Photo: Dahlia Katz Photography
Cantor Cheryl Wunch (she/her)
After a long search following the retirement of Rabbi Emerita Dr. Aviva Goldberg, Congregation Shir Libeynu selected Cantor Wunch to be our new spiritual leader. She began her journey with us by leading our June 2021 Pride service in collaboration with Rabbi Goldberg.
Cantor Wunch grew up in Toronto and earned her bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Classics from Queen’s University. She continued on to study Child and Youth Work at Humber College, and earned her Cantorial Ordination and master’s degree from the Hebrew Union College in 2011. She has since served congregations in the US, the UK and Canada.
Before attending seminary, she worked in classrooms, youth shelters, and group homes advocating for children and teens with a variety of educational, developmental, and behavioural needs, and for women who have suffered abuse.
Currently, Cantor Wunch serves on the Ethics Committee of the American Conference of Cantors and is the chair of the Women in the Cantorate Taskforce, fighting for equality, religious freedom, and high ethical standards within her field. Her love of music and Judaism drive her passion to help people find modern meaning in our ancient sacred texts.
You can read “Cantor’s Corner” Cantor Wunch’s piece in our monthly newsletter here.
Congregation Shir Libeynu FB Group
Rabbi Emerita Dr. Aviva Goldberg (she/her)
Congregation Shir Libeynu was founded by our now, Rabbi Emerita Aviva Goldberg, and four other Jewish lesbians about 25 years ago. They wanted to create a welcoming and inclusive synagogue for LGBTQ+ Jews and interfaith couples and families. On November 22, 2014, the community celebrated the formal rabbinic ordination of Rabbi Goldberg who had already been our all-but-in-title rabbi for about 18 years. Click here for some highlights of the ordination.
Highlights of Rabbi Goldberg's Ordination
Rabbi Goldberg led our congregation until she retired in 2019. She planned and delivered all our worship services, provided pastoral care to the community and conducted meaningful lifecycle rituals for our members. She also oversaw and supervised all of our education programs, including our B’Mitzvah program.
Rabbi Goldberg is a participating member of a liberal beit din (a rabbinical court) of unaffiliated rabbis. Her scholarly interests include contemporary Jewish theologies and women’s rituals. Her research and writing have appeared in several anthologies and academic journals. She was an assistant professor at York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, and before that taught middle school in Toronto for more than 20 years. Rabbi Goldberg lives in Toronto with her partner, Dinah Rosen, a co-founder of Shir Libeynu. They have four adult children and four grandchildren.
Connect with Rabbi Emerita Aviva Goldberg c/o firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Galit Rodan
Daniela Gesundheit (she/her)
Musical Director and Chazzan
Daniela Gesundheit is a vocalist, composer and cantor interested in long-surviving musical traditions that foster a nourishing group identity. She has joyfully served as the Musical Director and Chazzan with Shir Libeynu since 2008, weaving the community together with soulful, inclusive song and liturgy.
She received a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on music and poetry from Wesleyan University, where she studied with Maggie Nelson and poet and translator Peter Cole. She studied privately with Shaliach Tzibbur Julie Batz, Cantor Linda Hirschorn and poet Marcia Falk on her path to becoming a chazzan. She also learned much along the way from our Rabbi Emerita Dr. Aviva Goldberg. Daniela has a private practice officiating lifecycle rituals throughout the US and Canada.
Daniela has collaborated with celebrated acoustic biologist Katy Payne (Songs of the Humpback Whale) for performances that feature choirs trained in the principles of Humpback whale “composition,” in addition to touring internationally for a decade with her band Snowblink. Her latest album, Alphabet of Wrongdoing, is a collection of ceremonial Jewish prayers and blessings from the High Holy Days encircling themes of reckoning, atonement and forgiveness. Daniela lives in Los Angeles and haunts Toronto with her loving partner, Eric Cheng.
On July 17, 2021 we celebrated the marriage of our treasured Chazzan, Daniela Gesundheit, and her beloved Eric. Here are the beautiful words Daniela shared with us.
Click here to read them.
Lillian joined Congregation Shir Libeynu as our Administrator in January 2021. She is a skilled administrator with extensive customer service and finance experience. Lillian worked at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre for about 20 years in various capacities until 2019.
For the last seven years, she was the Director of Guest Services. Lillian says she remembers selling Shir Libeynu High Holy Day tickets at the MNjcc many years ago. She left the J to spend more time in the busy lives of her two boys who are growing up much too fast! If you need assistance at any time, please contact Lillian.