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1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, IL 60022847.835.0724

Music and prayer

Music, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel taught, provides the catalyst for connecting the disparate elements of the finely woven tapestry of the fixed words of liturgy (keva) and kavanah, our deepest, truest intentions to reach and serve God. At North Shore Congregation Israel, we search for ways to fill both keva with kavanah. We explore the possibility that music can function in many ways, including:


1) Praising God

2) Providing a deeper understanding of our sacred texts

3) Resonating with our community 

4) Linking us to our history

5) Connecting us to our coreligionists around the world

6) Allowing us to explore the awesome nature of God

7) Creating moments of introspection 

8) Deepening our relationships within our families


Here at NSCI you will find music infused into every aspect of our community’s life. We invite you to join us on a sacred journey with music as our vehicle. Click HERE to listen to an archive audio of Cantor Benjamin Landsman, NSCI's first cantor.


Upcoming Music Events

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert - Ravinia Steans Music Institute 2024 Piano and Strings Fellows                                                               Friday, July 12th, 8:00 pm in Perlman Sanctuary                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Ravinia Steans Music Institute Piano and Strings Fellows gather for a five-week immersive and intensive rotational training program. With some of the world’s finest musical teaching artists and pedagogues as their instructors, they are led through the practice and performance of classical sonata and chamber repertoire. There will be a light dinner for those attending Shabbat services prior to the concert. All Post Kabbalat Shabbat concerts are generously sponsored by Madeleine and Harvey Plonsker, Jim Stone, and Bobby Takiff. Register here


Recent Music Events

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert - Ravinia Steans Music Institute 2024 Jazz Fellows           
    Friday, June 14th
  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert - Fulton Chamber Players: Violinist Addison Teng and Violist Amy Hess              
    Friday, May 17th
  • Freedom, Redemption, and Praise: Songs of Interfaith Expression featuring Kol Zimrah Jewish Community Singers                 
    Sunday, April 14th
  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert - Violinist Joshua Brown and Pianist Marta Aznavoorian                                                                  Friday, March 15th
  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert - Piano 4 Hands                                                                                                                                                         
    Friday, February 23rd
  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert Nefesh Mountain Band                                                                                       
    Friday, January 26th
  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert Chanukah A Cappella featuring Chicago A Cappella                                                                                       Friday, December 1st                                                                                                                                                             
  • Meet Me in a Moment performance in commemoration of Kristallnacht

    Thursday, November 9th                                                                                                                                                       
    This concert held a special meaning as it took place on the night in which we remember Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken        Glass and it presented a unique fusion of classical music and theatrical play.

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert Susan Merdinger

    Friday, October 13th                                                                                                                                                                 
    Internationally acclaimed American Steinway Artist Susan Merdinger graced the Perlman Sanctuary with her musical presence following our Kabbalat Shabbat services. Watch the concert on Youtube, here.

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert Theme and Variation: The Anatomy of Atonement by Organist Christopher Powell                    Friday, September 1st at 8:00 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                     You can watch a snippet of NSCI's newest organist performing at his first solo concert in the Large Sanctuary, here.         

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert Ravinia Steans Music Institute Vocal Fellows

    Friday, August 11th

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert Ravinia Steans Music Institute Piano and Strings Fellows

    Friday, July 7th, 2023 

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert – Ravinia Steans Music Institute 2023 Jazz Fellows                                                                                            Friday, June 9th, 2023                                                                                                                                                                                                          

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert – Two Columns Harp Duo featuring Eleanor Kirk and Julie Spring

    Friday, May 12th, 2023

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert  Marta Aznavoorian and Janet Sung

    Friday, March 17th, 2023

  • Violins of Hope  Exhibit and Concert

    Thursday, April 20th, 2023

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert  Duo Mantar  Adam Levin, Guitar and Jacob Reuven, Mandolin

    Friday, January 27th, 2023 at 8:00 pm

  •  Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert  Cello and Piano Soiree

    Friday, November 4th, 2022 at 8:00 pm

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert  Marta Aznavoorian with Two Chicago Symphony Orchestra Players: David Taylor on Violin and Richard Hirschl on Cello

    Friday, December 9th, 2022

  • Ravinia's Steans Music Institute Chamber Musicians

    Featuring Fellows from the RSMI 2022 Strings Program
    Friday, July 8th, 2022. Click here to view recording.

  • NSCI Presents: A Ravinia Steans Alumni Concert
    Featuring Kyle Orth on piano and special appearance by Rachel Arcega Orth on violin
    Friday, May 13th, 2022. Click here to view recording.
  • The Organ Alone and Together: A Unique Instrument for Solo and Accompaniment
    Featuring Cantor David Goldstein and NSCI Organist Paul Vander Weele

    Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Click here to view recording.
  • Casavant Frères Organ (Stone Family Organ) Concert
    Featuring NSCI Organist Paul Vander Weele

    Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Click here to view recording.
  • The Three Davids: Songs of Love and Praise Concert
    Featuring Cantor David Goldstein, Cantor David Margules and David Schane, pianist

    Accompanied by Paula Kosower, cellist
    Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. Click here to view recording.

