The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is excited to announce the appointment of Cantor Jill Abramson to the newly-created position of Program Associate, effective August 1, 2019. This part-time appointment represents a major step forward for the cantorial school, as Cantor Abramson will be focusing on areas of recruitment and admissions, public outreach, alumni mobilization, and curriculum integration. She will also collaborate with Cantor Richard Cohn, DFSSM Director, on aspects of student support and departmental administration.
Cantor Abramson offers outstanding gifts and extensive experience to the DFSSM, where she has previously served as an instructor, a cantorial coach, and a member of the admissions committee. Ordained at HUC-JIR in 2002, she will complete a twelve-year term as Senior Cantor of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY, on June 30. She previously served for five years at Congregation Sukkat Shalom in suburban Chicago, IL, where she was also Director of Education. In addition, combining her love of youth work and the outdoors, Cantor Abramson spent several years as Assistant Director of Shwayder Camp in the Colorado Rockies.
Cantor Abramson holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Grinnell College and brings a strong international commitment to her social justice work, having lived in Cameroon, West Africa, taught English in Indonesia, and conceived an Israeli and Arab teenage choir as part of the international peace program, Building Bridges for Peace. In her cantorateshe has been a passionate teacher, with specializations in the intersection of the arts and Jewish life, and in women’s leadership and learning. Her article, “Wrestling with the Gender Politics in Mi Sheberach,” was published by Lilith in 2018.
In New York, Cantor Abramson has sung at Merkin Concert Hall and with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra of New York. She is a featured soloist on Shirei Teshuvah, a collection of music for the Days of Awe. Cantor Abramson has also served as Hebrew coach to the Chicago Symphony Chorus. She is married to Rabbi Jonathan Malamy, and they reside in lower Westchester with their seven-year-old son.
This appointment is made possible thanks to the generous supporters of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music.