Rabbi/Hazzan David B. Sislen joined Congregation Kneseth Israel in August 2021. Our synagogue is very fortunate to have someone with his skills and insight.
Sislen grew up in Montgomery County and began his musical and cantorial training before his Bar Mitzvah. When he was 15, he was called to lead High Holiday services for the first time. He graduated the University of Maryland, College Park in 1988, with a degree in theater design. For the next dozen or so years, he worked as a lighting designer and technical director for theaters up and down the East Coast, while working as a part-time cantor.
Finding himself drawn more and more to synagogue work, Sislen eventually became a full-time cantor. He was admitted to the Cantors Assembly in 2000 and served congregations in Gaithersburg, Florida and New York. Over time, Sislen gained a reputation as a versatile teacher and for being someone congregants could turn to for advice. When a congregant suggested that he should consider becoming a rabbi, Sislen took the advice, receiving his smicha in 2014. Rabbi/Hazzan Sislen is dedicated to being a teacher, mentor, resource, comfort, and inspiration to members and non-members alike, in hopes of maintaining the strength, vibrancy, and values of Judaism for many generations to come. Sislen is married and has one daughter.