Rabbi Michael Mishkin
Rabbi Mishkin, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, enjoys spending time with congregants of all ages—from the Preschool school children to the adults. He is dedicated to creating a fun, caring, and relevant vision of Judaism for the Temple Beth Israel community.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in American History, Rabbi Mishkin deepened his commitment to Jewish learning at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, a co-ed Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He then returned to the United States for advanced studies and training at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, receiving his rabbinic ordination in 2001. From 2001-2005, Rabbi Mishkin served as the Rabbi and Executive Director of the Hillel at Northwestern University.
Prior to becoming Rabbi at TBI in 2010, Rabbi Mishkin served as Associate Rabbi at Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah in Wilmette, Illinois. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Solomon Schechter Day School, the Executive Committee of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Recruitment Committee at the Chicagoland Jewish High School. Rabbi Mishkin currently sits on the UJA-Federation SYNGERY Long Island Rabbinic Advisory Council (LIRAC), and the local Interfaith Council of Port Washington.
Rabbi Mishkin and his family - wife Tamara, daughter Lily Miriam, sons Benjamin Eli and Nathan David. . . and of course Maizy, their black Labrador mix - warmly embrace the TBI congregation and the community of Port Washington.
Cantor Sharon Grainer
Born and raised in Chicago and having lived in Canada, Ireland, Paris, and Israel, Cantor Sharon Grainer is happy to be returning to the greater New York area to make her home in Port Washington.
Cantor Grainer received her Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto where she double-majored in Jewish History and Literature and Literary Studies with a minor in Yiddish. She studied at YIVO (New York) and the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem) before continuing her education at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She was invested as a Hazzan in May 2006. She further developed her pastoral skills as a Chaplain Resident at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Building community for Jews from all walks of life has been a passion for Cantor Grainer throughout her career, first as the Director of Perspectives: The Rhode Island Jewish Young Adult Project and subsequently as a student Hazzan in Orange, CT, Watertown, NY and Wayne, NJ.
She comes to Temple Beth Israel having served as the Hazzan with Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Philadelphia, PA for eleven years. In Philadelphia her focus was on creating warm, welcoming and friendly services that made Judaism accessible to everyone. She transformed the community into a participatory, singing community, helping worshippers from all backgrounds engage with our liturgy and traditions.
Cantor Grainer's interests in and experience with Jewish liturgy and texts, education and culture, community building, programming, pastoral counseling and musical pedagogy have shaped her into a leader and teacher committed to living and sharing the Jewish tradition. Cantor Grainer was nominated for and served on the Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly from 2010-2013.
Other than growing and enriching a diverse, participatory, spiritual and learning community, Cantor Grainer loves to travel, immerse herself in a good novel, enjoy a fabulous Negroni, and spend quality time with family and friends.
Cantor Baruch Blum - cantor Emeritus
Cantor Baruch Blum was born in Israel and studied music with Israel’s renowned music teacher, Daniel Sambourski.
After graduation from high school with a technical degree, Cantor Blum served in both the Israeli Army and Navy. He applied his technical expertise as a crew member bringing the first Israeli submarine from England to Israel. Cantor Blum is a veteran of the Suez/Sinai War as well as the Israeli Merchant Marines. After his military service, Cantor Blum emigrated with his family to Canada, where he continued his professional study of voice, music and dance in Vancouver.
In 1967, Cantor Blum came to New York on a scholarship with the American Ballet Theatre. Within a year he was performing in Broadway shows and national companies, such as "George M" and "Fiddler on the Roof." One memorable singing engagement with famed Choir director Oscar Julius introduced Cantor Blum to the world of Chazanut (the leadership of Jewish services using traditional melodies). He met and auditioned for the legendary Cantor Zvee Aroni at the Manhattan School for Cantors, from which he graduated in 1975. During this time Cantor Blum also became a leading performer in the Yiddish theater, where he shared the stage with luminaries such as Jacob Jacobs, Ben Bonus, Mina Bern, Leo Fuchs, and Pesach Burstein.
A member of the Cantors Assembly, Cantor Blum has served two congregations in his distinguished career on the pulpit. He devoted two years as chazzan for Congregation B’nai Israel of Staten Island, and then found his home here at TBI in 1977. After 41 years of devoted service to TBI Cantor Baruch Blum is now Cantor Emeritus where he will remain a constant source of love, pride and devotion to our congregation and community.
Cantor Blum and his wife, Gerri, have four beautiful children and twin grandsons.