After pursuing a career in the theatre since childhood, Ilysia says it was “beshert”, meant to be, when Rabbi David Baron heard her sing. It was after that meeting that Ilysia redirected her life and began her journey as the Cantor of Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, California. She has led Shabbat and High Holy Day services since 1999. In 2003 Rabbi David Baron and the Temple produced a CD, Enlighten which has elicited outstanding audience and critical review. Ilysia’s stirring rendition of “We Came to Sing in Jerusalem” was chosen to be on the Keeping the Faith, Voices for Israel 2 CD benefiting survivors of terrorism in Israel (http://www.voicesforisrael.org/faith/). Her vocal talents were also featured in the title song, “Keeping the Faith.”
Ilysia began studying acting, voice and dance at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for the Performing Arts and received her BA in Theatre Arts at California State University, Northridge.
Prior to her tenure at the Temple, Ilysia enjoyed a successful career entertaining audiences on stage, television, nightclubs and in concert. Some of her theatrical highlights include: Disney’s King David, an oratorio concert sparking the reopening of the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York (the original home of the Ziegfeld Follies), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, playing the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Frumah-Sara in Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and Lainie Kazan, Eva Peron in Evita which she received a Dramalogue Critics’ Choice award for outstanding performance, and Johanna in Sweeney Todd, to name a few.
Ilysia was thrilled to originate the role of “Miss Oops-A-Daisy” for the nationwide PBS television show, The Huggabug Club, where she was able to teach children “it’s okay to make an oopsie, everyone makes mistakes sometimes!”
Ilysia continues to share her vocal talents outside of Temple of the Arts. Her reputation as a consummate entertainer has prompted invitations to sing in concerts as the featured guest artist at local venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, various fundraising events, the Jewish Federation and at Pan Pacific Park’s Holocaust Memorial Yom HaShoah event.
Of all her successes and accomplishments, Ilysia says the one she is most thankful for is that of wife to her supportive husband, David, and mother to her two beautiful children, Braxton and Madison.