URJ Eisner Camp Institute for over a decade. He has been a board member of the Westchester Jewish Conference, a member of the Admissions Committee of HUC-JIR, and is currently the Rabbi Stephen Wise Visiting Scholar at the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion teaching 5th year rabbinic and cantorial students, a year-long course in professional development.
Jeffrey Sirkman was ordained by HUC-JIR in 1987, received his B.A. in Religion and his M.A. in Theology with a Certificate in Modern Jewish Thought from Boston University. In honor of his 25th year, Rabbi received his Doctor of Divinity Degree from HUC-JIR.
Rabbi Sirkman, who recently lost his wife Susan z’l to cancer, lives in Larchmont and is the proud father of their four wonderful children, Aaron, Alexander, Gabriel and Sophie.
Rabbi Sirkman may be reached at the temple office or through his email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cantor Tracey Scher
Cantor Tracey Scher is a mezzo-soprano from Nova Scotia, Canada. Since her time at Larchmont Temple began, in July of 2013, Cantor Scher has created several multi-generational choirs, bands and Arts programs there, believing strongly in the enrichment of Judaism through music and the Arts.
Cantor Scher holds a a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Acadia University, a graduate degree in Opera Performance from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and studied extensively with the world-renowned tenor Carlo Bergonzi at the Accademia Verdiana in Busetto, Italy. Cantor Scher has performed lead and supporting opera roles as well as major oratorio roles with orchestras around North America and abroad. Deciding to lead a life where relationships could be nurtured through music, she pursued the cantorate and graduated from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in NYC with a Master of Sacred Music Degree in 2003. In 2010, Cantor Scher, along with twenty other Cantors from the American Conference of Cantors, performed at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome, Italy.
In addition to performing and creating meaningful Jewish musical programs, Cantor Scher also dedicates her time to sustaining the cantorate as a whole. She served as a member of the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors from 2007-2018 and continues to serve on various committees of the ACC. Prior to her appointment at Larchmont Temple, Cantor Scher served as cantor at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA from 2008-2013 and at Temple Beth Or in Washington Township, New Jersey from 2003-2007.
Passionate about finding ways to deepen relationships through education, pastoral work, travel and face-to-face meeting, she continues to create and study multiple modalities that lead to strengthening connection to Judaism and spirituality.
Cantor Scher is married to Christopher Lewis and they have two children, Isaac and Maya.
Cantor Scher may be reached at the temple office or through her email at email@example.com.
Rabbi Leora J. Frankel
Rabbi Leora J. Frankel strives to create joyful Jewish experiences, re-imagining how ancient traditions can add meaning to modern life and connect us more deeply to the Divine, each other, and our own best selves. She is thrilled to join the Larchmont Temple team after serving Community Synagogue of Rye for the past nine years, most recently as Associate Rabbi & Director of Congregational Learning. During her tenure there, Rabbi Frankel received the prestigious Young Pioneer Award from the Jewish Education Project and was selected to be a Rabbis Without Borders Rabbinic Fellow. Rabbi Frankel is especially passionate about family education and engagement, seeking to empowering families to blaze their own spiritual trails while also rooting themselves in our 4,000 year old tradition. While at Community Synagogue, Rabbi Frankel created many innovative programs, including a new High Holiday family worship experience, an Ethical Parenting series, and their popular Shabbat on the Beach services.
Rabbi Frankel grew up in central New Jersey, where she was very involved in the Zionist youth movement Young Judaea and its national senior leadership camp, Tel Yehudah. Following a gap year of study and volunteering in Israel, Rabbi Frankel earned dual bachelor’s degrees from Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) as well as a master’s degree in Jewish Education at JTS. She then returned to her Young Judaea roots, working as the National Director of Youth Leadership, before enrolling in HUC-JIR, where she received rabbinic ordination in 2012. While at HUC, Rabbi Frankel spent two years as a Rabbinic Intern at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side of Manhattan before beginning in Rye. As an HUC student, she was blessed to study closely with Rabbi Aaron Panken z”l through a rabbinic thesis text immersion on the Talmud’s tractate Pesachim and the historical evolution of the Passover Seder.
When she is off the bima, Rabbi Frankel loves to Israeli dance, practice guitar, and jog through Manor Park. She lives in Larchmont with her husband, Andrew Sage, and their daughters, Miriam and Judith.
Cantor Fredda Mendelson
Fredda Rakusun Mendelson comes from a lineage, which includes a grandfather born in Riga who spent his life as a cantor in many cities in America, after emigrating in the early 1900's. Her love of music was also passed on through her mother who played the piano, her father who sang and played the violin, uncles who sang and one uncle who was a well known Dixieland clarinet and saxophone player. By 4th grade Cantor Mendelson was studying violin and became proficient in keyboard, piano and vocal studies during high school. She continued her musical education receiving a BS in Music Education from Ohio State University and a Masters of Degree Music from the College-Conservatory of Music, University Of Cincinnati. She pursued an operatic career as a Verdi mezzo-soprano throughout America and many cities around the world. Her European opera debut was as Azucena in Frankfurt, Germany.
She met her future husband, Cantor Jack Mendelson while at the American Opera Center, part of the Julliard School, in 1978. With his encouragement she began studying at the Hebrew Union College in 1992 and was invested as a Cantor in 1996. Cantor Mendelson is a member of the ACC (American Conference of Cantors), the Cantors Assembly, and the Westchester Vaad of Hazzanim. She serves on the Executive Board of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Cantorial Alumni Association. She has often been featured leading sessions and as soloist at conventions, most recently in Berlin and Munich, June, 2012. She has recorded for Transcontinental Music as well as the CD "Souls on Fire" narratated by Leonard Nimoy and "Jewish Music and More", recorded in Chicago with her husband Cantor Jack Mendelson. Before coming to Larchmont Temple in 1999 she served as cantor at Temple Bethel in Spring Valley, NY. Cantor Fredda and Cantor Jack Mendelson’s son Daniel is also a talented vocalist and is pursuing a career in film/video editing and cantorial music.
Cantor Mendelson may be reached at the temple office or through her email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Binder - Rabbinic Intern
Hi, my name is Erin and I am excited to join the Larchmont Temple community as the rabbinical intern this year! I am a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR as well as a recent graduate of HUC-JIR's NY School of Education. Originally, I hail from Austin, TX, but have done a lot of moving over the years. I have a BA from the George Washington University in International Affairs and a Masters’ in International Development from New York University. With an interest in humanitarian issues and human rights, I’ve had opportunities to travel to Africa, including serving as a volunteer with American Jewish World Service in Uganda. I’ve worked with various Jewish and international non-profits in New York, Washington DC and Texas in fundraising, development and programming capacities.
Jewish experience and education have always been an important part of my life. I was an active participant in Jewish youth group, Hillel and as a member of my home synagogue in Austin. For the past two years, I served as the education intern at Temple Shaaray Tefila in NYC and taught religious school and tutored b'nai mitzvah students at Congregation Rodeph Sholom and Central Synagogue. My fiancée Alex, who is a cantorial student, and I are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful community. Please come up and introduce yourself - I look forward to meeting you!