Cantor Bruce Ruben, Ph.D., Director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR, participated in a conference on “Education of Jewish Cantors: History, Locations, Perspectives” from July 9-12, 2014 in Weimar, Germany. Cantor Ruben presented "Trade School or Academic Program? Priorities for Cantorial Education" during the panel on Perspectives on July 11. Cantor Ruben explained, “The conference was a unique blend of scholarship on cantorial history and discussion of the present day challenges facing cantorial schools."
Cantor Bruce Ruben earned his 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.