Shanna Zell is a singer/songwriter turned cantor who believes in creating a warm, uplifting community of song open to all lovers of Judaism, which is why Temple Beth Elohim of Wellesley (TBE) has become the perfect home. She received her BA in European Cultural Studies and English & American Literature from Brandeis University and her smicha from the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music (HUC-JIR) in May 2017. Concurrent to her studies, Shanna served as cantorial intern for Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn where she co-directed their community of young Jewish seekers, “Brooklyn Jews.” In December 2016 Shanna presented a senior recital entitled, "Sacred Brooklyn," an exploration of the sounds of liberal Jewish Brooklyn, also the topic of her master’s thesis.
Before embarking on her cantorial journey, Shanna performed live shows of her own compositions with her band - Shanna & the Zellots - and to this day she brings her experience as a songwriter, her passion for Jewish music and driving rock rhythms into invigorating, engaging synagogue services. At TBE Shanna loves directing their high school T’filah Band, singing with the Gan Elohim students and crafting intentional worship with her clergy partners.
Shanna lives with her fiancé Josh and their Golden Retriever Toby in Natick. She loves sushi, indie music and exploring new neighborhoods.