Position: Rabbi Cantor Educator

Lily Blum was ordained  by AJRCA in 2016. She continued her studies  and is now proud to be both an ordained Rabbi and Cantor. A graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, Rabbi Blum received a BA in Jewish Studies with a focus in Jewish Sacred Music and minors in Hebrew, Music, and History. She was also the first to graduate from Indiana University’s pre-Cantorial program with a curriculum created by faculty from the Borns Jewish Studies Program at IU and Hebrew Union College in New York City.

For the last two years, Lily has served as Cantor and Religious  School Director at Temple Shalom of the South Bay alongside AJRCA faculty member, Rabbi Toba August. She developed the curriculum  for the Religious School. led Shabbat and High Holy Days services, and officiated lifecycle  events. She also established the very first Temple Shalom Singers and Band!

While Jewish music is her first passion, it is her love of Jewish text and teaching Torah that influenced her to become a Rabbi.  In our modern, ever-changing Jewish world, Lily looks forward to blending her two titles while continuing to serve her community in the South Bay. Lily is excited to see what the world has in store for her as Rabbi Cantor and who knows – maybe one day she’ll be back to become  a Chaplain!

Boundless gratitude to AJRCA for making my dreams comes true. Thank you to Rabbi Anne Brener – you are my teacher, my advisor, and my friend. Thank you to Rabbi August and the entire TSSB community  for welcoming Phil and me with open arms and open hearts. Thank you to my parents  and my brother.  You have guided me and supported me unconditionally. And to Phil ... In you, I have found the one in whom my soul delights.

Upon Ordination,  Rabbi Cantor Blum will continue serving Temple Shalom of the South Bay in Hermosa Beach, California.

Thesis Title:

An Examination of the Therapeutic Qualities of Music
And The Jewish Communal Worship Experience of Comfort and Healing (2016)

Why does music have this power to evoke such deep emotions? How do different melodies signify distinct events in the Jewish ritual calendar? What inner rhythm does the human body and soul beat to every day? Why do the opening notes of Kol Nidre chanted by the cantor bring worshipers to the memory of sitting in the synagogue on Yom Kippur night? Music and melody have the power to sooth, offend, create nostalgia, irritate, calm, energize…and heal. How can something that seems so intangible have the ability to affect our lives so deeply?

Before we are born, the rhythm of life has been set in motion. From our time in the womb, music, vibration, and pulse serve a vital purpose in our development. Many scholarly works explore this power of music. The practice of music therapy has grown within the recent decades and continues to evolve according to new discoveries and the patients’ needs. Music therapists have been called to the bedside of patents with an array of different ailment, some similar to those of Saul in the passage above. Other practitioners of music therapy, including but not limited to teachers, clergy, chaplains, and even parents have documented the effects that music has on those who need healing. In the following pages we will explore many different ways that music influences our lives, and the healing power of music and its use in communal settings will be explored.

Email: lilyblum925@gmail.com