Cantor Julie Jacobs now will be officiating as rabbi of Beth David Congregation in Miami beginning Friday, Apr. 24. The installation of Rabbi Jacobs, who was ordained in January, coincides with her 10th anniversary at Beth David.
To celebrate both milestones, Beth David is hosting a whirlwind weekend of ceremony and song. The celebration commences Friday evening with an installation ceremony presided over by Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and featuring the Shabbat Pasión Band. An Oneg Celebration follows. On Saturday, Rabbi Jacobs will lead the morning service of Beth David Congregation and at noon a Kiddush luncheon will be held in her honor.
The festivities reach a rousing crescendo Saturday night with a live acoustic performance by Jewish music phenomenon Matisyahu, the American rapper known for blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop. Matisyahu has released four albums and in 2004, his single King Without a Crown was a Top 40 hit across the U.S.
Sunday morning Beth David will host a Family Brunch and Israeli Independence Day Celebration with guest of honor Paul O. Zelinsky, award-winning writer and illustrator of children’s books. Wrapping up this three-day simcha-fest is a Meet, Greet and Israeli Flag Football with NFL Quarterback Sage Rosenfels of the Miami Dolphins.
As this tribute weekend attests, Rabbi Jacobs is as much an inspiration as she is a spiritual leader. Known as “CJJ” at Beth David Gordon School, Jacobs notably is the first female Rabbi-Cantor in all Miami and her adoring students can’t wait to start calling her “RJJ.” She first studied Vocal Performance at Indiana University.
“My mother wanted me to be a famous singer, a star on Broadway, but God had a different plan for me,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs, mother of four children, two of whom have an autism spectrum disorder, also sits on the advisory board of Autism Speaks and to-date has raised over $70,000 for the non-profit. In addition, she has created the Tikvah Center at Beth David Gordon School — Miami’s first Jewish Day School program for children on the Autism Spectrum.
“I felt it was more important to instill Jewish values and principles in future generations,” Jacobs explained. “And I am thrilled to be able to do that now from the mindset of both a cantor and rabbi because I can help our community in more ways than I ever have before.”
For more information about Beth David Congregation and the weekend celebration, call 305-854-3911.