Marci Vitkus has served the JCV since October 5, 2001. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Sarasota in 1993. Cantorial singing was not in her life plan but nonetheless, this opportunity was presented to her at just the right time and a shidduch (match) was made.
Cantor Marci discovered she was from a long line of cantors. She knew of her father’s role as hazzan and choir director. She knew of her grandfather, Hyman Reznick, a pillar of the Chicago Jewish community. She soon learned her cantorial lineage goes back possibly 17 generations. One of the things she hopes to do when she finds some spare time is to investigate a long line of shochets (ritual slaughterers) and shalliach tzibburim (prayer leaders) also in her lineage. For now, she loves being a part of the family life-cycle events that occur in a synagogue: births, namings, anniversaries, b’nai mitzvah. They all bring joy. Even being there for a family in their most difficult hours is a gift she treasures in the circle of life. By far the best part of her job is leading the congregation in song. They smile, they sway, they feel the same deep connection to their heritage as she does. Music is a balm to the soul.
In 2005, Marci joined the Women Cantors’ Network. She has been on the Executive Board for six years and is now serving as the president for the 2022-2024 term.
Cantor Marci has been part of the JCV for more than 22 years. We are so thankful for her expertise and willingness to guide us as a long-time spiritual leader.
Join us in welcoming Rabbi Jennifer Singer as our part-time, interim rabbi.
Rabbi Jennifer is joining us for two Shabbat Services a month. Rabbi Jennifer Singer is Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Kol HaNeshama in Sarasota, Florida. She served the congregation from 2008 to her retirement at the end of 2022.
In semiretirement she is concentrating on writing, serving as a Community Rabbi, and leading the Sarasota Liberal Yeshiva as Dean.
Rabbi Jennifer is a vibrant and passionate service leader, teacher, storyteller, writer, and spiritual guide. She has lived in Sarasota since 1998 and previously worked as a major gifts fundraiser for the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and the Technion in Haifa, Israel.
She was ordained as both a Rabbi and Spiritual Director by ALEPH: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal in January 2017, and earned an MA in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2006. She also holds a BA in journalism.