Congregation Bnai Israel

347 Wagner Avenue, PO Box 635, Fleischmanns, NY 12430
Phone: (845) 254-9945 | Email:

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Our Clergy

Cantor Shai Simonson, Ph.D, has been a Hazzan for over 35 years at Conservative and Orthodox congregations in the Chicago and Boston areas.  He loves singing, leading services, reading Torah and Megillot, and teaching cantillation (nusach).  He has taught dozens of bar and bat mitzvah students, led more than 35 High Holiday seasons, and officiated at weddings, funerals, and other life cycle events.  Shai’s philosophy is a deep commitment to inclusivity, education, and authentic ritual.

Music is in Shai’s blood.  Shai studied with his father, the late Rabbi Dr. Solomon Simonson, who was both a rabbi and cantor. His wife, Andrea, is an alto with the acapella group Shir Rhythm, and his youngest of three sons, Yona, is a budding cantor and jazz pianist.

Shai’s “day job” is a professor of computer science at Stonehill College.  His online lectures, popular all over the world, are known for their combination of clarity and humor.  Shai is an avid hiker and cyclist. He also enjoys playing Disc Golf, Go, and Bridge.