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Hazzan Joel Smith

A native of Los Angeles, Hazzan Joel Smith was the Ritual Director at STS from 2003 until 2017 and has rejoined the STS community in 2021 as a Rabbinic Intern currently in his fifth year of rabbinical school studying at the Academy for Jewish Religion California. 


An expert Ba’al Kriah, Hazzan Smith brings to life the sacred writings of our people: Torah, Haftarah, & Megillah. He is passionate about helping others find meaning and purpose through chanting and study. His patience, persistence, fortitude, and serene qualities give others the confidence, strength, and assurance that they need to achieve success.


Previously, Hazzan Smith served congregations at various Shuls in the West San Fernando Valley area, including Kol Tikvah, The Calabasas Shul & Eim Habanim of West Hills. A lover of music, passionate about prayer, with an intense interest in Torah, Hazzan Smith has studied Hazzanut with Cantor Sam Radwine & Hazzan Baruch Cohon and music theory with Tina Caplan Weiss. A graduate of the Cantorial Soloist program at Hebrew Union College, after rigorous written and oral testing, he received his commission as a Hazzan by the Cantors Assembly.


Hazzan Smith began his musical training at a young age and plays various instruments, including viola & low brass. He has sung with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale on some of the most prestigious concert stages, including the Hollywood Bowl & Symphony Hall in Boston and at the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.


He holds a degree in Geology and Computer Science with Honors from Harvard College.


An avid cyclist, it is not uncommon to see him out and about on the roads of the West San Fernando Valley.

Wed, July 24 2024 18 Tammuz 5784