- Gender: Male
- Children: 3
- Religion: Jewish - Unaffiliated, Transdenominational, Progressive
- Profession: Rabbi, Cantor
- Interests: exploring the myths of all cultures and faiths, singing Jazz, Web Design & Marketing
- Hometown: Jersey City
Rabbi Steven Blane is founder and Spiritual Leader of Congregation Sim Shalom, an International ONLINE community of Liberal Jews. Rabbi Blane has held several traditional pulpits as Rabbi and as Cantor. His most recent rabbinic pulpit was in New Milford, NJ at Conservative Congregation Beth Tikvah. After three years as rabbi there, echoing an experience of his mentor Rabbi Joseph Gelberman (of Blessed Memory), he heard a voice in his heart. "I was in pain- I was sad. Yes, I was doing well- I was serving the community. I was making a good salary but I was not growing. And so, like Rabbi Gelberman, I left the traditional pulpit to journey on my own."
Blane began his studies more than twenty years ago by training to become a Cantor with his mentor Hazzan Noah Schall beginning in 1990. He began his professional Cantorial career leading High Holiday services at Conservative Temples Beth Israel in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1991 and Shaarey Zedek in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1992. He served for four years as Cantor (1994-98) at Conservative First Hebrew Congregation in Peekskill, New York, and one year (1996) as Cantor at Reform Temple Beth Haverim in Mahwah, N.J. During his final year at First Hebrew Congregation, he served as Spiritual Leader.
Blane served as Cantor at Congregation Beth Israel in Bergenfield, N.J. from 1999-2006 and became a member of the Cantor's Assembly, a collection of the finest Cantors in the world. He served as Rabbi and Spiritual Leader of Congregation Beth Tikvah-New Milford Jewish Center from 2006-2009. Blane was ordained as Rabbi in June 2001 at Rabbinical Seminary International after completing a course of study with Rabbi Joseph Gelberman in New York City. He is a member of the International Federation of Rabbis.
As Rabbi and Cantor of Sim Shalom, Blaneâ€™s commitment is to nurture, heal and bring joy to the community. Officiating at weddings is one of his greatest joys! His vision is one of universal brotherhood and inclusiveness and his mantra is "No is not in G-d's vocabulary."
He is also the founder and Dean of JSLI- Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute- an online Rabbinical Seminary. He believes there is a great need to train and prepare liberal rabbis to meet the needs of millions of unaffiliated Jews and Interfaith couples and their families. The modern liberal Jewish paradigm is one in which traditional Jewish observance and regular synagogue attendance or synagogue membership is simply not a reality. Yet, a respect for life-cycles and some Jewish Holiday observance is still of deep significance. It is up to the modern liberal rabbi to find the right point of entry and meet the needs of more than half of the world's Jewish and Interfaith community.
Steven Blane majored in Voice and obtained a B.A. in Music Education from Jersey City University. Following college, he performed as a singer/actor off and on Broadway, most notably, in the show "STRIDER" in 1978-79. He was a film extra (look for him in "The Chosen" but don't blink) and wrote an Off-Off Broadway Musical, which he produced in 1981. In 1986, he co-founded Blane & DeRosa Productions, an audiobook and children's audio production company. To date, they have produced thousands of audio recordings for major publishers.
He plays guitar, ukelele and piano and loves to sing Jazz Standards.