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From the Cantor - 
Rabbi Sunny Schnitzer
Cantor sunny.jpg


Shalom Chaveirim!  Hello friends! 


New friends, old friends, friends we have not met yet.


Yaffah and I are so excited to be joining Bat Yam of the Islands. We look forward to creating together the four M’s, Moments of Meaning, Moments of Music, Moments of Majesty, and Moments of Memory.

“When we sing, we pray twice.”


For the longest time I thought these words were the provenance of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, the turn of the 19th century mystic whose teachings are only now coming into focus for us and whose Chasidim were so devoted to him that they never replaced him as their “rebbe” upon his passing. During the Cossack raids against the Jews in the Ukraine in the early 1920s, his chair, was cut into small pieces, ultimately taken to Jerusalem in 1936, reassembled, and today sits in the Breslover Synagogue in the Meah Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem.


It turns out that I was wrong. The words were first coined by St.

Augustine in the 5th Century.


No matter. When we sing we breathe as one, one rhythm and when we are really in the groove, one breath. When we sing, our souls open up and reveal a voice that resonates with truth. This brings us into alignment with THE BREATH, the Ruach



Soon we will create such moments together in person. For the first two weeks of November we will be on Zoom, and while it may not be intuitive to sing along with the cantor in front of your computer monitor, give it a try. Connect through this miracle of technology. Can you imagine how we would have weathered this pandemic twenty years ago? Oy!

This community is now weathering a storm of different proportions. Yaffah and I feel privileged to, to work and learn with Rabbi Fuchs, and to bring a new light and a new spirit as we rebuild and transition. May our work together be blessed.


So, a little about us.

Yaffah (Joani) and I have lived for over twenty years in Reston Virginia. We have four daughters. An urban planner, a rabbi, a wellness coach, and an attorney. They married respectively, an attorney, a synagogue executive director, an attorney/private investigator, and a computer coder.


Two of our daughters have children, ranging between twelve and three years of age. Five grandchildren in total, living in University Park Maryland and Columbus Ohio.

Ask us about our grandchildren! (Our children too – we are proud of each of them) They will be visiting us. We hope you will have, between now and the end of April, an opportunity to meet them.

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