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Rabbi Michael G. Cohen


Rabbi Michael G. Cohen grew up in Nashville, TN.  He received his Bachelor's degree in Comparative History from Brandeis University.  He received a Masters degree in Hebrew Letters and his ordination (Smicha) from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.  He received a Masters degree in Jewish Nonprofit Management at the Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management and the University of Southern California.  

Rabbi Michael served 5 years in the U.S. Army Special Operations Command as a Psychological Operations Sergeant, and 9 years in the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division as a Jewish Chaplain .  During his time in the service, he deployed to Haiti, Korea, Kuwait, Qatar, and Afghanistan.  He is currently serving as a Fire Chaplain for the Freeport and Rockville Centre's Fire Departments, and a Police Chaplain for the Rockville Centre Police Department.  He is also a member of Rockville Centre's Human Rights Commission.  He has served Reform congregations in Arizona, California, Tennessee, and British Columbia.  

He is married to Dr. Sharon Poczter, a world-renowned economist and professor at Yeshiva University, where she Chairs the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Department at the Sy Syms School of Business.  He has an adorable son, named Neil, and 2 attention-loving dogs, named Cooper and Lobo.  Rabbi Michael’s passion is Mussar (Jewish Ethics), and cites the famous civil rights leader and Jewish scholar, Rabbi Richard N. Levy (z”l), as his teacher and inspiration for studying Mussar.


Cantor Eryka Velazquez

Originally from Southern California, Cantor Velazquez swapped coasts to pursue her dream of becoming a cantor. Music and singing have always played a major role in her life and she utilizes the power of prayer and song to connect present-day Jews with ancient Jewish traditions. Also having a deep love for teaching, Cantor Velazquez recently graduated from the William Davidson School of Jewish Education. During her time at the Jewish Theological Seminary, she has taught music, liturgy, b’nei mitzvah, and Judaica at Camp Ramah Wisconsin, Park Avenue Synagogue, South Huntington Jewish Center, and Women’s League of Conservative Judaism. 

She feels blessed to call Central Synagogue - Beth Emeth, home as their cantor. 

עִבְדוּ אֶת-ה׳ בְּשִׂמְחָה בֹּאוּ לְפָנָיו בִּרְנָנָה 

Worship Adonai in gladness; come before God with joyous song. -Psalm 100








Sat, June 3 2023 14 Sivan 5783