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My name is Susan J Katz and I am glad you have come to visit my website!

My life has been one of questioning, adventure, and exploration, both of the external world and the greater internal spiritual one.

My first career many years ago was as a Biologist. I learned how living things and the natural world worked, and eventually learned, as a University Laboratory Research Associate, how to manipulate or recombine DNA, the materials that creates our genetic stories.

This work didn’t satisfy my questions, however. I shifted my work away from the DNA laboratory and began to follow my T'ai Chi Chu’an instructor’s wishes, and taught the internal martial arts such as Tai Chi and Chi Kung for many years.

Over that time, I allowed my students to be my teacher and my curiosity turned inward; I sought a fuller way to engage with the greater sea we all swim in. I took University courses in order to study the ancient Chinese text, the I Ching, which is the foundational text for the martial arts I was teaching. There I found a compatibility of these Eastern internal spiritual practices with my own religion of Judaism. This awakening led me to follow a deep desire I’d had for 40 years; and I began to play the Oboe. Through this instrument, the last and deepest bits of spiritual connectedness and self-expression have come to fruition for me. Now I create sacred music as well as perform at religious events, celebrations, and with community orchestras and concert bands.

My commitment to Judaism increased as well, and I began engaging through lay leadership and as a writing educator for adults with mental illnesses. The attraction for me toward these two different types of personal growth service is that they both focus on providing the holy work of Presence, of going alongside those who are striving to find spiritual connection that may have been lost, and who have the desire to find it once again.

I am a Multi-faith Spiritual Care Chaplain and Musician with Certificates in Grief Recovery Training and Group Facilitation. I am a Professional Member of Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC), the American Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care team, and a member of my local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). I am also a T'ai Chi Chu'an Sifu and a Professional Member of the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association (ATCQA).

For more complete details about my career path and experience, please see my profile on LinkedIn.

Thank you for visiting!

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Rina Elisheva

    Just found your nice blog. I'm a freelance oboist and perform for services at my Reform synagogue. I am constantly searching for oboe and piano music for HHDs and wonder if you have any suggestions, esp. for a meditation service for YK.

    1. Susan J Katz

      Hi Rina, there are some good versions of 'Kol Nidrei' by Bruch and Lewandowski that you might try to adapt. I also have my own adaptations of other liturgical pieces, such as 'L'Dor vaDor' and 'Avinu Malkeinu'. Have you tried playing some nigunim?

  2. Judith Lyons

    Just found your blog, Susan. Wonderful insights--thank you! You seem to be doing well at JTS!

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