Phone: 614-253-8523 x115
Cantor Jack Chomsky has served at Congregation Tifereth Israel of Columbus, Ohio since 1982. He is a graduate of Brown University and the Cantors Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary. A baritone, he is an accomplished song interpreter. He has been involved in every facet of Jewish music-making throughout the Columbus Jewish community and has helped plan and implement many community musical and cultural events. He is co-founder and director of KOLEINU, the Jewish Community Chorus of Columbus, and has been a leading activist in social justice and interfaith programs in central Ohio. He is a founding member of the organization We Believe Ohio, dedicated to strengthening the voice of religious communities to work for justice and the common good while maintaining appropriate separation between church and state. (See www.webelieveohio.org) Cantor Chomsky served as Co-President of B.R.E.A.D. (Building Responsibility, Equality And Dignity), a local community action organization (from 2000 to 2002). He coordinates the Social Action programming of the Congregation. He has served on the Steering Committee of the Columbus Jewish Federation's Partnership 2000 Project with Kfar Saba, Israel, and led KOLEINU on a 2005 tour to Kfar Saba and Israel. He has led members of his congregation and cantors from across the country on trips to Israel, and led a tour to Jewish sites in Eastern Europe in 2005 (along with Rabbi Michael Ungar). He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Jewish Family Services in Columbus, and is currently on the Board of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society. Cantor Chomsky is President of the Cantors Assembly, the world’s largest association of professional hazzanim, and served as Editor of the Journal of Synagogue Music, the semi‑annual national publication of the Cantors Assembly, from 1988 until 1994. He also edited a 450-page Jubilee Journal celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Assembly. He was an early and active proponent of accepting women into the Cantors Assembly. (Women were accepted in the Cantors Assembly for the first time in 1990.) He has also been an organizing force in creating a Cantor-in-Residence Program at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and other Ramah camps across the country. Cantor Chomsky has become involved in the growing interest in Jewish spirituality. He is an alumnus of the Cantorial Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, lectured on Spirituality and the Cantorate at the 2006 Cantors Assembly Convention, which led to a series of programs he coordinated at the 2007 Convention. In Columbus, he has developed Service of the Spirit, a Carlebach-style Shabbat service that seeks to incorporate elments of meditation and yoga along with traditional Jewish prayer. Cantor Chomsky is author of “Pray and Mean It,” a popular (and growing) series of essays on daily prayer, administered to a listserv of over 300 subscribers. All writings to date can be found on the synagogue website www.tiferethisrael.org To subscribe, contact Cantor Chomsky at CantorJC@aol.com In 2006, he developed PDF – Passionate Davening for Families – a service for families with young children, in conjunction with the Cantors Assembly and the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs – and in partnership with Shirly Benatar of Congregation Tifereth Israel. The PDF Program received a national award from Men’s Clubs and continues into the 2007-2008 year. Cantor Chomsky served on the Music Advisory Panel of the Ohio Arts Council, has been active in the commissioning and premiering of several musical works, and has presented many concerts of Jewish music in Columbus, both as performer and producer. He has chaired two community‑wide concerts featuring the music of many religious traditions, including Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Baha'i and Moslem. The concerts featured choirs of over 150 singers. He has also appeared often on the subject of Jewish music, Jewish religion and Israel on local radio and television, and has been featured numerous times as a columnist in the Columbus Dispatch. Cantor Chomsky starred as Tevye in the sold-out run of Gallery Players’ Production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Columbus JCC in the spring of 2006. He is married to Susan Gellman, a well-known Columbus attorney, nationally prominent in the area of First Amendment Law. Jack and Susan are the parents of 21-year-old Ben (a Brandeis senior) and 18-year-old Addie, who is actively involved in local and regional USY and teaches 3rd graders in the religious school at Tifereth Israel.