Tag Archives: Cantor

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The Role of Melody

“I think that melody is the soul of life. That’s from a book by Percy Goetschius from 1917, but it’s my favorite quote. To produce melody from within is to understand your own soul and where you fit in life.” (Jacob Harris, Prayer Leader Summer Institute student and Hebrew College resident choir, Kol Arev, member) Learn more about the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College

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Cantor Sarah Bolts, Rab’16

“When I started cantorial school at Hebrew College, one of the questions I hear most often is, “How did a woman from an Orthodox community end up becoming a cantor?” I often cite my bat mitzvah as one of the early catalysts: my first experience of leading in a Jewish context, and a foundation for future Jewish leadership. My bat mitzvah was far from typical, both for my community at the… Read Article →

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It’s Personal

              “Your personal life is part of your professional life when you’re a cantor. The dignity, compassion and kindness with which we act as cantors are essential characteristics of who we are personally, as well.” #HumansHC  The School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College (Cantor Hinda Tzvia Eisen Labovitz ’14, Ohr Kodesh Congregation, Chevy Chase, MD) 

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Return Again (Parashat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

This past Shabbat we celebrated Rosh Hodesh, the new moon of the month of Elul; sang songs of praise in the psalms of Hallel; and dedicated ourselves to a month of teshuva, of return and repentance, leading up to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. For 30 days, Jews around the world call ourselves to attention with a shofar blast every morning. According to Maimonides, this blast carries an embedded message: “Awaken you… Read Article →

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Nigeria to Newton

“Why am I here? It has to do with my love for Jewish culture and language. I had my initial theological training at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho, Nigeria. I studied at the University of Birmingham in England and graduated with a M.Ed. degree. With all my years of training and teaching within theological education, I knew very little about Jewish culture. When I came to the United States, I… Read Article →

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An Opening Blessing

This blessing was delivered at the cantorial ordination ceremony for Cantor Kate Judd, Can’15 on January 24, 2016.  I was thinking back …… almost thirty years ago, in 1988, at our old campus on Hawes Street in Brookline, several of us sat down to meet with then president of Hebrew College, Rabbi Sam Schafler. His picture is now on the steps of the library here. We began discussions that led to the… Read Article →

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Cantor Lynn Torgove, MAJS’11, Can’12

“In Berlin, the conversation about what we remember, what we believe in and how we represent that to each other is not only about talking, it is about acting. Nothing could be more powerful than to be standing under a huge menorah on Hanukkah, erected right beneath the Brandenburg Gate in what was once East Berlin. Judaism is the model for this kind of moving and difficult conversation – one… Read Article →

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Cantor Melissa Adleman

“Although HUC – JIR did not ordain women until the late 1970s, I was fortunate to hear a woman singing in a distinctly cantorial style in 1983. A year later, I became Bat Mitzvah, and sang from the pulpit on several occasions as a newly recognized, Jewish adult. Each Sabbath or holiday during which I led worship, I knew that to communicate G-d’s word through song was a great privilege…. Read Article →

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Audrey Klein

“Dance has played a significant part in my life since the age of six. And like so many other dancers, that meant my Decembers were consumed by ‘The Nutcracker.’ It was a tradition I looked forward to every year. Sure, it’s a ballet associated with Christmas; but that never seemed to compromise my Jewish identity. There weren’t too many other Jewish students in my ballet school, so I loved teaching… Read Article →