Chavurat Tikvah of Southern Westchester New York Synagogue
Cantor Hayley Kobilinsky
I am incredibly excited and truly overjoyed to be the new Spiritual Leader of Chavurat Tikvah. It is a blessing to be joining this unique community of dedicated individuals and families that has created such a warm and intimate group. Together we create and share the Jewish experience through learning, prayer, song, and tikkun olam – acts of lovingkindness that help repair the world.
One of the goals of my cantorate has long been to share my love of Judaism with others. I am descended from survivors of the Holocaust, and the importance of keeping Jewish culture alive was a lesson taught to me since my earliest days. I consider it an enormous honor to have been entrusted with the continued guidance of the Chavurah. We have so many wonderful experiences ahead of us, creating and exploring all that Judaism has to offer. With the benefit of the small size of this tight-knit group, we can get to know each other in deep and meaningful ways.
As we begin to learn more about each other, let me share some of my background: I grew up in a Reform congregation in Long Beach, NY, where my cantor was one of the most important people in my life. I joined her on the bimah, singing in her choirs, first as a child, then as a young adult, and decided I would follow in her footsteps. I felt very lucky to combine the things that mattered most to me, my Judaism, my music, and my love of family, and make a career out of them. Thus, after earning a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University, while studying music at Juilliard, I began studies to become a Cantor at Hebrew Union College. As a student, I served congregations in New Jersey (Temple Sholom of Fanwood) and New York City (East End Temple), and upon receiving my Masters of Sacred Music and Ordination, became the Cantor of Congregation B’nai Yisrael of Armonk. There I co-led services, guided the Caring and Social Action committee, and taught all ages, including nearly 600 b’nei mitzvah students over 14 years. Along the way, I served for 6 years as the President of Kol Hazzanim – Westchester’s Community of Cantors, and also as an adjunct professor at Hebrew Union College, teaching the music of Shalosh Regalim (the Three Festivals- Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot).
Becoming your Spiritual Leader is now the next chapter in my life, and what a sacred responsibility it is. I look forward to getting to know each of you, and introducing my family: my husband of 16 years, Benjamin Poserow, and my nearly-9-year-old son, Samuel, who will be joining the ranks of the Chavurah’s religious school! We are so glad to become part of this beautiful group.