Teaneck’s Temple Emeth will mark 25 years of Cantor Ellen Tilem’s musical leadership with a celebratory weekend from Friday, May 31, to Sunday, June 2. On Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Shabbat service will feature a musical tribute to Cantor Tilem, with past and present choir and band members participating. The festivities will continue on Sunday, June 2, at 5 p.m., at a gala honoring the cantor for her leadership.
Cantor Tilem came to Temple Emeth in 1994 after being ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s School of Sacred Music. Her education included hospital chaplaincy training, and she is a member of the American Conference of Cantors.
One of Cantor Tilem’s early innovations was creating a service for spiritual healing and wholeness, which remains an important part of the spiritual life of many congregants. She was the only cantor on the Teaneck Clergy Council at that time, and she led an interfaith children’s choir that performed at the annual Thanksgiving service.
At the shul, Cantor Tilem teaches religious school, adult education, and bnai mitzvah preparation. She added a music and mitzvah class to the school curriculum to connect the historical, ethical, and spiritual lessons of Hebrew school with Jewish musical heritage. Cantor Tilem has shared a strong clergy partnership with Rabbi Steven Sirbu for nearly 16 years.
Cantor Tilem lives in Teaneck with her husband, Peter, and their three daughters, Eve, Leila, and Eliana. For more information on the festivities, email Lisa Eig at Lisa_eig@yahoo.com or call (201) 833-1322.