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Natick - Local Town Pages

Temple Israel of Natick Honored Rabbi Ken Richmond

Temple Israel of Natick invited the community to “Harmony,” a musical tribute honoring Rav Hazzan (Rabbi/Cantor) Ken Richmond on Sunday, June 9 to honor of his 18 years of dedicated service to Temple Israel and the wider community. 
“Over the past 18 years with our community, Rav Hazzan Richmond has been a model of kindness, compassion, and composure. His musical talents as cantor and pastoral leadership as rabbi are a rare combination to find in one person and we are so grateful he is here for us,” said Temple Israel President Idy Lanier.
During his tenure, Rav Hazzan Ken Richmond has set a model for living a life of integrity, treating everyone with respect and compassionate caring. As a spiritual leader, he has provided pastoral counseling, officiated at life-cycle events, delivered insightful and thought-provoking sermons, and enhanced prayer services with beautiful music. As a mentor, he has inspired many young families to join the congregation. As a teacher, he has prepared hundreds of bar and bat mitzvah students to chant from the Torah and motivated many dozens of adult congregants to acquire new ritual skills and engage more fully in congregational life. As a musician, he has introduced his love of Yiddish music nurtured since college when he founded a Klezmer band.
“I have known Rav Hazzan Ken Richmond since he started working at Temple Israel of Natick. I have had the privilege to be a congregant, work with him as a lay leader and now as Temple Administrator. Ken has provided me and my family much guidance and support through simchas and sadness, and he has always demonstrated compassion, thoughtfulness and wisdom.  I am grateful for his leadership at Temple Israel of Natick,” said Temple Administrator Michelle Weiner-Taylor. 
Rav Hazzan Richmond has also shared his expertise with the wider community, including organizing community-wide holiday programs. An adjunct faculty member at the Hebrew College School of Jewish Music, he has taught professional seminars, classes on Jewish prayer, coached students, and directed cantorial student interns. A member of the Rabbinical Assembly (the International Association of Conservative rabbis), he served on its Mahzor (High Holiday Prayer Book) Committee where he wrote original music for piyyutim (liturgical poems). 
An honors graduate of Yale University, Rav Hazzan Richmond holds rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College as well as cantorial ordination and an M.A. in Jewish Music from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. He trained as a chaplain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He and his wife, Rabbi Shira Shazeer, have raised their three sons in a bilingual Yiddish-English household.