Cantor Laura Breznick
Cantor Laura Breznick is excited and honored to serve the Temple Sholom community since 2016. Growing up in northern New Jersey, she was very active in NFTY, spending five summers as a camper and two years on staff at URJ Camp Harlam. Upon her graduation from high school, Cantor Laura continued her education at the Hartt School of Music and the Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford, where she received her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance with a minor in Judaic Studies in 2009.
Before entering cantorial school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cantor Laura was very active in the New York City choral scene as a member of the Dessoff Choirs, with performances ranging from Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor at Lincoln Center to singing backup for the Kinks' Ray Davies at Town Hall, and on The Late Show with David Letterman.
During her first year of cantorial studies in Jerusalem, Cantor Laura had the privilege of traveling to Belarus as part of the FSU Passover Project where she co-led four seders in two days and performed as a soloist at the International Jewish Music Festival in Minsk. She also was involved as a volunteer for KEEP, an English tutoring program in Jerusalem that seeks to help underprivileged Israeli and Palestinian children.
Upon her return to the United States, Cantor Laura served as student cantor at Temple Emanuel in Roanoke, VA; Temple Beth Shalom in Arnold, MD; and Temple Beth-El in Jersey City, NJ. In addition to her student congregational work, she also completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at NYU Langone Medical Center as a chaplain intern, working with patients in the women's surgical and pediatric units.
Cantor Laura was ordained from the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May, 2016. Her thesis focused on providing colleagues with best practices for working with students of different abilities in an inclusive fashion in congregational life. For her ordination recital, Cantor Laura focused on Jewish texts of inclusion.
From August 2016 – May 2017 Cantor Laura completed her training in Clinical Pastoral Education as a full time chaplain resident at Bridgeport Hospital.
During her time here at Temple Sholom Cantor Laura has taken on several exciting projects.
In October 2018, Cantor Laura served as the Jewish voice for a panel entitled “Welcoming the Stranger.” The panel, sponsored by the Interfaith Women's Initiative, brought together female leaders of the three monotheistic faiths to discuss and debate the universal importance of welcoming the stranger in our midst. The panel was broadcast nationwide in December, 2018 on the Jewish Broadcasting Service. You can click here to watch the panel.
In April 2019, Cantor Laura was honored to lead the women of Temple Sholom in our first ever “Women's Seder.” You can read all about the seder here.
Cantor Laura also serves on faculty at URJ Crane Lake Camp every summer, helping to bring her love of Jewish learning and music to Jewish youth from across the region.
In September 2019, Cantor Laura took the helm of Temple Sholom's Tuesday Hebrew program, continuing the program's emphasis on siddur and synagogue skills as well as community building. In January 2020, Cantor Laura began leading Temple Sholom's Jewish Journeys family education program, an inter-generational community education program that teaches Judaism through experiential learning in family and small group settings.
Presently, Cantor Laura serves Temple Sholom as Solo Clergy and Educator, running all aspects of spiritual and educational life at Temple Sholom.
When Cantor Laura is not on the pulpit you will find her curled up with a good book, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying Thai food.
Cantor Laura is very excited to be back in Connecticut, along with her husband, Rabbi Stefan Tiwy.