Cantor Martin Levson will be the next spiritual leader for Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha. He starts July 1.
The synagogue launched a search in 2019 to find a leader to follow retiring spiritual leader Cantor Deborah Martin. Levson will conduct services, teach in the religious school and preside over life cycle events for the congregation and the community, according to a news release.
Levson grew up in San Jose, California, and graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in music and history. He was ordained as cantor by the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, School of Sacred Music in 1991, and received his doctor of sacred music in May 2016.
Levson has previously served pulpits in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Monroe, New York, Hamden, Connecticuit, and Springfield, Massachusetts, where he is now the cantor emeritus of Sinai Temple. He and his wife, Sheri, have been married for 33 years; they have two grown children, Kailin and Liz.
Levson was a faculty member for the annual Lev Shalom/URJ Jewish Meditation Kallah in Prescott, Arizona from 2000 through 2008. His CD of music from these gatherings, “Kolot D’mamah – Music of the Jewish Meditation Kallah,” was released in 2004. In 2013, Levson became a member of the Boston Cohort of “Kesher Shir,” a Jewish liturgical songwriting group that creates new musical settings for Jewish worship, according to the release.
Levson has been involved in community theater since childhood. He most recently portrayed Friar Lawrence in a production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
Congregation Emanu-El of Waukesha is the second oldest reform Jewish synagogue in the Milwaukee area, according to the news release. Members come from a wide geographic area that includes Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Jefferson, and Walworth counties. In spring 2021, the membership totaled approximately 75 households.
The shul’s mission is to inspire and affirm a diverse Jewish community by blending progressive thought with tradition, by being accepting and accessible, and by serving greater Waukesha through education, worship, and social action.