Suzanne Hamstra is beyond thrilled to be joining the WHC family as Assistant Cantor and newest member of the clergy team! She grew up in Santa Cruz, California, the daughter of folk musicians and bagel bakers. She grew up playing violin, singing, dancing, doing theater; effectively participating in every aspect of the performing arts that she possibly could. Any time that she didn’t spend in the arts, she spent at the beach or hiking in the redwoods.

She made her way to The Boston Conservatory for her Bachelor’s Degree and then to San Francisco Conservatory of Music for her Master’s Degree, both in classical voice performance, and spent several years as a freelance opera singer. Eventually, however, she realized that opera was not her true calling, and applied to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where she completed her cantorial studies.

She has served as a cantorial soloist at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, cantorial intern at Kehillat YOZMA in Modi’in, Israel, student cantor at Temple B’nai Chaim in Georgetown, Connecticut, and for the last two years has been the student cantor at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange, New Jersey.