Michael Kasper has been Hazzan at Congregation Sons of Israel since 2009.
Born in Newark and raised in West Orange, New Jersey, he has an undergraduate degree in Dance Education from the George Washington University and master’s degrees in Clinical Social Work (New York University) and Jewish Studies (Gratz College). He is ordained from the Academy for Jewish Religion. Additionally, he studied, graduated from, and taught at the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training in Manhattan.
Hazzan Kasper moved to New York in 1974 after taking the first place prize and stipend in a National Society of Arts and Letters choreographers competition. He apprenticed with Twyla Tharp and went on to direct and choreograph for his own company, the Michael Kasper Dance Company, for many years. He has taught, choreographed, and performed throughout the United States and Israel.
He began his psychotherapy practice in 1985 and maintains offices in New York City and Rockland County. Most recently he taught in Hunter College’s Post Master’s Program in Clinical Social Work and is published in the book Controversies On Countertransference. For many years he was an ice skating instructor at the Westchester Skating Academy specializing in his work with autistic and special needs children.
In addition to being the cantor at CSI, Hazzan Kasper is also the Director of Placement, Recruitment, and Cantorial Studies at the Academy For Jewish Religion, a pluralistic seminary, and lives in Nyack with his wife Sylvia. He is blessed to have three daughters and three grandchildren.