Clergy & Professional Staff - Cantorial Intern Biography

Summer Greenwald-Gonella is honored to continue as the Cantorial Intern at Temple Beth Rishon for a third year.  She is so excited to begin her fifth and final year of Cantorial school at the Jewish Theological Seminary, a Conservative institution responsible for the ordination of rabbis and investiture of cantors.  Summer will also receive her Master’s of Jewish Education through the Davidson School concurrently with her Masters of Sacred Music from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School.

Summer is from sunny Modesto, California, where she grew up attending Congregation Beth Shalom, a conservative shul, with her parents, older sister, and identical twin sister.  CBS provided Summer with the opportunity to study, lead Shabbat services and tutor b’nei mitzvah students. 

Summer earned her Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance from California State University, Northridge and graduated cum laude in 2010. There, she was the President and Soprano Section leader of both the Women’s Chorale and University Chorus, received the Outstanding Women’s Chorale Student award and was on the Dean’s List multiple semesters.  Summer is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as the Golden Key Society.  

Summer spent a year living in Israel and attending classes at Machon Schechter during her second year of the cantorial program.  Some of her favorite places to visit included Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Eilat.  In the Summer of 2013, Summer attended the Hebrew Language School at Middlebury College in Vermont, where she participated in a full immersion Hebrew program for 7 weeks.  Her eyes were truly opened that summer.  Ms. Greenwald-Gonella never could have imagined learning Hebrew 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, could be so much fun and entertaining.  Students participated in yoga, soccer, arts and crafts and storytelling, all while abiding to their Hebrew-only pledge.  This was definitely one of her most exciting and fulfilling summers to date. 

Summer has a huge passion for working with children and for sharing our faith and the stories of our people with today’s youth.  Her hope in the near future is to be a pulpit cantor who also takes a significant role in the religious school.  She loves working with children and inspiring in them an interest in Jewish learning.  Ever since she became a bat mitzvah, she has treasured tutoring other bar and bar mitzvah students.  She very much enjoys inspiring children through music and seeing them find a connection to Judaism through song.  Summer is excited to be the Cantorial Intern at Temple Beth Rishon and truly relishes the opportunity to be mentored by, and work with, Cantor Mamber and to serve the TBR community.