Jay Rapoport, RJE, has served as the director of lifelong learning at Temple Sholom of Chicago since 2014. In 2020, Jay received the ARJE Yad b’Yad Award for innovative curriculum, appeared on the Disney Holiday Singalong, defeated his former student on the “Who Knows One?” game show, and received a Covenant Foundation grant to compose the theme song for the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland’s “La-bri’ut” curriculum. Jay has composed two “Ruach Rock” albums, including six songs featured on the upcoming “The Complete Jewish Songbook for Children Volume III (Manginot),” and is working on his third, “Attitude of Gratitude.”
I spent hours in the practice rooms in the basement of Ewell Hall during my time at William & Mary, learning to sing and accompany myself on piano for as many songs as I could memorize. I won the MasterCard ACTS talent search on campus my sophomore year, which led me to semifinals in Knoxville, Tennessee, but more importantly, to a recurring gig performing my original music in the University Center Cafe. I spent my junior and senior years as a proud member of the William & Mary Choir, and studied jazz voice with Stephanie Nakasian, traditional voice with Mary Fletcher and jazz piano with Harris Simon. During my college years, I also worked as a teacher and song leader at Temple Beth El in Williamsburg and as a summer camp song leader, and I released my first CD, “Don’t Look Down,” during my junior year.