Music plays a central role in the Jewish experience. It uplifts us and serves as a spiritual connection to the past and present. The inclusion of vocal and instrumental music in connection to prayer is neither a new phenomenon nor something unique to Reform Judaism. In fact, references to instrumental music can be found in the Tanach, Talmud and numerous Jewish writings throughout the ages.

Temple Sinai embraces music as an important aspect of our religious services. Each week, talented Jewish musicians accompany Rabbi Annie Belford on the bemah, weaving traditional and contemporary melodies together to create a joyful and meaningful prayer experience.

JB Levine
Photo Credit: Janice Rubin

JB Levine is a musician and music educator living in San Jose, CA. They began serving Temple Sinai as a cantorial soloist in 2009 when they were sixteen years old. JB has been the cantorial soloist and choir director for the High Holidays at Temple Sinai since 2015. In 2018, they completed the Davvenen' Leadership Training Institute through ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Outside of synagogue music, JB served Spring High School in Spring, TX as a choir director from 2015 to 2020. They also sang as a member of the Houston Symphony Chorus and the Bach Society of Houston. JB is now a student at San Jose State University, working towards a masters degree in choral conducting.

Rabbi Ari Vernon

Rabbi Ari Vernon has loved Jewish music since he was a child, originally learning songs through prayer in elementary school, singing around the family Shabbat table on Friday evenings and at Cleveland’s Camp Wise. He discovered the music of Safam as a teenager and expanded his musical horizons through numerous years of involvement and participation in CAJE conferences and as a camper and counselor at Young Judaea’s Camp Tel Yehudah. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2004, and has served as the Director of Secondary Education for the Central Agency for Jewish Education and as the Rabbi-in-Residence for Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community both in St. Louis, Missouri. Rabbi Ari is the proud father of Lev, Eiden and Ahava, and teaches at The Emery/Weiner School.