Cantorial Soloist Michelle Auslander Cohen is a native of Skokie, Illinois. She spent the majority of her childhood in a Jewish Day School, surrounded by her cousin and mother who were the premiere Jewish music educators in the Chicagoland area, and remain so to this day.
Michelle spent 14 years becoming proficient in piano, and by the beginning of high school, devoted herself to the art of singing. She pursued an operatic career, attending prestigious vocal programs such as the Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University and the Sarasota and Cincinnati Young Artist Programs. Michelle has earned esteemed awards including Fellowship Artist to the Brevard Music Center and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera Association.
In 2003, while singing for the High Holy Days in South Florida, she met Yaniv, who would become her husband. Since then, Michelle has successfully worked as a Cantorial Soloist throughout South Florida. She continues to perform concerts throughout the United States and to teach voice at Florida International University and a private voice studio in Boca Raton.
In 2007, Michelle delved into the world of composing, and produced and performed on her first CD entitled “The Music in Me,” also featuring Cantor Benjamin Warschawski. In 2010, Michelle was recognized by “Shalshelet,” the Foundation for New Jewish Music, for two of her original compositions. Her pieces are also published in Transcontinental Publishing’s “Shabbat Anthologies.”
Here at Temple Beth El, Michelle has designed the music program for the Early Learning Center, and conducts Tot Shabbat. Michelle directs Shir Shalom, our adult volunteer choir, as well as Shir Joy, our youth choir, as they lead our regular Shabbat Family Participation Services. Michelle also works to engage adults with their musical talents, to participate in services or other Temple events.
Recently, Michelle has taught workshops in vocal technique and modern liturgical music at the North American Jewish Choral Festival: the premiere Jewish choral event which brings together singers and choirs from across North America and beyond. She was also recently chosen to lead services in front of 200 other cantors and musicians at the annual American Conference of Cantors-Guild of Temple Musicians conference.
In addition to her devotion to Temple work, she also serves as the coordinator of the Music and T’fillah programs at Donna Klein Jewish Academy, as well as the Musical Conductor for Hazamir Boca, the International Jewish High School Choral Foundation.
Michelle lives happily in Boca Raton, with her husband and two beautiful children, Eliana and Liora.