Cantor Rayna Green Returns to Portland
After 10 years, Cantor Rayna Green is thrilled to be coming home to Portland, Oregon, and rejoining the Congregation Beth Israel family where she was mentored by Cantor Judy Schiff and Cantor Ida Rae Cahana. Cantor Green will be joining the clergy team as part-time cantor.
Most recently, Cantor Green served for five years as cantor at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim (BJBE) in Deerfield, Illinois. During this time, she also served as president of the Reform Cantors of Chicago for two years.
Cantor Green’s passions include empowering youth through music, creating meaningful prayer experiences, and building inclusive communities. While at BJBE, she expanded the youth choir program and created a teen band, while also focusing on other opportunities for young people to engage in Jewish prayer life. She also led inclusion efforts at the synagogue, helping BJBE to become a certified exemplar synagogue for inclusion through the Union for Reform Judaism. Part of her efforts included creating an accessibility center that provided resources for people of all abilities to fully engage in worship.
Cantor Green was ordained in 2015 at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. As a student cantor, she gained experiences in a variety of settings, such as Tzur Hadassah in Israel, Central Synagogue in Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, and Port Jewish Center in Port Washington, New York. She also served as a chaplain intern at The New Jewish Home of Manhattan.
During cantorial school, Cantor Green became a Tisch Fellow, a prestigious honor and cohort led by scholar Rabbi Larry Hoffman, Ph.D. She was also a member of the Worship Working Group, a group dedicated to making prayer services spiritual and meaningful through music and innovation. Cantor Green wrote her thesis on the significance of the body and movement in Jewish prayer.
Before attending cantorial school, Cantor Green served at Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon, as a preschool teacher, youth group advisor, song leader, co-founder of Jews Next Dor, and a member of Beth Israel’s former house band, Def Schlepper.
A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Cantor Green spent winters serving on her synagogue youth group board and spent her summers in California at URJ Camp Swig. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon in 2003. While in college, she led worship at the University of Oregon Hillel. After college, she was a song leader at URJ Camp Newman in California and had the honor of being the inaugural head song leader at URJ Camp Kalsman in Washington.
Cantor Green is an active member of the American Conference of Cantors.
Cantor Green lives in Portland with her husband, Eli, her two sons, Emmet and Aviv, and her dog, Tsuki.
Cantor Green can be reached via e-mail
Oregon Hillel Welcomes New Staff
Oregon Hillel is thrilled to welcome Talia Leider and Susannah Dickerson to the Oregon Hillel family and to the Eugene & Corvallis communities!
Talia Lieder is the Social Justice Springboard Fellow at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Originally from Los Angeles, Talia has also lived in Sausalito and San Diego where she earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice from San Diego State University. While at SDSU she co-founded their first chapter of Challah for Hunger and worked for Hillel as a student ambassador. With deep roots in the Jewish community, Talia attended Camp Ramah in Ojai every summer and was an active participant in Jewish youth groups. In her free time she can be found cooking, hiking or enjoying a picnic in the park. She is passionate about social justice and can’t wait to work with the inspiring students at the University of Oregon Hillel, to make their own justice initiatives a reality! Go Ducks!
The Springboard Fellowship is a two-year fellowship that brings together diverse Jewish talent through a transformative early career experience in the Hillel Movement. As a Social Justice Specialist, Talia receives training in the areas of engagement, social action and community organizing, and learn how to seamlessly weave Judaism into her work as a Hillel engagement professional.
Talia can be reached via email
Susannah Dickerson is the Director of Jewish Student Life at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
Susannah is originally from Portland, Oregon, where you might have seen her at Congregation Neveh Shalom pushing coffee carts, teaching kids, and helping around in the education office.
In her spare time, you can always find her buried in a book, doing some creative writing, or passionately discussing random history facts for three hours with a person she just met.
Susannah attended Oregon State University where she majored in history and minored in creative writing and religious studies, which encapsulates everything that fascinates and excites her academically.
Susannah briefly took a break from OSU to study abroad in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she spent half her time in the classroom learning Hebrew and the Talmud, and the other half exploring ancient cities.
Susannah is excited to come back to Oregon State this fall and re-engage with the amazing Jewish community in Corvallis and be able to work with and learn from the diverse group here.
Susannah can be reached via email
Temple Beth Israel Welcomes Rabbi Alyson Solomon
Rabbi Alyson Solomon joined the Temple Beth Israel community in June 2020 in the position of Rabbi Educator.
She’s a third-generation Portlander whose family belonged to a large Reform synagogue. Her grandparents were proud Jews who scouted out Jewish community wherever they traveled.
While she grew up going to Hebrew school, became bat mitzvah and even went to Israel, it wasn’t until Brandeis Collegiate Institute (BCI), a summer camp for young adults in Southern California, that she first studied Jewish text, dressed in white for Shabbat, made dear Jewish friends, and danced to Israeli folk music.
At BCI her hunger for Jewish literacy turned on and, still true today, the more she learns, the more she wants and feels compelled to learn, share, and teach.