Rabbi Cantor Russell G. Jayne has served Beth Tzedec Congregation for nearly a decade, first as Cantor and, after being ordained by the Pluralistic Rabbinical Assembly in 2021, as the Senior Rabbi and Cantor. A native of Boonton, New Jersey, Rabbi Cantor Russ has been involved in singing in both religious and secular choirs since childhood.
Before joining Beth Tzedec, Rabbi Cantor Russ served Congregation B’nai Israel of the Somerset Hills in Basking Ridge, NJ. He was also an instructor in the Lifelong Learning program of the Joint Chaplancy Committee for the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and worked as a B’nai Mitzvah tutor, 7th Grade Religious School teacher, and Adult Education instructor at Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael in Springfield, New Jersey.
In 2008, Rabbi Cantor Russ was admitted to the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was formally invested in May of 2013. During his time at JTS, he served as the Cantor of Chavurat Lamdeinu in Madison, New Jersey, and also as the High Holiday Cantor for Congregation Sha’arey Israel in Macon, Georgia.
Prior to pursuing a career as a Cantor, Rabbi Cantor Russ earned both a BS and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He then immersed himself in the world of amateur opera, working for the Genesis Opera Company and participating in the L.O.V.E. music series at the Donnell Library.
Throughout his career, Rabbi Cantor Russ has demonstrated a deep commitment to his faith and to serving the Jewish community through music and the promotion of life-long learning.