sjm faculty and staff
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Faculty and Coaches

Faculty Administration
brian j mayer  Brian J. Mayer
Associate Professor of Jewish Music and Dean
Cantorial Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary
D.S.M., Jewish Theological Seminary

Brian J. Mayer, a recognized scholar of "hazzanut" (cantorial music), has served as acting dean of the school since 2011. Prior to his appointment at Hebrew College, Mayer taught for 14 years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York as an assistant professor of hazzanut. Since 1989, he has also served as cantor of Temple Emanu-El in Providence, R.I. Mayer was featured in the ABC-TV documentary "To God's Ear," which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2002. In 2008, he was the artistic director of "Shining Through Broken Glass: Kristallnacht Concert," a highly acclaimed multimedia production featuring Leonard Nimoy. In 2003, he produced the CD "Kolot Emanu-El."
cantor louise treitman 

Cantor Louise Treitman
Associate Dean
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion
M.M., New England Conservatory of Music 

Louise Treitman, who helped to create the Jewish Music Institute — now the School of Jewish Music — in the 1980s, returned to Hebrew College in 2008 to work in the cantor-educator program. She instructs not only cantorial students, but also those enrolled in the college's rabbinic, education and music-certificate programs. Treitman, who served for 20 years on the pulpit at Temple Beth David in Westwood, Mass., is now cantor emerita there. She also served as assistant conductor of the Zamir Chorale of Boston and continues to sing with the group. Treitman is co-director of Il Concerto di Salamone Rossi Hebreo and serves on the board of Mayyim Hayyim, a community mikveh and family-education center in Newton, Mass.

joshua jacobson 

Joshua Jacobson

Visiting Professor and Senior Consultant
D.M.A., University of Cincinnati

Joshua Jacobson, one of the country's foremost authorities on Jewish choral music, is a professor of music and director of choral activities at Northeastern University in Boston. He is also founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, Hebrew College's choir-in-residence. Jacobson's many musical arrangements, editions and compositions are frequently performed by choirs around the world. He served as the conductor and host of the PBS film "Zamir: Jewish Voices Return to Poland." His book "Chanting the Hebrew Bible: The Art of Cantillation" was published by the Jewish Publication Society in 2002.

cantor lynn torgove 

Cantor Lynn Torgove, MAJS'11, Can'12
Head of Vocal Arts
Adjunct Instructor of Jewish Music

Lynn Torgove is a mezzo-soprano and stage director and has had an international career as a soloist in many genres of classical music. She has served on the opera faculty at the New England Conservatory and the Boston University Opera Institute and currently teaches at the Boston Conservatory Vocal and Choral Institute. Torgove is co-founder of the communications training firm Gabriel Communications.

Faculty
debra reed blank

Rabbi Debra Reed Blank
Adjunct Associate Professor of Jewish Liturgy
Rabbinical Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Jewish Theological Seminary

Debra Reed Blank teaches the history, structure and theology of Jewish liturgy. In addition, she is a visiting scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center, where she is writing a book about innovative Jewish rituals for newborn girls. From 1998 to 2009, Blank taught liturgy and Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She has also taught at the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York and the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow.

cantor jeff klepper 

Cantor Jeff Klepper

Adjunct Instructor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion

Jeff Klepper is a practicing cantor and one of the world's leading composers of contemporary synagogue music. Several of his compositions, including "Modeh Ani" and "Lo Alecha" (both written with Klepper's former music partner, Rabbi Dan Freelander), have become synagogue standards. Their setting of "Shalom Rav," composed in 1974, is the defining Jewish melody of a new style of worship, bridging varied traditions and connecting multiple generations. Klepper, who has served since 2003 as cantor of Temple Sinai in Sharon, Mass., holds an honorary Doctor of Music from his alma mater, Hebrew Union College.

amy lieberman 

Amy Lieberman
Adjunct Instuctor of Jewish Music
M.M., Yale University

Amy Lieberman is a conductor equally at home in orchestral and choral music. For five years, she was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she conducted the NEC concert choir, chamber singers and women's chorus. Lieberman has also been a visiting assistant professor at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where she was director of choral activities and music director for the opera and theater division.

judith pinnolis
 

Judith Pinnolis
Adjunct Instuctor of Jewish Music
M.M., College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati
M.S., Simmons College

Judith S. Pinnolis is academic outreach librarian for humanities at Brandeis University, where she has served for more than 20 years. She also specializes in graduate student academic support for the campus. Pinnolis is creator and editor of The Jewish Music WebCenter, a go-to resource in Jewish music. Pinnolis has published many book reviews and scholarly articles on Jewish music. She has served as past chair of the Chapters Council of the Association of College and Research Libraries; past president of the ACRL New England chapter; and past chair of the Jewish Music Roundtable of the Music Library Association.

