Makom Ohr Shalom has been an integral part of my spiritual path since its inception in 1978, when we met in private homes.
I began as a Cantorial Soloist in 1978 with Rabbi Ted Falcon (founder of Makom Ohr Shalom) and have studied cantorial works with two great Cantors, Allan Michaelson of Adat Ari El, and William Sharlin of Leo Baeck Temple.
I studied Music Composition and received my Bachelors of Arts degree at Immaculate Heart College. I also hold a teaching credential, and continue to teach music and vocal instruction in elementary schools with Los Angeles Unified School District. Over the years I composed my own original liturgical compositions and many of those compositions have been published and shared all over the Jewish world.
For years I was known as “Cantor Monty” with Makom, first with Rabbi Ted Falcon and then later with Rabbi Mordechai Finley, Rabbi David Cooper and Rabbi Debra Orenstein.
I was inspired to continue my spiritual journey and become a Rabbi myself. Studying at the Academy of Jewish Religion, I received my Master’s degree in Jewish Studies, and I was ordained as a Rabbi in 2005. Shortly thereafter I began to take on rabbinical duties at Makom Ohr Shalom, while still continuing as Musical Director of our wonderful choir.
In my many years as Clergy at Makom, I have found that officiating at Lifecycle events- Weddings, Bar & Bat Mitzvah’s, Baby namings, and Funerals, bring me the most joy. I feel that these events are my special calling, and I am readily available for anyone who has a Lifecycle event.
Melanie Turner is my wife and my best friend. We have been together since 2003 and we have three children between us.