About our Prayer Leader,
Cantor Galina Makaveyev

Cantor Makaveyev has served as the Cantor at Temple Israel of Lawrence for eighteen years. Eight years ago she assumed the position of Director of Education. She is a regular concert performer and leader of holiday services at local JCC functions and senior living facilities. For the past five years, she has educated the children of the Russian Jewish Community at the JCC of the Greater Five Towns.

Cantor Makaveyev is an active Board member of SULAM-LI, the Religious School for Jewish Children with Special Needs. She advocates for disability inclusion to make our community a welcoming place for people of all levels of ability, and ensures that children with disabilities may participate fully in the Jewish life.

Cantor Makaveyev works with the B’nai Mitzvah students and Adult B’nai Mitzvah from their first day of preparation and is proud to be in full capacity to our youngsters and their families throughout this meaningful process. Cantor Makaveyev coordinates Congregational Choir which leads Services in Song every fourth Shabbat of the month and participates at Cantorial concerts, Interfaith Services, and other special events within our community. In addition to her love of traditional Jewish music, Cantor Makaveyev enjoys singing different styles of music such as Broadway and American classics and contemporary. Her biggest passion is Israeli and Yiddish music. During her tenure at Temple she taught Jewish Music History, Adult Hebrew Reading courses, and music curricula in the Religious School. She enjoys running Temple’s Cooking Club programs and special social events.

Cantor Makaveyev is thrilled to work as a Director of Temple Israel’s Religious School. She is dedicated to maintaining the school’s reputation of offering exceptional Jewish educational and meaningful experiences for our students and providing the spiritual support that is needed to all learners to achieve success.

Cantor Makaveyev holds a Master’s Degree in Sacred Music, Masters in Religious Education, and Doctor of Ministry Degree, all from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. As a HUC-JIR student, she has served in a cantorial capacity at Temple Beth Miriam, Elberon in New Jersey, at Temple Beth Ahavat Shalom in Brooklyn, and at Congregation Mount Sinai in Brooklyn Heights, New York. She served as the High Holy Days Cantor for the services conducted at the HUCJIR on behalf of the Metropolitan Conference of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods. Cantor Makaveyev completed one year of Clinical Pastoral Education/Training at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, NY and is their volunteer Interfaith Chaplain since September 2018.

Cantor Galina Makaveyev was raised in Kiev, in the Ukraine, of the former Soviet Union. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Choral Conducting from the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. While her living in Israel she taught music in public, religious and professional schools in Haifa, Israel. At age 18 she received a diploma in Musical Education and Choral Conducting from the Professional School of Music in Kiev. She then spent four years in advanced studies in Music Education and Choral Conducting at Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. Cantor Makaveyev is a member of the American Conference of Cantors, Association of Reform Jewish Educators and Hadassah organization. She is the proud mother of Antony and Vanessa, and the wife of Aleksandr.

To contact Cantor Makaveyev please email her at, or

Personal Statement

 “There is one who sings the song of his own soul, and in his soul he finds everything, full spiritual satisfaction. And there is one who sings the song of the people. For he does not find the circle of his private soul wide enough, and so goes beyond it, reaching for more powerful heights… He unites himself with the soul of the community of Israel…”

                                                Rav Avraham Isaac Kook


I believe that music is the heartbeat of Jewish spirituality and a major vehicle for the connection of our Jewish people to the rich wisdom and beauty of our faith. Music is a powerful language that speaks deeply to our hearts, moves us emotionally, and unites us to each other and to the Divine. Throughout the ages music has always helped to inspire our people, to motivate them, to excite them, and to awaken their desire for a deeper connection to our sacred tradition. Our music is a celebration of a meaningful story that is passed from generation to generation. Through music we give voice to our aspirations as we work together to build a common future. Music is the most meaningful expression of my Jewish identity.

Jewish music has always inspired me and played a significant role in my life: at a very young age listening to my grandmother’s voice singing in Yiddish, as a teenager playing the role of Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof, as a young adult performing Israeli classical and popular music, and as a sh’lichat tzibbur, a prayer leader, creating opportunities for an active relationship with Judaism while presenting its traditional and contemporary musical styles. By bringing my own unique gifts to the calling of Hazzan, Cantor, I aim to empower participation and create enlivening worship that fosters a sense of holiness and sanctity within my community. I am proud to promote our musical heritage and continue to nurture the fertile soil of the receptive Jewish soul as I strive to combine my two greatest passions, music and Judaism.

Born into an interfaith family and raised in the former Soviet Union with no religious knowledge or experience until my late adolescence, I truly appreciate the value of my religious identity and my spiritual awareness. My Jewish faith has been my conscience and my inspiration. My beliefs sustain me and offer answers to the questions I grapple with. I believe that spiritual practice can be the conduit for discovering both one’s calling and a role in this world. I found mine – to play an active part in humanity’s shared responsibility to transform and make our world better. This revelation made me who I am today: a Jewish seeker, a human being who is aware of the need to be ethically sensitive, morally steadfast, spiritually alive, and socially committed. As a result, I am passionate about transmitting Jewish values and teachings to others so they too may find appreciation for Judaism and live by it.

Being a Cantor, with its broad range of roles, allows me to take on this sacred task with members of my congregation and community. I see the fruits of my efforts in several ways – as they pray with inspiration, wrestle with our sacred texts, pass their knowledge to the next generation, and when they rise up in unity to pursue justice for those in need. Whether it is creating a warm and dynamic worship experience for children and adults, or playing an active role in their personal transformations, this sacred process brings me absolute joy and pride. It is my hope everyone may find a blessing in his or her sacred journey and may feel blessed as I do.

As a Jewish educator, I find working with children, in particular, exciting and significant. My involvement in their religious education has created opportunities to cultivate a lifelong love for Judaism while helping them to discover Jewish meaning in their own lives. I believe that education has an enormous impact on children’s development and as their guide and mentor I embrace the responsibility of providing a vibrant spiritual, social and emotional learning environment for them. In this way, Judaism can become invaluable – offering knowledge, understanding, compassion and a real life experience for everyone, in order to live satisfying, meaningful, and purposeful lives.

As a result of my studies in the Doctor of Ministry Program, I have formed two support groups. One for older women ages 60-95 and another one for our Hebrew High School seniors. This was a unique opportunity to give our ladies and teens a place to express their inner selves and explore their expectations, concerns, dreams and goals as they either cope with life challenges or prepare to start the next chapter in their lives. I believe that both chevrutot, partnerships, can inspire a lasting connection to the Jewish people; encourage participants to search for spiritual meaning; and strengthen their Jewish identity, connection to Judaism, Jewish community and Jewish life.

As I reflect on my professional and personal experiences, I have become ever more cognizant of the tremendous privilege of not only having a life that is deeply informed by our ancient wisdom and practices but also the ability to awaken another’s desire for a deeper connection to our sacred traditions. I am looking forward to many years of bringing inspiration through my music, education and pastoral support. I am committed to continuing the legacy of the Jewish people, our music and our faith. I am devoted to the support of the State of Israel and fostering the vibrant development of the Reform movement. I am dedicated to serving others with authenticity and integrity in order to transmit a clear vision of Judaism and its role in human existence. Most of all, I intend to inspire those of all ages to be engaged in the sacred task of building a brighter future for us, for our children, and for generations to come.