Cantorial Search Committee Updates 

March 19, 2019 from Claire Taub and Ira Lamster, Co-Chairs

We are please to announce that Cantor Vadim Yucht was approved unanimously at the congregational meeting on March 18, 2019. Welcome Cantor Yucht!

March 14, 2019 from Claire Taub and Ira Lamster, Co-Chairs

Dear TBR Community

The search for our next Cantor began in earnest after the High Holidays. Following meetings with members of the congregation, we began vetting candidates in the early fall. In total, more than 60 applications were received. After receiving a resume, candidates were first interviewed by phone either by Ira Lamster or Claire Taub. Those candidates who met basic criteria were reviewed by all members of the Search Committee. Interesting candidates were then invited for a Skype interview, and the most selective candidates were asked to come to Temple Beth Rishon for an in-person interview.

One note about the applicant pool: we observed that the cantorial profession is less structured than the rabbinic profession. A fair number of applicants were part-time cantors, who also worked in other fields, including the entertainment industry. About 20% of our candidates were from outside the United States, and their education generally was non-traditional.

Ultimately there were three finalists, and the Committee’s choice was Cantor Vadim Yucht. Cantor Yucht is currently the cantor at Temple Shalom of Bridgewater (NJ). He has been in that position since 2014. Cantor Yucht was originally from the Soviet Union and emigrated to Israel and then to the United States in 1998. The Committee was greatly impressed with his musicality and commitment to musical education of children.

All of the finalists met with Rabbi Wajnberg, and he was in agreement with the search Committee that Cantor Yucht should be offered the position. A contract has been negotiated, and approval by members of the congregation is the final step. This meeting will be held on March 18 at 7:30 pm.

Ilan’s passing was sudden and left a void in our community. The Committee would like to thank Cantor Faith Steinsnyder for stepping in to help fill that void during the past year. We also must acknowledge the efforts of the members of the Search Committee who worked tirelessly to identify our next Cantor: Judy Ackerman, Linda Cohen, Alyson Cohn, Laura Eisdorfer, Adam Fox, Sol Glastein, Michael Goldberg, Bill Heller, Stan Goodman, Inna Rozenberg and Amanda Zonerich. David Edelson provided much needed technical support, and Matt Herman handled the contract negotiations with Cantor Yucht.

October 18, 2018 from Claire Taub & Ira Lamster, Co-Chairs

Dear TBR Community,

We have a Search Committee in place that is charged with finding our next Cantor.  Each member of the committee, in his or her own way, has been profoundly affected by the untimely passing of our beloved Cantor Mamber, but we recognize the importance of continuing the rich legacy of Cantorial music that he brought to all of us.

Our committee is composed of younger and older members, long-time congregants and some who have joined more recently, some with musical talent and background, but all of whom are dedicated to finding that best possible Cantor for our congregation. 

We have held four focus groups so that each of you who wanted to have input into the process could share those things that you felt were important for us to consider.  In the next several weeks, we will be advertising the position and hopefully begin to receive applicants for our consideration. 

We would like to introduce you to our Committee.


Ira Lamster - My wife Gail and I have been members of Temple Beth Rishon for more than 30 years, and the synagogue has meant so much to our family. Both of our daughters celebrated their bat mitzvah at Temple Beth Rishon, and both were married by our clergy. I served as Chair of the recent Rabbinic Search committee and I understand the importance of this next search. This is a challenging task as Ilan Mamber meant so much to so many in our congregation.

Claire Taub -I have been a member of Temple Beth Rishon for more than 30 years.  Both my children became a Bar Mitzvah here.  I have been part of the Human Resource Committee, the recent Rabbinic Search Committee and an active participant in our Adult Education Committee. The role of music in our worship services is of particular importance to me.  I will work diligently with my colleagues to identify our next Cantor.

 Committee Members

Judy Ackerman - For the past 37 years, I have had the privilege and joy of being the B'nei Mitzvah tutor working with all of our previous Cantors. This experience has given me insight into the important role of the Cantor as he or she integrates with all facets of our TBR membership.  I am hoping to contribute to our search for a Cantor who will bring the passion and talent our congregation deserves and expects.

Linda Cohen - I have been a member of TBR for over 35 years.  I am married with three grown children and two grandchildren.  I have previously served on several Rabbi and Cantor Search Committees.  I was also the Sisterhood President for three years, Secretary of the Synagogue Board, Chairperson of Ritual Committee and Vice President of Religion.

Alyson Cohn - My family and I have been members of TBR since 1997.  My sons had their Bar Mitzvahs and Confirmations here.  I have served as a TBR Trustee, Vice President of the Religious School and most recently served as President of our congregation.  I am honored to serve on the Cantorial Search Committee, alongside my fellow committee members.

Laura Eisdorfer - I have been a member of TBR since the early 90's.   Since that time, I have been an active member participating on various search and activity committees, the Board and, on the Executive Board as the VP of the Hebrew School. Participating on the Cantorial Search Committee is one way I can honor Cantor Ilan's dedication to our community.

Adam Fox - I have been part of our TBR community since the age of four, and I became a Bar Mitzvah on our Bimah.  I graduated from Princeton University in 2009 with a degree in Physics and a certificate in Vocal Performance, specializing in Opera and Art Song.  I have contributed to worship at TBR as a choir member, soloist and guitarist. I am passionate about music, Judaism, my loving family and our community.  I am thrilled to aid in the search process.

Sol Glastein - My wife Linda and I joined the Temple in 1980. I became a Trustee in 1981 and got involved in fundraising. As VP of Fundraising for 4 years, I chaired many events, including the Kol Nidre Appeal. I was president from 1987-1988 and from 2000 -2001. As President, I negotiated contracts for the Rabbi, Cantor and various staff.  In 1991, I chaired a Long Range Planning Study to plan for the future of our Temple. I’m devoted to fostering a strong and diverse Jewish Community.

Stan Goodman - My wife, two sons and I joined TBR in 1986 when we moved from Georgia.  Both sons became a Bar Mitzvah at TBR.  I look forward to giving back to an organization and community that has been an important part of my life for more than 30 years.

Michael Goldberg -I am married to Leslie. We have three grown children in their early to late 20’s, all of whom went through the TBR B’nei Mitzvah process. I became a Bar Mitzvah at 13 but again as an adult at TBR. I served as TBR President from 2008-2010, and I am currently the TBR President.  I am a dentist by profession.

Bill Heller - My wife Natalie and I have been TBR members for almost 35 years. We have two sons (Michael and Robert), both of whom had their Bar Mitzvahs at TBR, and two grandchildren (Jack and Eliana). I served on the Board for a number of years.  I am the Senior VP and General Counsel of the New York Giants.

Inna Rozenberg - I live in Ridgewood with my husband Boris and my children Sam and Eve.  My children are in first and fourth grades, respectively, and they very much enjoy attending the TBR Religious School.  My family has been part of the TBR community since the summer of 2017.  I am excited to be part of the search for a new Cantor and to engage with TBR members during this important process.

Amanda Zoneraich - I have been a member of Temple Beth Rishon for 24 years.  I am a child psychologist with a private practice in Wyckoff.  My husband Davy and I have two children, Jared (21) and Lauren (18).   I have served as a Trustee on the Executive Board, and I have been Chairperson of the Hebrew School Committee. I am currently enrolled in the adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah class.