Chochmat HaLev Musical Service Leaders

Event Lior Tsarfaty Chanting
Lior Tsarfaty

Lior Tsarfaty is an internationally touring musician and recording artist.  He uniquely weaves music and various healing modalities to create transformative experiences for his audience and clients.  He does music “peace work” with Muslims and Jews and offers mindfulness and chanting workshops in the Bay area, Israel and China.  Lior is the founder of Village Song, a school and a movement that brings the power of music to Alzheimer communities.

His groundbreaking work is featured in the film “There Is A Place.”

Kiki Lipsett

Kiki Lipsett is a Bay Area musician, singer, educator, and prayer leader in the Bay Area. Having studied voice and piano for many years, she finds ways to use music as a vehicle for connection and healing. She has brought her musical leadership to children’s hospitals, to an Arab-Jewish girls choir in Israel/Palestine, to women’s spirituality and wellness retreats, and to Jewish teens in their b’nai mitzvah journeys. She currently runs and teaches in a San Francisco music and performance program for marginalized youth. Kiki is delighted to bring her love of liturgy and music to the Chochmat HaLev community for Shabbat and the High Holy Days.

Mike Perlmutter

Mike Perlmutter, originally from the greater Boston area, has made his home by San Francisco Bay since 1998.  He performs klezmer, Balkan, and Jewish ritual music on clarinet, bass clarinet, and saxophone for Chochmat Halev, Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band, and Inspector Gadje.  Mike seeks to connect his music to the full range of feeling and expression of spirit, mind, and body – from the deeply contemplative, to the ecstatic.  Mike loves bringing this intention to musical services at Chochmat Halev, where the teachings, text, and liturgy, the music, and the participation of the congregants come together so uniquely and deeply to touch so many levels of human feeling.  Outside of music he is committed to his family (wife and toddler daughter), the environment, and his work supporting volunteer efforts to clean, green, and beautify the City of Oakland. He’s also known for his pickling.

Dave Rosenfeld

Dave Rosenfeld is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, music teacher, and record producer. Having completed a BA in Studio Art at UC Davis and an MA in Music Composition at Mills College, he now resides in Berkeley, CA. ” I am always looking for ways to express the brightness of the spirit through music, and I am thrilled to be playing violin and mandolin as part of the vibrant and contemplative services at Chochmat Halev.”

Shira Kamen
Shira Kammen

Multi-instrumentalist Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring early and other intriguing styles of music, and was a member for many years of the early music Ensembles Alcatraz and Project Ars Nova, Medieval Strings, and Fortune’s Wheel. She performs and teaches throughout the United States and internationally. Shira has been a part of the Shabbat and High Holy Day musical leadership team for Chochmat HaLev for several years now, plus over a decade before that with Jhos and Julie at the Coastside Jewish Community. She is beyond grateful to have a place where music and spirituality and community reside together in a dynamic, interesting and beautiful context!

Aharon Wheels Bolsta

Aharon Wheels Bolsta has played with Chochmat HaLev since 2002. He plays North Indian tabla and bansuri as well as drum set, Middle-Eastern percussion, West African percussion, cajon, and many other instruments. Aharon also regularly plays sacred Jewish music with the Saul Kaye/Elana Jagoda ensemble at Temple Beth El in the Peninsula and with Cantor Ilene Keys at Temple Sinai in Oakland, and he performs and teaches at Wilderness Torah festivals, synagogues all over the country, and with leaders such as Mia Cohen, the Kirtan Rabbi, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Achi Ben Shalom, Ibrahim and Issa Abdurrahmani, Hyla Shifra Bolsta (The Illuminated Kaddish), and many groups playing Sephardic music, Klezmer, Sufi, Turkish Classical music, Classical Indian music and Aharon’s own original sacred music. See his website at

Yari Mander

Yari Mander is a gifted music educator with a patient, supportive, professional teaching style honed over more than 15 years working with children and adults. He is also a professional drummer who has performed onstage with Joan Baez, Gamelan X, Reverend Michael Beckwith, Agape Choir and many other artists.Yari’s musical travels led him to discover that rhythm is universal way to connect people, transcending culture and language.He has taught professional workshops and facilitated rhythm events at many Bay Area colleges.Yari’s mission is to facilitate joyful, active and transformational musical experiences for diverse individuals and communities. He enjoys guiding groups to greater levels of connection, confidence, unity and teamwork through making music together.

Michaelle Goerlitz

Michaelle Goerlitz has been playing drums and percussion since she was eight years old. After attending college in the Midwest, she moved to San Francisco in 1980 to continue her studies, which have led to an exploration of Brazilian, Afro Cuban, Venezuelan, and Middle Eastern rhythms (plus jazz, R & B & funk). She was a founding member of two renowned & long-term projects, the Blazing Redheads and Wild Mango. Both groups blended many different styles which showcased Michaelle’s versatile percussive skills. Among the list of people Michaelle has played with: VNote Ensemble, Venezuelan Music Project, ‘Chelle & Friends, Wayne Wallace, Mark Levine, Tom McDermott, Tammy Hall, Paul McCandless, Holly Near, Anthony Brown, The Brazilian Jazz Project, Ojala,  rhiannon, Yair Dalal, Naser Musa, Barbara Higbie, Jami Sieber, Tuck & Patti, Jai Uttal and Samba Rio. In 2007 she was named a “rising star” in Downbeat Magazine.

In addition, Michaelle has many years’ experience doing school presentations through the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music program, as well as teaching – at numerous music camps as well as privately.

Eliyahu Sills

Eliyahu Sills is a highly acclaimed musician of many instruments and deep knowledge of multiple musical traditions, from spiritual music of the Middle East and India to American musics of Soul and Jazz and their African roots. He is a leader and collaborator of many projects, most notably, The Qadim Ensemble, which brings together diverse cultures of the Middle East, BOLO, which blends infectious rhythms of dance music, the improvisation of jazz, the cultural depth of world music, and the soulfulness of devotional kirtan; and The Ladino Project, which present music from the Sephardic music tradtion. Eliyahu also performs as a solo artist and with his duo, playing Hindustani Ragas, Middle Eastern Sufi music, and Jewish songs on the oud, ney, and bansuri.

Irene Jacobson

Irene Jacobson is in demand throughout the Bay Area Jewish community as pianist/accompanist, arranger, and music director for choirs, orchestras, cantors, vocalists, and instrumentalists.  She is currently a member of the Shinozaki-Jacobson duo (with violinist Rick Shinozaki), performing regularly in music festivals and recitals throughout the Bay Area.  Irene has been a part of the Shabbat musical leadership team at Chochmat HaLev since 2015 and the High Holy Day and Shabbat musical leadership team at Congregation Bnai Tikvah since 1992.  Irene most enjoys connecting with the Chochmat HaLev community by drawing on musical parallels with the social and poetic climate we all share.

Merav Singer

Merav Singer teaches violin, helping students find spiritual fulfillment in their musical journey. She has a PhD in ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley, writing about Israeli women singer-songwriters, and is a lecturer there in musicianship. She also tutors bar and bat mitzvah students in Hebrew and Torah trope, and enjoys chanting Torah at services. Having sang and danced and prayed to the music of Chochmat HaLev for years, Merav is deeply grateful to be part of making the music. Her daughter Kalina loves dancing with all her Chochmat HaLev friends.