Meet Our Hazzan
Our Hazzan (Cantor) is Michael Kasper, who with his wife Sylvie Blaustein, have been longtime members of Congregation Sons of Israel (CSI).
Hazzan Kasper was ordained in May 2014 at the Academy for Jewish Religion. His undergraduate degree was in dance education, and after completing college he moved to New York City, where he apprenticed with Twyla Tharp and then went on to direct and choreograph for his own dance company. He has toured and performed throughout the United States and Israel.
After retiring from the dance world, he earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work, from NYU, and went on to train in both family therapy and psychoanalysis.
As both a dancer and analyst, he has been a guest artist or teacher in universities and professional institutions and continues to maintain a private psychotherapy practice specializing in couples’ therapy. He and Sylvie live in Nyack and have three daughters and two grandchildren.
Hazzan Kasper’s spirited davening and his joy of music and singing engage the Congregation on Shabbatot and festivals. He was responsible for organizing a Cantor-in-Residence weekend during 2011, and in arranging inspirational Selichot services 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 as preparation for the High Holidays. He has brought highly talented musicians to CSI to perform in two fabulous concerts featuring Jewish and secular music. Hazzan Kasper also organizes a choir that performs during Nyack’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Service each November.