History

HUC-JIR established the School of Sacred Music in 1948. Created at a time when the Holocaust threatened the continuity of Jewish heritage, the School of Sacred Music flourished as a center dedicated to preserving, enhancing, and creating Jewish music. Originally conceived as an institution training cantors for the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Movements, our curriculum still reflects non-denominational origins. Our faculty teaches the full range of cantorial styles, from traditional through contemporary music. As the cantorial profession has evolved, cantors have taken on the full range of clergy responsibilities with their rabbinic partners, and in turn, our curriculum is adapting to ready our students for this changing cantorate of the 21st century.

In January 2011, the School of Sacred Music was renamed the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music in memory of our beloved faculty member, Debbie Friedman.

Learn more >  about the history of HUC-JIR.