Cantor Faryn Kates Rudnick received the Samuel A. Goldsmith Award for Young Professionals on September 17, 2015, for her work in inclusion and advocacy for those with disabilities. Cantor Rudnick is the first cantor to receive this award. She was ordained at HUC-JIR in 2013, at which time she began her cantorial career at Temple Beth-El in Northbrook, IL.
Each year, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago awards the Samuel A. Goldsmith Award for Young Professionals to two Jewish professionals under the age of 35 who have been working with distinction in the Chicago Jewish community for one to five years. It recognizes and sustains the qualities of dedication and devotion to the Jewish community and the Jewish people, which marked Samuel A. Goldsmith’s outstanding career. Samuel A. Goldsmith served as the chief executive officer of Federation from 1930-1966, and the award was inaugurated in 1987.
"I am personally honored to be the first cantor to ever receive the award," stated Cantor Rudnick. "I received the award for my work with inclusion and advocacy for those in the Jewish community with disabilities. It was an honor to be recognized for the important work that is being done to bring those with disabilities back into the community, and I am humbled to receive this recognition both as the first cantor to receive it, and as an advocate for those with disabilities."
Cantor Rudnick’s passion is to help make the Jewish community a more inclusive and accessible community. She represents the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) on the Jewish Disabilities Network. In May 2015, Cantor Rudnick recorded several webinars for the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) inclusion webinar series, and she writes articles about inclusion and disability awareness for the ACC and URJ. In her community, Cantor Rudnick is a member of the Synagogue Federation Commission’s Inclusion Program Planning Committee. With her help, Temple Beth-El partnered with the Americans with Disabilities Act for their 25th anniversary and has been recognized by the URJ as an exemplar congregation for their work in inclusion. Cantor Rudnick completed her HUC-JIR senior thesis and recital research in hearing disabilities and the Jewish community.