Bruce Ruben, Cantor, Ph.D.
Cantor Bruce L. Ruben, Ph.D., is the Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music (DFSSM) at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). He has taught Jewish history courses at HUC-JIR and the history of Jewish music at The Julliard School. For fifteen years he served as an adjunct professor of history at Hunter College, where he taught courses on World History, Modern Jewish History, and the Holocaust. From 1982-2006 he served as the Cantor of Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City, where he organized special music programs with professional and volunteer choirs, wrote liturgical music and commissioned and premiered new works by leading composers, taught adult education courses on the history of Jewish music, history, and liturgy, and developed innovative services for increased congregational participation. He fostered interfaith relations as a leader in the Yorkville Christian-Jewish Council, and was active for many years in community activities at a neighborhood senior citizen center.
Lectures, Publications & Recordings
City University of New York, Graduate Center
Ph.D. Dissertation: "Max Lilienthal: Rabbi, Educator, and Reformer in Nineteenth-Century America"
Courses in Psychology and Psychoanalysis
New School for Social Research, Institute for Modern Psychoanalysis & Mid-Manhattan Institute
Bachelor of Sacred Music and Certificate of Hazzan
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Masters of Arts, Religious Studies
Masters' Thesis: "The Human Body as a Microcosm in Early Midrashim"
Bachelor of Science, Music (Graduation with Distinction)
Selected Musical Perfomances
"Music, Liturgy and Reform Judaism in Mid-Nineteenth Century America: Rabbinic Perspectives," Musica Judaica (accepted for publication)
Max Lilienthal and the Making of an American Rabbinate to be published by Wayne State University Press, fall of 2011
Paper presented at Geiger Kolleg conference, Potsdam, German:
"A Historical Survey of the American Reform Cantorate: Models and Pedagogy"
"Barbara Ostfeld: an Unassuming Pioneer" Fall 2007 issue of Journal of Synagogue Music
Author, "Max Max Lilienthal and Isaac M. Wise: Architects of American Reform Judaism," American Jewish Archives Journal. Fall 2005
Lecture, Cambridge University Music Faculty: "History of Cantillation"
Author, study guide for ACC: "Three Hundred and Fifty Years of American Synagogue Music"
Paper presented at ACC convention: "Music and Reform in Mid-Nineteenth Century America: Rabbinic Perspectives"
Transcontinental Music Recording: "Shabbat Anthology"
Lecture, University of Virginia: "Three Hundred Years of Jewish Music"
Author, "S'lichot: Prayers of Forgiveness," in Reaching for Holiness: Study Guide for S'lichot and Yom Kippur (Union of American Hebrew Congregations)
Lecture, Association for Jewish Studies: "Max Lilienthal and Isaac M. Wise: Creators of Moderate American Reform"
Transcontinental Music Recording: "Kol Dodi: Jewish Music for Weddings"
Paper presented on the "History of the SSM" at symposium marking its 50th Anniversary
Panelist, "The Bible as Libretto" at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
NBC Broadcast, "Sunday Morning": Historical discussion of Chanukah
Reviewed music for Transcontinental Music, UAHC
Composer of Baruch Haba, for mixed chorus and organ, performed at the Hebrew Union College Ordination-Investiture Service at Temple Emanu-El, New York, May 29, 1989
Co-author of Seasons of Our Lives: A Resource Guide of the Music, Books, Films, and Videos of Jewish Life Cycle Occasions, Jewish Welfare Board
Leo Baeck Institute Concert, "Vienna: The City of Jews and Music"
Script writer & performer for "Celebration of Freedom: Music of the Haggadah," 92nd Street, New York
Soloist on WNYC, "Around New York," with the New York Concert Singers
G.F. Handel, Judas Maccabeus. Soloist with SSM Choir
American Jewish Committee: Commemoration of Anne Frank
Sing Along: "The Impact of Jewish Life on Tin Pan Alley," HUC-JIR, New York
Mendelssohn, Elijah. Soloist with Congregation Adath Jeshurun, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Scholar in Residence: Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester
Scholar in Residence: Congregation Keneseth Israel, Allentown, PA.
Ex-offico member of ACC Board
Appointed to ACC Committee on Continuing Professional Development
Cantorial Certification Examiner, ACC
Scholar in Residence: Temple Emanu-El, Edison, New Jersey
Member of Joint Cantorial Placement Commission
Member of UAHC Task Force on Jewish Ethics
Interfaith Passover Seder with Rabbi James Rudin, American Jewish Committee
Delegate on ARZA slate at World Zionist Conference, Jerusalem
Musical coordinator for New York-New Jersey UAHC Regional Biennial
Member of Board of Yorkville Christian-Jewish Council Organized interfaith musical programs and model sedarim
Editorial committee for Shirei T'suvah, UAHC
Reviewed music for Transcontinental Music, UAHC
Arthur Einstein Memorial Prize in Composition (JTS)
Co-Recipient: Arthur Einstein Memorial Prize in Composition (JTS)
Jacobson Memorial Prize in Hazzanut (JTS)
National Music Honors Fraternity
National Honor Society, Oregon Scholar
- Association for Jewish Studies
- American Jewish History Society
- American Conference of Cantors
- Cantors Assembly of America
- American Society for Jewish Music