  • Ravinia Steans Music Institute Alum Concert
    Featuring Benjamin Hoffman, violin; Natania Hoffman, cello; and Joel Hoffman, piano

    Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Click here to view the recording.

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert: Chicago Bassoon Trio
    Featuring Susan Nigro, Elizabeth Heller and Lynette Pralle

    Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Click here to view the recording.

  • Post Kabbalat Shabbat Concert
    Featuring Marta & Ani Aznavoorian

    Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. Click here to view the recording.

  • Black Oak Ensemble
    From Bach to Tango: A Celebration of Classics Old and New

    Saturday, June 26, 2021

Meet our Staff

Alan Goodis is a national touring Jewish musician playing over 150 events a year. Born and raised in Toronto, Alan is a proud product of URJ Goldman Union Camp Institute. Noted for his dedication to building relationships and community through music, Alan travels throughout North America to serve as an artist-in-residence and performer at temples, youth conventions, and Jewish summer camps. Alan and his music have become a fixture at North Shore Congregation Israel and other congregations, URJ camps, and youth events from coast to coast. Alan lives in Chicago with his wife, Codi, and their dog Wally.


Christopher Powell is a Juilliard School–trained organist and serves as the Director of Sacred Music and the organist at the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe at Marytown in Libertyville, IL. He is also North Shore Congregation Israel's new organist. Christopher studied organ performance with Grammy Award–winning organist Paul Jacobs. He has also performed in master classes and lessons with Alan Morrison, Ken Cowan, Wilma Jensen, Cameron Carpenter, and Stephen Roberts. Christopher is the recipient of silver and bronze medals in composition from the Global Music Awards competition. His work ranges from opera and chamber music to functional liturgical music. When not at the organ, Christopher enjoys painting, bike rides, and gigging with his wife, Demi, as house entertainers for Cellar 26 restaurant in Green Oaks, IL.


Gregory Shifrin is a world-renowned pianist and a graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music in Israel. He moved to Chicago in 2005. He is a collaborative pianist for Glenbrook South High School, New Trier High School, Music Institute of Chicago Chorale, the Unitarian Church of Evanston, and the Chicago Youth Choral Theater. Performing in a piano duo with Irina Kotlyar, they won the 7th Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition in Miami, Florida (1999) and the 1st International Two Piano Competition in Poland (1999), and they were among the three finalists of the 49th International competition of the ARD in Munich, Germany (2000). Gregory lives in Vernon Hills with his wife, Kira, and two sons, Itamar and Ariel. 


Music Groups with Cantor Goldstein

Holy Chanters

Tuesdays from 12:00–1:00 pm via Zoom

December 6 & 13; January 3, 17 & 31; March 14

Learn to chant with Cantor Goldstein on your lunch break! This session of Holy Chanters will focus on the cantillation of the sacred texts for the three festivals: Ecclesiastes (Sukkot), Song of Songs (Passover), and Ruth (Shavuot). Click here to register.
Shir Chadash

Rehearsal: Mondays at 7:00–8:30 pm – November 28; December 5

Shabbat Worship: Friday, December 9 (5 pm rehearsal; 6:15pm service)
Join Cantor Goldstein at NSCI and meet friends who love to sing or play a musical instrument. Shir Chadash adult choir provides a rich harmony to enhance our worship experience and help create sacred moments during Shabbat, celebrations and commemorations! Our repertoire includes a variety of traditional and new genres. Please contact Sarah to register.
Healing Service
 Wednesdays at 8:00 pm on Facebook
Wednesdays at 8:00 pm – November 9, December 7

Join Cantor Goldstein for a quiet and contemplative Healing Service. Whether seeking support in navigating the circumstances in which we or our loved ones find themselves, together we can create a quiet, gentle time for prayer, meditation, and song that focuses on healing and wholeness.


You can now submit a name to be included in the upcoming service. Submissions will be used as long as they have been received by 11:59 PM on the Tuesday (day) before the service. Click here to submit a name. Click here for the service packet.


Jewish Jammers 
No dates at this time
Gather together with Cantor Goldstein for an in-person, socially distanced jam session at NSCI! Bring your guitar, bass, harmonica, ukulele, or other instrument and a piece of music to play with the group (we'll provide the drums). *Masks must be worn at all times while inside the synagogue. This program is open to congregants and is only for musicians; there will be no audience. Please contact Sarah to register.

Fri, June 21 2024 15 Sivan 5784