Rabbi Gilah Langner
Rabbi Gilah Langner joined Shirat HaNefesh in July 2016. Born and raised in Montreal, she has been active in the Washington, D.C. Jewish community for over thirty years, particularly in the field of adult education.
Since her ordination in 2003, Rabbi Langner has served as a rabbinic resource to a variety of congregations, served as the visiting Jewish chaplain at Georgetown University Hospital, taught courses at The George Washington University and Catholic University of America, co-directed the Washington Jewish Healing Network, and served as principal of Shoreshim Hebrew School in Reston, VA and Kehila Chadasha Sunday School in Bethesda, Maryland.
Rabbi Gilah was the founding publisher and co-editor of the journal Kerem: Creative Explorations in Judaism, and is the author of a number of articles and prayers. More details are at www.RabbiGilahLangner.com and at www.kerem.org.
Rabbi Langner also currently serves as rabbi of Kol Ami congregation in Arlington, Virginia, and is active in interfaith work.
Rabbi Langner welcomes your emails and calls – you can reach her via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazzan Dr. Ramón Tasat
Born in Buenos Aires, Ramón Tasat learned Ladino, the language of the Sephardic people, at his grandmother’s knee; his style reflects the rich history and drama of this extraordinary culture. Trained in five different countries, he received a doctorate in voice performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Hazzan (Cantor) Tasat has toured Europe with the world-renowned Dr. Robert Shaw and has participated in international festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. He has also appeared in numerous opera productions, including “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Il Impresario,” and “La Traviata,” and has drawn worldwide critical as well as audience acclaim.
Hazzan Tasat has served as Director of the Cantorial School at the Academy for Jewish Religion, musical advisor of the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Music Festival, board member of the American Friends of Neot Kedumim, and the president of Shalshelet: The Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical Music. Ramón’s numerous recordings include Fiesta Sefarad, Trees Cry for Rain, Teshuva, Kantikas di amor i vida, a series of Sephardic duets together with the celebrated singer Flory Jagoda, and his most recent, Yom SheKulo Shabbat. He has published several music books on Jewish subjects.
Hazzan Tasat brings his extraordinarily rich musical tradition to Shirat HaNefesh, encouraging full congregational participation. He also leads the Kolot HaLev Community Choir, which enhances worship at Shirat HaNefesh at selected Friday night and Shabbat services.
Rabbi Gerry Serotta
After six years as the founding rabbi of Shirat HaNefesh, Gerry Serotta served as Executive Director of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington from 2014 through 2020, where he continued his decades of work as a leading voice for interfaith cooperation, religious freedom, and human rights causes.
Rabbi Serotta has served as Executive Director of the interreligious organization Clergy Beyond Borders, Associate Rabbi of Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, and Director of the Hillel Foundation at George Washington University. He was the Founder and Chair of Rabbis for Human Rights – North America, and he chaired the Board of Chaplains of George Washington University for many years.
Rabbi Serotta has received a number of awards for his interfaith and intergroup initiatives. In 2013 he was awarded the Agus-Shehan Interfaith Leadership Award by the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council. He received the Ralph Lemkin Human Rights Award in 2008 from Rabbis for Human Rights. He has also received the George Washington Award for service to George Washington University. He was appointed a Public Policy Conflict Resolution Fellow by the University of Maryland School of Law and served as a Senior Rabbinic Scholar in Residence at the Religious Action Center of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Rabbi Serotta received a M.A. in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College, a Master of Sacred Theology from New York Theological Seminary, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Hebrew Union College. He holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard College. Rabbi Serotta is married to Dr. Cynthia J. Arnson, and they have three children. Shirat HaNefesh members are pleased and proud that Rabbi Gerry and Cindy continue to be full members of the congregation.
Janet Braun stepped into the role of coordinator in 2019. She handles the weekly newsletter, room reservations at the Church, the kiddush/oneg calendar, the membership directory, and numerous other tasks. Please send her items for the newsletter, and contact her directly for room-related issues. Janet can be reached at email@example.com. We are also grateful to Kelly Rose who helps with setup of our Community Room and events coordinating.