Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman

Rabbi Ilana is thrilled to have joined the BHSS community. She spent the last 8 years serving Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City, Utah. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Rabbi of Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo, New York. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and went on to study Hebrew at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. She was ordained in 2007 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rabbi Ilana is a third-generation rabbi. Her grandfather Rabbi Sylvan Schwartzman (z”l) was at the forefront of Reform Jewish education and her father Rabbi Joel Schwartzman has served as an Air Force chaplain and a congregational rabbi.

Rabbi Ilana has lived in places far and wide, including Germany, Greece, Israel and many states within the U.S. She, her husband Art, and daughter are happy to be setting down roots in the BHSS community.

Rabbi Ilana views the contemporary synagogue as a home for prayer, spirituality, social action, study, leadership and engagement and is devoted to these pursuits in her rabbinate. In addition to a love for Judaism and Jewish texts, she has a great love for people and their stories. Her joy lies in the interplay between intellectual Judaism and personal relationships. She also believes that music is a powerful vehicle through which we can connect to each other and God.

Email Rabbi Schwartzman: [email protected]

Read Rabbi Ilana’s latest article in Temple Topics here.

Cantor Joshua Finkel

Cantor Josh is excited and honored to be a part of BHSS. He comes to us having spent three years serving Shir Hadash, a small community in St. Louis, as its Spiritual Leader. Cantor Josh was ordained after 5 years of study with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in 2014. He joins us with his wife, Emily Barth and their two children: Sophia and Jakob.

Cantor Josh feels a strong sense of calling towards this work and feels deeply privileged to help lift up our prayer and connection through leading song. He is passionate about a very wide variety of music and is as happy to talk your ear off about folk music as he is the High Chazzanut of the Cantorial Golden Age or the recent work of Kendrick Lamar. He also writes original worship music and was named one of the Jewish Daily Forward’s “21 Voices that Move Us” for that work in 2015. Music is very important to Cantor Josh, and he often thinks of it as a tool to strengthen our connection the divine and to one another, to our cultural and religious inheritance, and to the narrative traditions that shape our understanding of the world and of our place in it.

Cantor Josh feels blessed to be a resource, guide and companion to our families and community through every baby naming, wedding, illness, struggle, and celebration.