Rabbi/Cantor Idan Irelander started his musical journey at the young age of 15 as a bass player performing with several famous musical groups and singers in Israel. In his early years in Israel, Idan performed and arranged several albums for Israeli musicians.
Influenced by his private instructor Mr. Egon K. Kerten, the head of the Israeli Arrangers Association and after becoming a Berklee College of Music B.E.S.T. scholarship recipient, Idan left Israel in 1997 to study in Boston, MA. At Berklee, Idan embarked on a dual major in composition and Film Scoring.
Under the tutelage of various composers and conductors, Idan’s writing began to blossom and he began to receive notice from professors and colleagues. His composition for string quartet “Chaotic Moments” was selected to be performed by the Esterhazy String Quartet in Boston, MA and the Signon String Quartet in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Idan was also selected to conduct the first movement of Dvorák Symphony No. 7, for the Boston Conservatory Orchestra. Throughout this time, Idan remained active as a bassist, composer and arranger. He arranged several albums for Israeli musicians and performed with Yehoram Gaon, also known as “The Israeli Frank Sinatra.”
In May 2001, after four years of study, Idan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music. Not only did Cantor Idan complete his studies with high honors but he also received both the Berklee College of Music Award for Composition Excellence and the Berklee College of Music Award for Achievement in Film Scoring.
Since 1999 Cantor Idan was honored to fulfill roles as cantor, music director and song-leader at Temple Emanuel, a Reform congregation in Andover, MA. He developed the Shabbat Unplugged service, a Friday evening service featuring professional musicians and new musical arrangements of old and new Jewish melodies. Idan has also added contemporary Israeli music to the Religious School music curriculum.
In 2009, Rabbi/Cantor Idan accepted a new role as the Spiritual/Ritual Leader of Temple Shalom, a Conservative synagogue in Salem, MA. Raised in a traditional home, he was able to combine his spiritual and musical backgrounds to create an innovative and vibrant service that embraces the Conservative tradition. Idan has also reached out to the larger community by introducing several programs for people of all ages. For adults, there are B’nei Mitzvah and conversational Hebrew classes. For children, Idan created an original program, called “Israel Rocks”. “Israel Rocks” introduces children to Israeli culture while at the same time reinforcing Jewish identity and Hebrew language skills through games, dancing, songs, and other visual elements. This program has been very well received by both children and their parents.
Rabbi/Cantor Idan is the creator of the "Shabbat Olam" series, "Shabbat Around the World." The first program in that series was the "Sephardic Shabbat Unplugged," a journey into the music of the Sephardic tradition. This new CD/service/performance includes unique musicians and instrumentation from Jordan, Syria, Iran, Palestine, America and Israel. This ensemble known as the "Ahavat Olam" ensemble, the "World Love" ensemble. In 2006, Idan created, together with Temple Emanuel students, an educational CD. "Shacharit In-plugged", featuring his own compositions set to the morning Jewish prayers.
At Hebrew College, Idan graduated from the Cantor-Educator program (CEP) and earned a Masters degree of Jewish Education (MJED) and was ordained as a Cantor. He also received the "Cantor Rick Boyar Prize" for excellence in Hazzanut (Cantorial Art) and the Abraham and Sadie Shapiro Family Fellowship which is awarded to students planning to pursue a career in Jewish education and committed to postgraduate service in Jewish community.
In 2020, Rabbi/Cantor Idan completed his studies at the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) in New York, graduated the Cantors to Rabbis program and received his rabbinic ordination.