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Our Music Professionals

 

Cantor Benjamyn Ellerin

Ben Ellerin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and a minor in Jewish Studies from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.  Inspired by his transformative experience singing in and conducting choirs, Ben continued his studies by earning a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting.  In addition to serving as the cantorial soloist for the Indiana University Hillel and Temple Adath B’nai Israel of Evansville, Indiana, Ben sought to create a new platform for meaningful Jewish music on campus.  He founded and served as music director of Hooshir, Indiana University's premier Jewish a cappella group.  While music director, Ben prepared and led the group in a performance tour of Washington, D.C., culminating in a concert at the White House Hanukkah party.  Click here to read more about Cantor Ellerin.    

 

Dina Pruzhansky, Accompanist

Russian born, Israeli raised composer and pianist Dina Pruzhansky started music studies and composition at the age of six. After winning numerous nationwide music competitions in her native Azerbaijan while still in her early teens, she moved to Israel. Since her arrival to the United States in 2006, she has resided in NYC.  Dina's NYC premiere venues of classical works by Dina Pruzhansky include Merkin Hall, Weill Carnegie Hall, Bargemusic, the Yamaha Piano Salon, the JCC Manhattan and others.  Her latest projects includes an original opera (in Hebrew), to me premiered in October 2014 in NYC. Ms.Pruzhansky was nominated for the prestigious Fred Ebb Award for Excellence in Musical Theater Writing with her lyricist collaborator Matt Schatz. Click here to read more about Dina.

 

Eddie Pleasant, Choir Director

Edward Pleasant, baritone, is recognized as one of the most versatile performers of his generation.  Critically acclaimed in both opera and musical theater, he has distinguished himself as a gifted actor with brilliant comic timing and a luscious baritone voice.  Eddie first came to Temple Israel in 1991 and he has been a fixture during the High Holidays at Temple Israel ever since.  He first served as bass soloist in the professional quartet and then in 2008, he was asked to take the helm of the adult choir Hallel b’Shir.  Along with his duties with the adult choir, Eddie enjoys working other vocal ensembles of Temple Israel, namely the Glee Club and Selah.  Eddie particularly enjoys his time with the Brotherhood Choir every year as well.  He is proud to have been named an honorary member of this fine group of brothers.  Click here to read more about Eddie.

 

Sari Goetz, Band Director

Sariva Goetz has played keyboards for and/or conducted over 17 Broadway shows including 10 years as the assistant conductor and first keyboard player for the original Broadway production of LES MISERABLES.  Other Broadway credits include ALADDIN, SISTER ACT, MAMMA MIA, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, MISS SAIGON, GUYS & DOLLS, CITY OF ANGELS, THE SECRET GARDEN, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, STARLIGHT EXPRESS, ROMANCE ROMANCE, and the first revival of SWEENEY TODD.   She was the music director for the off-Broadway production of SPLENDORA at the American Place Theatre and at the Bay St. Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY, directed by Jack Hofsiss, as well as THE JERUSALEM SYNDROME at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.  She has also written incidental music and was the music director for REALLY ROSIE, written and directed by Maurice Sendak.  Click here to read more about Sari.