cantor ken richmond  Cantor Ken Richmond

Adjunct Instuctor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Investiture, Jewish Theological Seminary

Ken Richmond has served since 2006 as cantor and family educator of Temple Israel of Natick, Mass. He began his Jewish studies locally as a student at Solomon Schechter and Prozdor and as an apprentice to Cantor Charles Osborne. Richmond served as cantorial soloist for five years in Swampscott before graduating in 2004 from the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He plays several instruments, including violin, and his compositions include a Friday night Klezmer service.

cantor neil schwartz 

Cantor Neil Schwartz

Adjunct Instructor of Jewish Music
Cantorial Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary

Neil Schwartz has served Conservative congregations for more than 30 years in Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and the prairies of Western Canada. Since 2009, he has taught courses in biblical cantillation and liturgical chant for the online program at Hebrew College. Schwartz founded the Music Network within the Center for Advancement of Jewish Education, and, since 2007, has notated musical settings for more than 1,200 Hebrew prayers for the Tefillah Trainer teaching software of Kinnor.com. He is completing his thesis for a master's degree in religion and culture from the University of Saskatchewan.

Vocal and Cantorial Coaches
cantor peter halpern
 

Peter Halpern
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion

A native of Long Island, N.Y., Peter Halpern has served since 2012 has cantor of Temple Shalom, a Reform synagogue in Newton, Mass. He formerly worked for 10 years with the Liberal Jewish Community of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Halpern has officiated and concertized in Belgium, Germany and England and sung several opera roles. Inspired by his experiences in Europe, he set a number of Shabbat prayers to music. These were published by the Union of Reform Judaism in 2000 and 2005 and are widely sung throughout the United States.

frank kelley  Frank Kelley

M.M., College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

Frank Kelley is an American tenor who has performed in concert and in opera throughout North America and Europe. He has appeared with the San Francisco Opera, Brussels Opera, Boston Opera Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona),and the New Israeli Opera. He has worked with the director Peter Sellars on projects including "Così fan tutte," "Le nozze di Figaro" and "Die sieben Todsünden." Kelley has sung under conducts Craig Smith, Christopher Hogwood, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, and Sir Roger Norrington. His discography includes recordings of Stravinsky's "Renard," Bach's "St John Passion," the title role of Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo" and Aldridge's "Elmer Gantry."

 cantor michael mccloskey

Cantor Michael McCloskey, MJEd'07, Can'07 

Michael McCloskey has served since 2007 as cantor-educator at Temple Emeth in Chestnut Hill, Mass., where he facilitates daily minyan, serves as chazzan for Shabbat and holiday services and conducts adult-learning programs. Before that, he served as a cantorial solist-educator and taught at Prozdor of Hebrew College. A graduate of the Aspen Musical Festival Vocal Concert Studies program, McCloskey has sung with the Bostonians, a Boston opera company run by baritone and empresario Richard Conrad, and Kol Arev, the choral ensemble of Hebrew College.

cantor elana rozenfeld
 
Cantor Elana Rozenfeld
Cantorial Ordination, Jewish Theological Seminary


A native of Scarsdale, N.Y., Elana Rozenfeld has served since 2012 as cantor of Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott, Mass. Prior to that, she was cantor for two years at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. During her years of study and throughout the beginning of her cantorial career, Rozenfeld has developed a passion for the Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino languages, particularly as they are used in Jewish music to express the emotional and spiritual complexity of the Jewish people.

cantor hollis schachner
 
Cantor Hollis Schachner
Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion


Born in the Bronx, N.Y., and raised in Miami, Fla., Hollis Suzanne Schachner has worked since 2001 at Temple Shir Tikva in Wayland, Mass., where she directs the musical progam, teaches Torah and serves as pastoral counselor. Before beginning her studies at Hebrew Union College, she was a cantorial soloist at Temple Israel of Greater Miami, where her voice was heard weekly throughout south Florida on a live Shabbat radio broadcast. During her studies at Hebrew Union, she served as cantor at Temple B’nai Israel of Woodbury, Conn. Schachner loves reading, cooking, theater, traveling and camping with her family.

cantor randall schloss
 
Cantor Randall Schloss

Cantorial Ordination, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion
M.M., New England Conservatory of Music


Randall Schloss has served as cantor at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline since 2007. After a varied career in music as a classical singer both on the opera stage and in concert, as a teacher of voice and music theory, and as a choral conductor, Schloss began his journey into the world of Jewish music as a singer and composer. Through his compositions and his singing from the bima, he combines traditional liturgy and modern poetry with musical elements of Eastern European nusach and chazzanut, Israeli and Sephardic folk music, classical Reform repertoire and contemporary pop and jazz to create an engaging, musical worship experience.