The power of Cantor Rosalie Will's ministry is in bringing people together, drawing them to her but also to each other.
She blends diligent preparation with an approachable, collaborative manner, then tops it all off by meeting people where they are, improvising to meet the needs of the community that forms around her. And on top of that, she makes great music!
Rabbi Molly Weisel
Peninsula Sholom Temple
Cantor Rosalie Will mentors clergy in the field and consults on issues of worship, music, and synagogue transition and change. She also serves as the Director of Worship and Music for the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).
Rosalie’s decades of experience as a worship leader, consultant, performer, visionary and leader in new worship trends, has set the course for the Reform Movement’s growth in the area of dynamic prayer at URJ Biennial and beyond.
In recent months, given the pandemic and the uncertainty about on-site worship for the near future, Rosalie has adapted her classes and coaching to help clergy, congregations, and musicians deliver the most meaningful experience for their communities. Rather than simply setting up the camera and going--and informed by the new experiences of her many colleagues and contacts across Reform Judaism--Rosalie advises on how to create new ways to worship that honors tradition while fully-embracing the ways people gather today and will hope to gather in the future.
Rosalie's career has been dedicated to elevating the congregational voice while maintaining communal rituals and customs, training young songleaders and cantors in areas of leadership and collaboration, and finding intersectionality among diverse communities of background and accessibility in prayer spaces.
From 2001 until 2017, Rosalie served as Cantor of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland, just north of Washington DC immediately after being ordained Cantor from the School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She is a product of URJ Camps and NFTY, and received her undergraduate degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Rosalie was a Synagogue 2000 faculty member. She is a Partner in the Kalsman Institute on Judaism and Health and is a past Vice-President for Member Relations of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC). She is frequently asked to write or present workshops on worship trends, serve on panels, and teach songleading to teens and adults. Through PresenTense, an incubator for young Jewish social entrepreneurs she launched a project called Kesher Shir: a venture which brings together Jewish musicians from diverse backgrounds to study, collaborate, and create meaningful music which will enrich and enliven worship and strengthen communities.