Cantor Kyle Cotler

Cantor Kyle comes from a long line of Jewish music – his great-grandfather was a Chazzan in Russia; his grandfather, Ted, served in Ventura; and his father, Doug, is the cantor emeritus at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas. Cantor Kyle studied at the Academy for Jewish Religion in California and is now a fourth-generation cantor and first-generation rabbi. That has to be some kind of record! 

Cantor Kyle’s love for music was nurtured at a young age. His bedroom was next to his father’s music room, and he remembers falling asleep to the sound of his father practicing and writing liturgical songs and prayers. It was only a matter of time before he began his own musical sojourn. By the end of high school, he was a proficient drummer, guitarist, and pianist. He received his B.A. in music theory and composition from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He was a baritone/tenor in the choir and was the principal composer and conductor for the Knights of Classic Lore vocal ensemble. Cantor Kyle’s primary medium of composition was the guitar and piano, but he has since embraced the digital age and now composes on his computer. 

Cantor Kyle’s first taste of Jewish music began at the Union for Reform Judaism camps. Having attended Camp Swig and Camp Newman as a child and teenager, by the end of college, he served as the head song leader at Camp Hess Kramer and then Camp Kalsman. He has also composed a number of original Hebrew songs and prayers, and made his musical debut at the Center for Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE) convention in Vermont in 2008, and was later a featured performer at the URJ Biennial. Previously, Cantor Kyle served as the Cantor at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue (Evanston, Illinois) and North Shore Synagogue (Syosset, New York), and before that as Cantorial Soloist at Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA) and cantorial intern and rabbinic intern at Stephen Wise Temple (Bel Air, CA).

Cantor Kyle says, 

Now that I have completed my lech l’cha (go forth) journey, which saw me travel from the West Coast to the East Coast and then to the Midwest, my bamidbar (in the wilderness) journey has culminated as I return to the congregation where I grew upI bring a passion for Judaism, a love of all things musical, and a zest for creating meaningful connections with people. My primary goal and sincere hope is that I will enrich the lives of all those in our community and bring an innovative, infectious energy to all forms of worship and communal gathering. 

Having spent the last few years in cities with subpar sports teams, Cantor Kyle is particularly stoked to root for his beloved Dodgers and Lakers again. He is an avid gardener, whiskey aficionado, film buff, and a self-professed computer nerd!

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