Debbie Friedman to Teach Reform Cantors, from the Jewish Journal

Monday, July 2, 2007

This fall, singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman will teach rabbinical and cantorial students at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's School of Sacred Music in New York. Friedman's appointment is being heralded as an official stamp of approval of her style of contemporary music. School officials say it already is taught alongside traditional chazzanut, or cantorial music, at the seminary. 

From her start as a composer of Jewish summer camp songs in the 1970s, Friedman has penned hundreds of songs for worship and performance. Some, like "The Water in the Well," are originals. Others, such as "L'cha Dodi" and "Sim Shalom," are reworkings of traditional Jewish prayers. 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.