Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller is Professor of Cantorial Arts at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music (DFSSM) at HUC-JIR/New York. Her work involves training cantorial and rabbinical students to bridge the gap between performance and spiritual leadership.
She serves as cantor of Bet Am Shalom Synagogue of White Plains, New York with her husband, Rabbi Lester Bronstein.
She is a nationally known composer. Her works include “Life-Song Cycle,” a series of pieces for Jewish life passage ceremonies; “Halleluhu,” a multi-rhythmic setting of Psalm 150; “Lamdeini;” “You are My Song;” “U’kratem D’ror- Proclaim Liberty,” an American/Jewish response to 9/11, and various commissioned works for choirs, synagogues and interfaith liturgical groups. A World Fulfilled, a solo recording of her compositions, was released in 2002.
Cantor Schiller serves as a faculty consultant for the Union for Reform Judaism, and a part time faculty member of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbinic program and the North American Jewish Choral Festival.
"Yihiyu L'ratson" for cantor, choir and piano, Transcontinental Music, 2010
"Lamdeini" for solo, congregation and piano, Transcontinental Music, 2010
"You Are My Song" -- commissioned by the 2009 graduating rabbinical and cantorial classes of Hebrew Union College, New York -- for choir, congregation and piano, Transcontinental Music, 2010
“Water to Water” for voice and piano, commissioned by Mayyim Hayyim – Living Waters Communal Mikveh, Newton MA – 2003; choral arr. commissioned by the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music graduates of 2013
“ U’k’ratem D’ror – Proclaim Liberty,” choral cantata for soprano solo, choir and piano, commissioned by the Zamir Chorale of New York, 2001
“Halleluhu (Psalm 150)” for solo, choir, guitar and percussion, Transcontinental Music, 1987
“The Cantor’s Spiritual Challenge: Defining Agency in Prayer,” Journal of Synagogue Music, Fall 2005
“The Many Faces of Jewish Synagogue Music,” Synagogue 2000 Prayer curriculum, 1999
“The Development of Reform Music from 1890 Until Present: A Study of the Changing Hymnals,” in Lawrence Hoffman and Janet Walton, eds., Two Liturgical Traditions: Sacred Sound and Social Change in Judaism and Christianity, Notre Dame, 1992