For the month of September, the Rothko Chapel presented a meditation in the Judaic tradition with the theme of “Reflection and Renewal in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.” Led by Cantor Rollin Simmons of Congregation Emanu El, this session explored prayer, song, and meditation and addressed individual and city wide healing after the storm.
About the presenter:
Cantor Rollin Simmons received a B.A. with a major in Art History and a minor in Italian from Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, NY and an M.Ed in Special Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. While in Cambridge, she was a soloist with the Zamir Chorale of Boston, performing locally and internationally. Inspired and encouraged by her cantor, Roy Einhorn at Temple Israel Boston, and her experiences with Jewish music in the Zamir Chorale, Cantor Simmons decided to pursue cantorial school. As a student at The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, Cantor Simmons was honored to serve as the Student Cantor at Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, TX; Hebrew Tabernacle in Washington Heights in New York City; and The Community Synagogue in Port Washington, NY.
After being ordained in 2010, Cantor Simmons moved to Aspen, CO, where she served as co-clergy with her husband for seven years at the Aspen Jewish Congregation. During her time in Aspen, Cantor Simmons transformed the worship experience through creative uses of music and liturgy. In February 2016 Cantor Simmons was invited by JEWISHcolorado in Denver to open for Itzhak Perlman for a sold out crowd. In 2013, Cantor Simmons was featured as a soloist on Noah Aronson’s album The Left Side of the Page. She was the featured soloist in the Aspen Choral Society’s performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. She is now the cantor at Congregation Emanu El in Houston.