Cantor Russ


Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Michael Russ is a 5 foot 4 inch curly redhead with a voice straight from heaven that does not fit into the traditional mold. He is of Russian-Jewish descent with four brothers and four sisters and a background reminiscent of the Jazz Singer . . . his father was a cantor as well.

Michael has experienced a wide variety of American perspectives in his growing up years living in Brooklyn, New York, Dayton, Ohio, Shreveport, Louisiana, San Jose, California, Jerusalem, Israel and the San Fernando Valley, California.

Michael graduated from California State University, Northridge majoring in Theatre and Psychology. Growing up in an environment of Jewish observance, he began to study to become a rabbi but shied away from music for a long time, even working as a Good Humor Man at one time! He could sing though, and after people kept asking, "Could you? Could you?" he decided he would and did!

He has been associated with Temple Beth Shalom of Tustin, Temple Solael of Woodland Hills, Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf in Arleta, Stephen S. Wise Temple of Bel Air, Temple Isaiah of Los Angeles and Temple Beth Torah of Sepulveda.  He has served as Cantor at Congregation B'nai Emet since 1987,

Michael has performed before many organizations in the Los Angeles area as well as on local television. With a versatile band directed by David Kamenir, Michael Russ' Concerts have entertained audiences with a diverse venue from Broadway to Country to Pop - and they always leave with a smile! For over  seventeen years, Michael hosted a Sunday morning radio show on KCSN 88.5 FM - "L'Chayim" where he played Yiddish, Hebrew and other Jewish music for his listeners.

Married to wife, Merle, for over 38 years, they have two daughters, Adina and Shoshana, and son-in-law, Scott, and several fish that shall remain nameless. He is an avid skier and camper and enjoys walks along the beach, music and parties.