Bruce L. Ruben, Cantor, Ph.D.

Contact Information

(212) 824-2225
Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music

HUC-JIR/New York

Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music, New York
Administration Department: 
Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music
Academic Field: 
Sacred music
Research Interests: 
Nineteenth Century Jewish History; History of Reform Judaism

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Cantor Ruben is the Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Masters in Religious Studies from Indiana University.  He subsequently attended the Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary and graduated with a Bachelor of Sacred Music and was made a cantor.

Cantor Ruben served Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City for twenty four years (1982-2006).  During that time he taught over 1500 B’nai Mitzvah, many adult education courses, led numerous choirs, commissioned liturgical music, and presented many special musical programs.  While serving full-time he also completed a Ph.D. in Jewish history and taught for over a decade at Hunter College in the History Department.

 As Director (2006-present) Cantor Ruben has overseen the creation of a new Core Curriculum, developed a Leadership Fellows Program, and begun a Distance Learning Certification Program for Cantorial Studies.  He continues to teach history and Shabbat liturgy courses in the Cantorial school. He has also taught history survey courses and Holocaust history in the Rabbinical School.


Selected Publications and Edited Works

Max Lilienthal: The Creation of the American Rabbinate, Detroit, Wayne State University Press, 2011

“Max Lilienthal and Isaac M. Wise, Architects of American Reform Judaism,” American Jewish Archives Journal, 2003, no. 2.

“Music, Liturgy and Reform in Mid-Nineteenth Century America: Rabbinic Perspectives,  Musica Judaica, Fall, 2011

Current and Future Courses
Shabbat Liturgy and Modes
Public Lecture Topics
Max Lilienthal and the Creation of the American Rabbinate
A Tale of Three Cities: Musical Reform in 19th Century Vienna, Paris and Berlin
Music and Reform in Mid-Nineteenth Century America: Rabbinic Perspectives
Three Hundred Years of American Synagogue Music
Jews on Broadway