Our Clergy

Rabbi Joel Simon

Email: jsimon@zedek.org

Rabbi Nathan Farb

Nathan FarbCongregation Schaarai Zedek is delighted to welcome Rabbi Nathan Farb as our new Assistant Rabbi. Rabbi Farb is smart, spiritual, an “out of the box” thinker, a scholar, a sensitive listener, a creative service writer and a graphic artist.

He graduated Cum Laude with Distinction from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in Economics in 2005. He was a Legacy Heritage Scholar in the Conservative Yeshiva Summer Program in Israel in 2009, and was recently ordained this May at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. While at HUC, Rabbi Farb completed a Clinical Pastoral Education course and won the 2014 Israel Bettan Memorial Prize “as the student who has been most creative and imaginative in his/her pulpit presentation.”

Rabbi Farb served as student rabbi in Parkersburg, Virginia and Petoskey, Michigan where he led services, visited congregants, taught adult education, provided pastoral care, conducted lifecycle events, created holiday liturgy, engaged in interfaith relations, coached B’nai Mitzvah students, led day-camp activities, and led new member outreach.

Congregation Schaarai Zedek is very fortunate in having Rabbi Farb join our clergy team. We look forward to sharing his energy and warm personality as we begin a new chapter in our congregation’s history.

Email: nfarb@zedek.org

Cantor Deborrah Cannizzaro


Cantor Deborrah Cannizzaro received her Cantorial Certification from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, in June, 2009.  She has served Congregation Schaarai Zedek since June, 2013.  Prior to joining CSZ, Cantor Cannizzaro was first Cantorial Soloist, then Cantor, at Issac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 2003-2013.

With her warm heart and beautiful voice, Cantor Cannizzaro brings her love of Judaism to our Shabbat services every weekend.  She leads our children in music through her direction of the CSZ Youth Choir and by teaching music in our Religious School.  Under her direction, Koleinu, our adult choir, helps to lead our worship during the High Holidays, and at other times throughout the year.  Her love of teaching is central to her work of overseeing our B’nai Mitzvah program.  With her guidance, and that of our Rabbis, Cantor Cannizzaro helps to guide our students through their year of B’nai Mitzvah preparation.

Cantor Cannizzaro is quite active in the Jewish Community, both nationally and here in the Tampa Bay area.  She has facilitated classes at conventions, and written articles for Jewish websites.  She is a member of the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors, and is ACC Coordinator of the URJ Publication of Ten Minutes of Torah.  Here in Tampa, she is an officer on the Board of the Bay Area Cantors Association, an organization which helps to promote a love of Jewish music to our community.  She is also a founding member of the Cantorettes, a female singing trio comprised of three cantors from the area.

Prior to entering the Cantorate, Cantor Cannizzaro was a successful concert recitalist and opera singer, performing with, among others, the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Kol Zimrah -The Jewish Community Singers of Chicago, and Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.    She lives in South Tampa with her two sons.

Email: dcannizzaro@zedek.org

Rabbi Emeritus Richard Birnholz


Rabbi Birnholz graduated from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York and was ordained in 1971. From 1971 to 1973, he was the Assistant Rabbi of Temple Israel in Memphis, Tennessee. From 1973 to 1986, he was Rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation, Jackson, Mississippi, where he also served as Visiting Professor in the Religion Department at Millsaps College.

Rabbi Birnholz has won numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to Reform Jewish life. In 1977, he won the Samuel Kaminker Memorial Curriculum Award for the outstanding informal education curriculum in the country. In 1983, he was Alumni-in-Residence at Hebrew Union College in New York. In 1989, he was a United Jewish Appeal National Rabbinic Award Winner. In 1991, the professional title of Reform Jewish Educator was conferred on him by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. In March, 1996, he was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion for serving the spiritual and intellectual needs of the Jewish community for 25 years. Rabbi Birnholz was elected to serve on the Executive Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 1996-1998.

He has been published in numerous magazines and lectures extensively on “Jewish Assertiveness Training. ” He is currently listed in ‘Who’s Who in Religion.”

Email: rbirnholz@zedek.org