Clergy & Staff

Tamar Havilio - Cantor

Cantor Tamar Havilio was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where as a child, she loved to walk amongst the great Evergreen trees that reach to the sky and embrace the loon filled lakes around Eagle River, Wisconsin. Here she first felt the sense of prayer in her life and the awesomeness of God’s Creation.

After completing an undergraduate degree in theater at the University of Iowa, Cantor Havilio  was inspired to become a cantor after walking into a synagogue in Chicago and experiencing a female cantor for the first time.  Shortly thereafter, she began cantorial studies at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. After completing the cantorial program in 1996, Cantor Havilio served congregations in New York, New Jersey and Milwaukee before pursuing a Master’s program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in the Performance Studies Division.

In 2002, Cantor Havilio returned to the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem as a member of the faculty, where for the past 17 years, she has been teaching the Reform Movement’s future Jewish leaders. In 2008, she became Head of Cantorial Studies on the Jerusalem Campus. She has also been active with the Women of the Wall Movement, where she is known as the “Cantor of the Kotel.” Her cantorate has been built upon the rich soul of Jewish music and the teachings of our sacred text, both of which she is passionate about sharing with people of all ages. Cantor Havilio is an accomplished cantor and teacher with expertise in the Cantorial Arts, the art of chanting sacred texts, choir conducting, worship innovation, spiritual development and public prayer protest.

In 2004, Cantor Havilio married Shmulik Havilio, a 20th generation Jerusalemite. They have three boys Nadav (15), Tal (13), and Noam (11).  In 2018, Cantor spent a year on sabbatical serving as a cantor at Temple Israel, during which time she and her family fell in love with the Minneapolis area.  They are thrilled to be coming to Bet Shalom to join this vibrant Jewish community!

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