Sheila Pearl has dedicated her life to serving others: for over 50 years with music, singing, and using her voice to inspire others as her focus. In her early 20's she came from California to New York to pursue a career in opera. In her late 20's Sheila converted to Judaism and then looked for a Jewish husband. She met Rabbi Aaron Pearl. After marrying Aaron, Sheila shifted her focus from opera and chose to become both a Psychotherapist and a Cantor. She returned to graduate school, earning her Master's in Clinical Social Work. During the same week she earned her Master's Degree, Sheila was presented in concert at Carnegie Recital Hall and received critical acclaim from The New York Times for her NYC recital debut, singing in 7 languages. She knew her destiny was to integrate her love of music with her desire to be a psychotherapist.
Sheila found her way to use her singing voice and her counseling skills: being a Cantor. She had an opportunity to serve The Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey as cantorial soloist. After several years of full-time service, she participated in the Hebrew Union College's Certification Program for Cantors. During her career as Cantor, Sheila developed adult and children's choirs and instrumental ensembles, plus curricula for the Hebrew schools. At the Barnert Temple, Sheila began a concert series of Jewish music, inviting colleagues including Cantors Rochelle Nelson, Faith Steinsnyder-Gurney and Lisa Levine to her pulpit to share their music and talent.
Born Sheila Akin, she is the daughter of two singers and ministers of music in the Church of Christ Church. She was surrounded by liturgical and classical music, poetry and philosophy. In college she majored in English Literature, Philosophy, Music, Psychology, Sociology and Religion. While in college, she began a ten-year odyssey of conversion from Christianity to Judaism. From childhood, Sheila was multi-faceted and that has remained her nature, as she currently expands her activities as a speaker and author. For over 30 years Sheila has been mentoring and coaching adolescents and adults, teaching effective success attitudes and strategies for possibility thinking. Sheila has had a private coaching practice in Newburgh since retiring from congregational life 2004. She was married for 32 years and is the widow of Rabbi Aaron Pearl, with two grown stepchildren and five grandchildren. Busy in her full-time private practice, Sheila spends her professional life dedicated to coaching individuals, couples and families on ways to build and maintain loving relationships.
Sheila is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with seven B.A. Degrees including English Literature and Philosophy. She received her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
The author and co-author of several books, Sheila wrote A Primer for AGELESS & SEXY: How to Begin Creating Quantum Mindsets for Growing Young; STILL LIFE: A Spiritual Handbook for Family Caregivers of Alzheimer's Patients and other Difficult Challenges; and co-author with Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, Chris Attwood, Janet Bray Attwood, and Kimberly Burnham in Pearls of Wisdom: 30 Inspirational Ideas to Live Your Best Life Now. Sheila is also co-author in WAKE UP WOMEN! BE Happy, Healthy & Wealthy: A Guidebook. Her forthcoming book Ageless & Sexy: Loving Relationships in the New Mid-Life, is scheduled for release in late Summer, 2014.
Visit Sheila's websites, Ageless & Sexy Book, blogs and Facebook pages