Idan Irelander is the Founding Rabbi of Congregation Ahavat Olam, a post-denominational congregation located in North Andover, MA. Congregation Ahavat Olam practices One Judaism, which transcends any single denomination, uniting people with varying identities and celebrating the best our tradition has to offer.
Rabbi/Cantor Idan Irelander received his rabbinic ordination at the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) in New York. He is looking forward to integrating his passion for Judaism, music, and people to grow with a congregation in which they will all flourish together.
Rabbi/Cantor Idan Irelander started his musical journey, in Israel, when he was 15 years old. He performed with several famous musical groups and singers 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. There, Idan embarked on a dual major in composition and film scoring and graduated Summa Cum Laude. In addition to completing his studies with high honors, Idan received both the Berklee College of Music Award for Composition Excellence and the Berklee College of Music Award for Achievement in Film Scoring.
Since 2000 Idan has been cherishing his roles as cantor, music director, song-leader and educator at Temple Emanuel, a Reform congregation in Andover, MA. He developed Shabbat Unplugged, a Friday evening service featuring musical arrangements of old and new Jewish melodies, played by professional musicians. Idan regularly reaches out to the larger community by introducing and maintaining several programs for people of all ages such as B’nei Mitzvah, Mussar, conversational Hebrew classes and song sessions of healing and uplifting of spirits.
Several years after working at Temple Emanuel as music director, Idan attended the Cantor-Educator Program (CEP) of Hebrew College where he earned a Master’s Degree of Jewish Education (MJED) and became ordained as a cantor. There, he 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 committed to postgraduate service in the Jewish community.
In 2009, Idan, while working part time at Temple Emanuel, also took on a newly created role as the spiritual leader of Temple Shalom, a Conservative synagogue in Salem, MA, where he combined his spiritual and musical backgrounds to create innovative and vibrant services that embraced the Conservative tradition. While at Temple Shalom, Idan implemented an original children’s program, called Israel Rocks, which reinforced their Jewish identity and introduced them to Israeli culture and Hebrew language skills through games, dance, songs, and other elements.
Rabbi/Cantor Idan Irelander is the creator of the "Shabbat Olam" series, "Shabbat Around the World." The first program in that series is "Sephardic Shabbat Unplugged," a journey into the music of the Sephardic tradition. This unique CD/service/performance includes musicians who are Jordanian, Syrian, Iranian, Palestinian, American, and Israeli. This eclectic group is called the "Ahavat Olam" ensemble, the "World Love" ensemble. In 2006, Idan created an educational CD, "Shacharit In-plugged," featuring Temple Emanuel students performing his original compositions set to the morning Jewish prayers. He looks forward to engaging his new community with the same spirit of togetherness and creativity that has defined his years as clergy.