Amanda Russell became a member of the Pittsburgh Jewish community in the Fall of 2007 and joined Ohav Shalom in September 2010 as our Music Coordinator. Amanda was born and raised in Center City Philadelphia and is currently a Senior at The University of Pittsburgh. She is a student in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and hopes to work in the field of Speech Pathology. She is also working towards earning a Certificate in Jewish Studies.
Amanda’s connection with the synagogue and Judaism deepened as she was preparing to become a Bat Mitzvah. That experience cultivated her love for chanting Torah and leading others in prayer. In addition to teaching Torah Trope and prayers to her students, Amanda continues to refine her own Cantorial skills by studying with her former Cantor on a regular basis.
For Amanda, music plays a big part in her world outside of the synagogue. She takes formal voice lessons and is a member of a collegiate choral ensemble. She is also a dedicated member of The Vokols, Pittsburgh’s Jewish a cappella group. Amanda has spent two summers studying vocal technique, one at Westminster Choir College and another at Oklahoma City University’s Vocal Arts Institute.
When Amanda is not singing or working, she loves to travel. This passion has led her on many exciting journeys to places including Cuba, Costa Rica and Israel, as well as her most recent summer which she spent traveling in Europe.
At Ohav Shalom, Amanda hopes that through music and prayer, we can work together to maintain an atmosphere that provides a place for personal spirituality, meaning, and musical enrichment.