Cantor Lisa Levine was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, where she began singing and playing the guitar at the age of 8. Influenced by Jewish songwriter Debbie Friedman at an early age, she was inspired to be a URJ camp song leader and active in the Reform Jewish youth movement. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Music from University California Irvine, where she studied under the baton of Joseph Huzsti and participated in two international tours with the UCI Concert Choir. Lisa spent her junior year in Israel and studied at the Reuben Conservatory and sang with the Israeli Opera Workshop and Israeli National Choir under the direction of Stanley Sperber. After graduating U.C.I. she went on to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where she completed her Masters Degree in Sacred Music. There she studied voice with Irene Gubrud of the Julliard School. She was invested Cantor in 1989 and began her career as Cantor / Music Director of Temple Shalom in Dallas, Texas.
From 1996 until July 2000, Lisa served as the Cantor / Music Director of Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Des Moines, Iowa. She was a co-founder and guest conductor of the "Des Moines Diversity Chorus," an interfaith community choir dedicated to promoting diversity and understanding. Her solo CD "Gems of the High Holy Days" was recorded live for Iowa Public Radio. From 2000 to 2003 Lisa served as Cantor of Temple B'nai Jehudah in Kansas City. She also succeeded Cantor Melvin Luterman as Cantor of Temple Oheb Shalom in Baltimore, Maryland which brought Lisa back to the East Coast.
Lisa has recorded two CD's of original music entitled "Keep The Spirit" and "In The Light" with duo group "Lisa & Lynn." In 2004 she published her self titled songbook which contains 22 original songs for healing, prayer and unity. Her original musical compositions are part of the Transcontinental Music Publications Choral Series and appear in "The Complete Shireinu", "The Complete Chanukah Songbook," Synagogue 2000's "Songs of Healing" the CCAR's "Open Door Haggadah," "American Conference of Cantors Lifecycle Manual," Soundwrites' "Sounds of Torah" as well as "Complete Jewish Songbook II", "Shabbat Anthology II", "Shabbat Anthology IV", "Manginot II", "Torah Alive!" and "K'lei Zemer". Lisa's songs were featured and performed at the URJ Biennial in Boston, Minneapolis, Houston and San Diego. Several of her poems were published in the new WRJ's Women's Torah Commentary and four of her poems have been chosen to appear in the WRJ Centennial Book.
Lisa's solo album of original songs entitled "Reaching For Peace" was released in 2005. Her Friday Evening Service and CD combo "Soulful Shabbat," written for interfaith and outreach was published soon after. The collection is unique because of it's range of accessible musical styles written for youth, teen and adult choirs and band.
In 2006 Lisa released "Mis Canciones Para Los Judios De Cuba": My Songs for the Jews of Cuba. It features favorite Ladino, Yiddish, Hebrew and Cantorial gems that Lisa performed in her concerts in Havana in 2006 and 2007. All of the proceeds from the CD go directly to the B'nai Brith Cuban Jewish Relief Fund. Since then Lisa has returned to Cuba two more times, concertizing and sharing her music with the Jewish community there. Her most recent project is "Soulful Shabbat Ruach" an original Friday Evening Shabbat Service featuring members of the Temple Shalom choirs and bands. It was released this past May and all proceeds benefit the Temple Shalom Music Fund.
Lisa studies and teaches yoga and is the creator and author of "Yoga Shalom" a unique Jewish embodiment-of-prayer worship Book/DVD/CD published by URJ Press. It has been well received at NewCAJE, ACC/GTM Conventions as well as at the URJ Biennial and the CCAR, WRJ Conferences, The Routes Conference, and the Washington Jewish Arts Festival. Lisa is a featured author of the Jewish Book Council and is currently on tour across the country.
Lisa is the Cantor of Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase Maryland. She shares her life with husband Andy and their two college age children, Emily & Louis, a very feisty West Highland Terrier named Duncan and an independent cat named Gizmo.