We Stand With Israel
B’nei mitzvah is one of the most celebrated Jewish milestones, but it is not a one-time event. It is a celebration of just one of the many significant moments along the path of one’s Jewish journey. Learners on the journey are immersed in a sense of moral obligation toward all people, being an integral member of the Jewish people, being loved and cherished by one’s clergy and educators, answering the call to participate with “Hineini – Here I Am,” and of having a place of leadership within the Jewish community, well beyond b’nei mitzvah.
Temple Beth Sholom values the individual lives and souls of each of our students, our learners. We honor and care about the dreams and aspirations that each student and his or her family brings to the process. We value the Jewish tradition of immersion in the core mitzvot that signify a Jew’s coming of age, including lifelong learning, engagement in the wider community, and being a partner in making Temple Beth Sholom a “Kehilah Kedosha,” a holy community.
Cantor Nicholson came to the cantorate during a four-year sojourn in Germany that gave her an opportunity to explore Judaism in a deeply personal way. A singer at the Cologne Opera House, she began to feel a keen sense of obligation to her grandfather, who had come to America before WWI. His father had hoped for a new start for himself and his family, as his businesses had been confiscated by the Russian government one too many times. Cantor Nicholson’s grandfather became a Bar Mitzvah on the boat, and worked hard for many years to put his son through college. Her father was living proof that her great-grandfather’s hope had been realized. As she walked daily by the sites of preserved WWII ruins, Cantor Nicholson knew that she owed a great debt of gratitude to her grandfather and his family. She wondered why she had been so fortunate to have been born into the favorable circumstances of 1960s middle-class America, and later to have prospered in 1980s America-friendly Germany. This spiritual search eventually led Cantor Nicholson to the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music (DFSSM) at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she became invested in 1996. Cantor Nicholson has served Jewish congregations in New York, Chicago, Detroit, California, Oklahoma, South Florida and St. Thomas, USVI. Presently, she serves Temple Chaim in Margate, FL, and Temple Adath Yeshurun in Manchester, NH as Cantor. She is also the Coordinator of Alumni Engagement at the DFSSM. She has officiated at Temple Beth Sholom services on several occasions, and looks forward to meeting and preparing TBS’s B’nei Mitzvah and celebrating with her students and their families on their special day. From time to time, Cantor Nicholson wears her grandfather’s frayed Bar Mitzvah tallis on the bimah. It gives her a keen sense of connection to her family, and to our Jewish ancestors upon whose shoulders we stand. Every time Cantor Nicholson feels the excitement of learning together with a student, every time she stands beside a Bar or Bat Mitzvah on the bimah, she senses that she is paying a small portion of the debt of gratitude that she will always owe to her grandfather.
Liora is a vibrant, talented teacher who captures the hearts of children and adults with her enthusiasm and love for Judaism. She is also an energetic Israeli dance instructor who has the pleasure of leading the Israeli dance classes and Harkadot at TBS . Liora has many years of experience teaching Hebrew and preparing for Bar/Bat Mitzvah as well as leading Family high holiday’s services. Liora was born and raised in Israel. She made Miami her home away from home 13 years ago when she came for the second time to the Alper JCC summer camp as the Jewish agency Israeli emissary. Liora feels she still fulfills her Zionist mission outside of Israel by creating and keeping a strong bond with the Jewish community. She believes the connections she makes with the community will strengthen their relationship and commitment to Israel. Her goal is to make Hebrew learning and the Bar Mitzvah journey an enjoyable and meaningful journey.
Shoshana was born in Israel and grew up in Tel Aviv. She moved to Florida in 1980 and started teaching at the Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach. In 1981, Shoshana started her work as a Hebrew teacher at the School for Living Judaism. She has enjoyed preparing many children and adults for Bar and Bat Mitzvah. She feels that it is a mitzvah to teach Jewish kids and adults in the Diaspora about Israel, Judaism and Hebrew. Shoshana received her degree in Early Childhood Education through Elementary School Education from the Kibbutzim Seminary in Tel Aviv. In addition, she received a Senior Hebrew Teacher Certificate for Adult Education from the Israeli Defense Forces and a Senior Hebrew Teacher Certificate as a Second Language from Tel Aviv University. She holds a Judaic Studies and Hebrew Language Teachers License from The Greater Miami Board of License. Shoshana served in the Israeli Defense Forces teaching new immigrant soldiers from all over the world. Before coming to Florida, she taught Hebrew for Jewish students from South America and the United States. Shoshana has enjoyed teaching Hebrew and Judaic Studies for children of all ages and adults at Temple Beth Sholom.